Every team will have great days and disappointing setbacks to deal with and will then need to move beyond them. Keeping your team motivated to push on to a better outcome requires perseverance, tenacity, and an ability to rise back up even when some team members are feeling dejected.
Here are five ways to approach team motivation and make steady progress.
Foster Team Building
Learning to work better as a team fosters a sense of community. While each person must work on their own projects and complete tasks while being a self-starter, it’s hard for the group to succeed without cooperative teamwork.
It’s important that every employee knows that the team leader and department head have their full support. When they don’t feel supported—even in situations of infighting between departments—a boss that sides with the other department is going to seem disloyal.
Even going so far as having projects designed to get members of the team working together who don’t usually have the opportunity to do so fosters new bonds. These prove useful later when needing assistance from a work colleague in another department or pulling more members of the department together on a group task.
Ensure Individuals Have What They Need to Prosper
When quizzing employees about what held them back from performing better in their positions, it’s often the case that they lacked something important. This could be the right set of software tools or the proper training to use them to their fullest extent. After all, having the necessary tools but lacking the expertise to use them proficiently means they’re essentially wasted in an employee’s hands.
A team leader or department head might assume that all team members know how to use the software. However, sometimes there are former stay-at-home moms who might have taken back-to-work IT training that didn’t include the software that’s used at the firm or the latest version. Other times, team members might have previously worked in another industry where different software was utilized.
In either case, these employees are likely more than capable of getting up to speed but may not want to look bad by speaking up about a lack of knowledge or training. This is where management needs to verify that all staff can fully utilize whatever tools are needed on the job. That way, they can provide whatever training is required to bridge the knowledge gap.
Also, consider ergonomic seating, ample desk space, and a quiet work environment to focus without too many distractions. For working parents with childcare needs, how can the company help when a problem arises? There are lots of ways that companies can help employees prosper.
Lead from the Top
Leading from the top means providing inspiration, guidance, and a helping hand where needed. The team needs to look up to the person heading up the department and to know that he or she has the experience, knowledge, and determination to succeed.
How do you convey to employees that you have the knowledge and training needed to lead a team? Your academic background speaks volumes. Proudly hang your college diploma and professional certificates in custom frames that offer museum-quality document protection. By putting your academic achievements on display in your office for all to see, there will never be any doubt about your credentials or your ability to lead the team.
Work Toward Shared Goals
There needs to be a sense of mission within both the company and the departments. Beyond having a paycheck or a job, employees need to know why what they’re doing is important. Their duties may not be glamorous or seem as though they’re integral to the company’s grand plan, but employees must be assured that their daily work matters. When team members feel as though they’re working toward something important that’s bigger than themselves, this improves staff morale and retention rates.
Be careful, however, with company mission statements, as they can be overly grand and lack specificity. It’s often too difficult to tie what a particular team is doing into a mission statement when it’s vague or cannot be applied in a meaningful way. Because of this, mission statements are rarely inspirational. In which case, motivate the team through shared goals that the department is working toward. The department can have a sense of shared mission, even if the company doesn’t yet have a convincing one.
Smarter, Not Harder
Wearing the team out by having them focus on unimportant goals isn’t helpful. There will be periods of pushing hard toward objectives coupled with the need to slow down to rejuvenate. The team simply cannot be expected to run on empty and succeed.
Putting in overtime (especially unpaid time), working on weekends, or taking work home doesn’t permit staff the time they need to return fresh and prepared for the next working day. Working smarter, not harder, is required to get the most out of the team.
Leadership starts from the top with the CEO but also must filter down to department heads. All managers must lead and keep their individual teams motivated to succeed. It’s never a one-person job; everyone must pull in the same direction to win.
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