Your team is the heart and soul of your company. If they’re not happy, in most cases your customers will not be happy. And certainly upper management, whether that’s you or someone else, will not be happy! Your team motivation skills have to come into play each and every day.
There’s a lot of work that comes along with managing a team. As you form, refine and stick to a team motivation plan, it WILL get easier. Heck, you can even outsource some of the following tasks.
1. Compensate them appropriately for the work they do.
Making people happy isn’t all about the money. But salary is a factor. All things considered, a happy, engaged employee will leave their job for as little as a 5% increase over their current pay. Five percent isn’t small potatoes by any means, but it’s not worth losing quality people over.
2. Offer a clean, stimulating environment to work in.
Make the office clean and functional. Piles of paperwork, dusty corners with old computers, wires all over the floor, holes in walls, etc. These just won’t do. You don’t want your employees feeling like they’re working in a second-rate company, do you? What’s it cost for a few gallons of paint and some cheap new desks and chairs?
3. Let them develop and spread their wings.
Provide as many teaching and learning resources as you can. Seek out relevant seminars and encourage your employees to attend. Purchase subscriptions to industry publications, bring in influential leaders to speak and teach new skills, pay for classes that will allow employees to expand their roles and eventually move upward in the company, and whatever else you can think of. If the expenses from a given training opportunity seem too great, you can always have them sign an agreement preventing them from seeking employment elsewhere for a certain period, else they be legally required to pay your expenses back — in full — if they choose to leave early.
4. Encourage input on how best to run the company.
Close to half of all employees everywhere feel their input isn’t acknowledged by company leadership. This is because it usually isn’t. Considering how important your team is to the success of the company, it’s only prudent to listen to all complaints or suggestions and offer constructive feedback as to why changes can or can’t be implemented. Make sure everyone gives their input on big issues such as improvements to office, changes to customer service practices, new product ideas, and any other pressing issues that impact everyone.
5. Always have your “unhappiness scanner” on.
Unhappiness is one of those things that rarely disappears without intervention. If an employee is unhappy with something in their personal life, there may be nothing you can do but wait. If it’s job related, that’s where it becomes your job to notice something’s not right, and step in to ask what you can do to help. Foster a culture of happy, positive, high energy people and encourage everyone to spot and report unhappiness early on before it becomes a plague that destroys your team.
6. Make sure instructions are clear.
No team was ever successful when given bad instructions. Make sure all instructions are clear and that everyone understands.
7. Don’t micromanage anyone.
Micromanagement doesn’t benefit anyone. If you’ve been in management for any length of time, you already know this. Let your employees spread their wings, even make a mistake or two you might have been able to prevent had you been more involved. You and management will have more time for pressing issues that effect the business most, and your subordinates will learn valuable lessons about executing projects and tasks from start to finish.
8. Most meetings are a waste of time.
Meetings can be an incredible waste of time. The average office wastes 3.8 hours in unproductive meetings each and every week. Use HBR’s meeting planner checklist to make sure you’re only holding meetings that need to be held and following a strict agenda to make sure minimal time is wasted.
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