How To Keep Your Team Motivated

by Duncan Brodie

How often do you hear leaders and managers complain that the team is de-motivated and that is the reason why results are not being achieved? Probably more frequently than most would like to admit. At the same time, part of the role of the manager and leader is to bring out the best in others and achieve results.

So how can you keep your team motivated and delivering results consistently?

Tip 1: Find Out Their Motivators

One of the things that continually surprises me is that many team managers and leaders really don’t know what motivates the people they manage or lead. I have asked a number of groups that I have been training when was the last time they asked the people they lead or manage what motivates them. The results are surprising. If I am lucky I get 5-10% who have asked them in the last week or month. The reality is that most have only considered this 12 months ago or longer. Yet this seems to be an almost standard interview question for a new recruit. Make a commitment to ask your team and individuals on the team this question periodically.

Tip 2: Try To Match Work With Motivators

You would not employ a plumber to build a cabinet for you. Yet in the workplace we often get people doing things they are not very good at or simply hate doing. While it might not always be possible, try whenever you can to match work allocated to what motivates people.

Tip 3: Let Them Know You Appreciate Their Contributions

People often spend more of their life in work than anything else. Think about it, if you were never getting feedback or thanks for your efforts or time investment, how motivated are you going to be? Very little or not at all would be my guess. Saying, “Thank you, well done”, or pointing out what people have contributed takes minutes but has a huge motivational impact.

Tip 4: Find Out About their Aspirations

On any team there are going to be people who want to progress in their career or get a specific type of experience. If you take time to get to know people’s aspirations and then help them to achieve them, it will come back in bucket loads in terms of motivation.

Tip 5: Involve Them

If you are managing or leading a team, it is easy to simply dish out instructions. This might seem like the easy way and take less time. The downside is that if people are never involved in key decisions, they become detached and de-motivated. You also lose potentially great ideas.

The Bottom Line: Human beings are complex individuals and sometimes the easiest way to find out what motivates people is to ask them.

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Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements works with accountants, health professionals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability