Motivating your Employees is Difficult: Finding a Strategy that Works
Motivating your employees is a crucial but often overlooked part of being a leader. It’s one of the most important things that can be done to improve team unity and foster a healthy team environment. How can you motivate your team, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic? It is not a simple answer. Anyone who says otherwise may not have faced and experienced this challenge before. Let’s go over some key strategies to help keep your team in check and in the right direction.
The Pursuit of Transparency
Don’t make everything secret! Business transparency is like glass windows that allow your team to honestly know what is happening within the business, whether it may be a positive or negative impact on their work.
Even the best managers will struggle to keep their team productive and motivated if the workflow lacks transparency and accountability. Managers must communicate that there is an intention behind each staff’s effort to see the indirect or even direct impact on the success of the business objectives. Many managers make the mistake of not providing enough positive reinforcement for their team to improve. It is always easy to give immediate feedback but often the challenge is knowing the constructive and actionable steps that follow.
Implement periodic performance reviews using BI and Analytics tools to track the progress of projects and employees. Allow individuals to monitor their progress and provide actionable and quantitative insights on how to enhance their performance. Doing so ensures accountability in each person’s tasks in order to achieve the individual, project, and team objectives.
It’s up to you as the manager to relay the company vision to your team and guide them to understand how they contribute to the vision as a whole. Always keep an open dialogue to discuss goals, to ensure that each member is heading in the same direction for everyone involved to succeed.
Autonomy in the Workplace
One of the most valuable and effective ways to motivate your staff is the autonomy of their work. But many managers don’t know what the right balance of freedom may look like in their team’s context. Here are some initiatives to consider and incorporate into your team.
Let your Staff have Control over their Schedule
Allow your staff to have the freedom and flexibility to manage their professional and personal life. Everyone has different schedules, constraints, and work-life balance. The time flexibility allows each person staff to work at their most productive hours without the limitation of the regular 9-5 work schedule. Besides critical meetings that they can’t miss, the added flexibility allows individuals to become more driven and determined to complete their responsibility instead of enforcing a schedule that doesn’t help them be productive, increasing job satisfaction and reducing work burn-out.
Let the Staff choose where they Work
The pandemic has changed the pace of life and work and has shifted how and where we work. Some people prefer to work remotely from home, others at coffee shops, and some still prefer to work physically at the office. A 2019 survey by Owl Labs shows that the top 4 reasons why respondents prefer working remotely are better work-life balance, increased productivity and focus, reduced stress, and avoiding the commute to work. Location flexibility allows your staff to be happier at work as 71% of full-time remote workers say they’re happy in their job.
Ensure your team members understand what they want to excel in their career and what they require from the company to accomplish the goals and objectives. Some employees may need a day off, while others may respond better to a raise or promotion. Understand what motivates your team to operate at their best and offer the right rewards for their effort and positive work ethic.
Unlock Creativity, Innovation is the New Norm
Provide opportunities and space for your team to bring in more creative and innovative ideas. Google does a great job of driving innovation by having a policy that allows its employees to spend 20% of their work time generating their ideas. Encourage your staff to bring their ideas to life if they may benefit the company for the foreseeable future.
Give them the right tools and resources needed to reach their intended idea and goals. This can be through providing professional development and training opportunities for your staff will keep them engaged in their work and continue growing them in their role. By investing into your staff’s skills and knowledge, it will allow them to stay up to date and learn new technologies, strategies, and business approaches to not only help them move into other positions within the organization but also impart their newfound learnings to train and better improve your team.
Let your Employees Think Outside the Box
Every individual team member is different, and no single formula or method will be effective for everyone as what motivates one employee might leave another unmoved. As a manager, your job is to delegate different tasks to each staff to complete the assigned project together. Delegation is not just giving out tasks or projects. You must also empower and trust your team to take the onus of their assignment and allow the individual to decide how to accomplish it.
As long as the outcome meets the requirements and follows protocols, it does not matter how the individual completes the task. That’s why it’s essential to create an environment that allows your employees to focus their efforts and take ownership of their results. Who knows, maybe your clients will love your staff’s new ideas.
Make sure your team is comfortable and well-prepared with innovation and developing new outlooks and workflows. Nurture creativity – your team’s great ideas can become the future success of your team.
Create a Vibrant Community
Building a sense of community is especially important for remote workers, who often miss out on workplace interaction as they don’t spend time in the office with other colleagues. Managers need to take steps to bridge the gap between their team members, even if they are working from home or the office. According to Gartner, organizations that put in the effort to develop inclusivity initiatives see an increase in inclusion by 20%, improving employee work motivation and performance. Here are 2 ways to establish a sense of belonging to a community.
Foster a community through encouraging participation in networking events, team building, and wellness activities to create a better relationship with your team members. Choose activities that everyone can participate in and enjoy together as a team and avoid discussing work as tempting as it may be. Focus on genuinely building relationships and allowing each person to get to know everyone outside of work. No matter if it is a remote worker or not, slowly build trust and rapport with your team so that everyone is valued and included.
Provide a Safe Space
What is a safe space? A safe space means for employees to be comfortable in their role by having the ability to share their opinions and acknowledging the value each individual brings to the team. As a manager, this requires you to communicate genuine support and make each team member responsible for achieving community day-to-day. Make it a practice for your staff to value what each member can bring to the table by allowing them to voice their concerns, and supporting each colleague’s achievements and career development. All in all, integrate your staff’s input and voice into organizational values to take steps to build a more inclusive and appreciative workplace.
Conclusion: Don’t Leave it to Chance
Ultimately, how you motivate employees is up to you. As a leader, you’re in the best position to understand your employees and challenge yourself to do things that will make the lives of your employees better every day. Motivation doesn’t come naturally: you have to develop it at the workplace and starting from you. Collaborate with your team to understand their strengths and discover which motivators and strategies to prioritize. Together, empower your staff to set realistic goals and tangible rewards for their efforts so you can achieve success and retain your best talent by your side.
ProLytics Consulting Group is a business and technology consulting firm that specializes in areas of Enterprise Performance Management and Financial Business Intelligence and Analytics. With decades of successful implementation experience, ProLytics understand and value that each company is unique. We are committed to working closely with each customer to to deliver value added technology solutions that solves their one-of-a-kind challenges.