Today, I want to address the common question of “how the heck do I motivate my team members?” because I hear this question all the time.
Now, if you’re short on time, here is my 5-second answer: Instead of trying to put more into them, you have to pull more out of them!
What this means is that for lasting motivation, financial compensation isn’t gonna do it. True motivation has to come from within.
However, even the most engaged team members can find themselves feeling dull and when you as a leader recognize it, you have to address the situation as soon as possible and help them find new sparks of motivation.
Here are six ways to do so.
1) Ask your team members if anything is bothering them
You never know when something has happened in your employee’s personal life that’s put a dark cloud over their head. It’s also possible that something happened at work that made your employee become jaded. To start motivating your demotivated team member, you first need to find out what’s been bothering them. The easiest way to do that is to ask.
2) Assign them new projects
Nobody wants to do the same thing day in and day out. It can get old fast. To motivate your employees, let them work on projects that appeal to them. For example, someone in your financing department might be sick of looking at spreadsheets and crunching numbers all day every day. To mix things up, let them write a blog post to showcase their thought leadership or assign them to a new project team to support them with financial forecasting or budgeting.
3) Communicate clearly about what’s going on at the company (the good and the bad)
It’s not uncommon for people to get demotivated when the rumor mill starts churning. To prevent any misinformation from spreading like wildfires among your employees, be open and transparent about any coming changes, potential challenges, and exciting opportunities that may exist in the future and explain what that could mean for them.
4) Give them more ownership
No, you don’t need to give your employees an unlimited amount of time off or insane bonuses at the end of the year to motivate them. If you’ve not done so already, consider giving your employees more ownership of their work settings. For example, let them adopt flexible schedules or work remotely, even if just for a few days a week. Studies show that people who have more control over their time are happier and more productive.
5) Recognize their efforts
Imagine working really hard on something, doing a great job on it, and not having your efforts recognized? It wouldn’t exactly be encouraging. If you aren’t in the habit of recognizing your employees’ hard work on a regular basis, correct course right away. Employee recognition and specific praise on a job well done go a long way toward improving engagement.
6) Invest in career development
While the vast majority of employees are interested in opportunities to grow and advance their careers and see it as a big motivator to have a career plan, only 25% of employees believe their organizations offer enough professional development opportunities.
To motivate your employees, make professional development a top priority in your team. Support your employees. Help them learn new skills. Pay for them to attend trade shows, symposiums, and conferences. Ask for where they want to go in their career and how you can help them. Plus, invest in their well-being, and they may find a new and powerful spark of motivation.
As you can see, all six of these tips have to do with filling up their cup and making your employees feel good about themselves. None of them are about office perks, bonuses or salary rises.
If you found this valuable, you might also like to see the Leadership Accelerator’s Guide to Motivation which is what I typically only share with my clients. In it, you’ll find a lot more tips, ideas, and suggestions on how to motivate your team members (plus a list of the 11 things to avoid!).
Simply send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send that over to you.
If you like this and you want to learn more about how I help leaders be successful and feel confident in their roles, then schedule a call HERE and let’s chat.