Every team, no matter how well-oiled and talented, goes through dry spells. Every manager has experienced employees hitting a dreaded plateau and just going through the motions without bringing their usual spark.
When this happens, it’s time to recharge your team with motivation. There are a few simple ways you can effectively motivate your employees, without overhauling your current processes.
1. Reward Them Creatively
Rewarding your employees for a good job done should be something you’re already doing – but there are a few ways other than verbally acknowledging work that you can motivate your employees. And let’s face it – while financial reward is a good motivator, you can’t always pass out bonuses like candy. Instead, try getting creative with your rewards: keep it simple by offering to take on a difficult task for them, or go bold and offer your team an outing to a movie, game or other group activity if they reach certain goals. If you’re brave, you can also get silly with rewards and take on a dare in exchange for good work (such as shaving your head or wearing an ugly sweater all day).
2. Give Your Team Control
No one likes a micromanager. If your team is grinding to a halt, the solution may be to take a few steps back and empower them to motivate themselves. Giving your team autonomy shows them that you trust them and encourages them to problem-solve on their own. Resist the urge to swoop in and help and you may be surprised how well your team can manage themselves.
3. Cultivate a Calm Environment
You can’t force anyway to be happy, but there are a few steps you can to ensure that your office culture stays calm and welcoming. Work on strengthening relationships between team members (that means nipping water cooler complaining in the bud) and create a culture that’s cooperative, not competitive. Atmosphere is also important – no one wants to work in a dungy, dirty office. Even if you can’t fully renovate, you can still update the workspace to feel fresh – try rearranging furniture and adding new decorative pieces for a quick refresh.
4. Give Your Employees a Purpose
Everyone wants to feel like they’re an important part of something. Sit down with your employees and review your mission statement and how they each play a specific part in that mission. Your employees want to know that they have a sense of purpose at your company and are not just a replaceable cog in the machine.
5. Really Know Your Employees
All of your employees are different – some are boisterous extroverts and some are reserved introverts. Some love watching sports and some prefer a good book. A one-size-fits-all motivator isn’t going to work. Take the time to get to know each of your employees and what makes them tick. Set aside time to meet one-on-one and find out what motivates them so you can offer the perfect reward.
6. Create Stretch Goals
We all know how important goals are, but stretch goals are just as important. These are the aspirational goals – set just out of your current reach. Let’s say for example you expect to see a 20% increase in business after starting a new sales strategy, a stretch goal might be hitting 25% or 30%. Stretch goals are a great way to motivate your employees – especially when they’re tied to a creative reward like mentioned above.
Using these simple tricks will help reenergize your team and keep them motivated and doing their best.
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