You can have the strongest, most competent team in the world – where every member has the right educational background and experience. But none of this will make any difference unless they are motivated to act. This does not just mean showing up and completing the work on time. It means being driven to bring their best thinking and efforts to the table. It means feeling ownership and responsibility over the job. It means giving 110%, every single day.
So how, as managers, can we effectively motivate our team to do their best? It can be difficult, especially depending on the type of work and the surrounding situations.
That being the case, there are some tried-and-proven tactics that can make a huge difference when it comes to motivating your team.
Tactic #1: Provide Support and Transparency
If you expect your team to show up every day and give their full effort, chances are that they are going to want to know exactly what they are working for. The best way to do this is to keep open lines of communication – and remember that this is a two-way street.
Talk to your team about the expectations for the job, and make an effort to understand their grievances and what could help them complete the work to the best of their ability. If your team feels like you are on their side, they will continue to show up for you.
Tactic #2: Lead by Example
Your team deserves to know that you are as invested in the work as you are asking them to be. This means that you do not just delegate tasks, and then walk away from the job. If your team is putting in the extra hours, you need to be doing the same.
Tactic #3: Give Them a Reason to Believe
If your team feels like their time and effort does not really matter all that much, then what is the point? Why should they care? When you effectively articulate how their individual and group efforts are working toward something big and important, you ensure that they feel a sense of ownership over the project, and a sense of responsibility to do the job well.
Tactic #4: Recognize Individual and Team Efforts
All too often, we start new projects off strong, but then lose momentum over time. If you want to keep up your team’s spirits and help them over the finish line, then you need to be recognizing the work and effort that they are putting in along the way. Make a point to celebrate milestones, and call attention to those who are making valuable contributions. By doing so, you help reinforce the importance of the work, and your dedication to the team.
Tailor Your Strategy to the Executing Team
Remember that the most effective strategies will depend on the individuals you are working with—after all, we are all motivated by different things. That being the case, it is worth trying out all of these recommendations and seeing what has the greatest impact. Over time, you will find the perfect mix.