“A good manager lights a fire under their staff, a great manager lights a fire within them.”
Having personal experience in some fairly intense sales environments, keeping a team motivated is one of the major challenges for any manager.
To add value, the aim of this blog will be to cover a few do’s and don’ts and (**spoiler alert**) perhaps contain some useful, memorable clichés….!
First and foremost, one of the keys to remember before you can start effectively motivating a team, is your team are individuals. Not one person is the same. Some will be high performers, some will be under performing. It isn’t up to the team to adjust to you. It is up to you to adjust to each member of the team.
The first step to effective leadership is to recognise these differentiators and personality traits, then recognise the individual methods on how to keep the performers performing and motivate the under performers to achieve.
Key points to maintaining motivation through leadership
- The key to consistency is….consistency.
Mood swings, anger, frustration, being too familiar all have to be left at the door. Maintain professionalism and 100% of the time you must be consistent with your team. This is likely one of the most difficult “acts” in leadership given the strains of management, however, if your team know exactly what they are getting every day, this should yield consistency in terms of motivation.
- Never be negative.
Easy when things are good, more challenging when things need to improve.
Play to people’s strengths, remind the team of positive outcomes, the “good times” and work with each individual on a plan to get back there. Good practice is sharing positive news collectively, but keeping performance management on an individual basis.
- Pay your team what they are worth.
The most effective teams are loyal. People find if much more difficult to make the decision to leave if they are rewarded for their efforts.
On the flip side one of the worst traits a manager can have is greed. Take from the team and reward yourself handsomely. This can often be the case, through no fault of their own, when a successful sales hunter is promoted into management. The hunter mentality, the competitive nature of hunting and winning business and “being the best” can often be difficult to transition into a reward-giving, success-recognising, motivational manager.
- Set clear goals and objectives.
To achieve, a team must be aware of what the end goal is. A target, a project competition date, a deadline. Don’t announce this at the start and review it when it is supposed to be completed. Be open about progress and where the team is against completion of the task. Worryingly, a recent study found that 63% of employees reported that they wasted time at work because they weren’t aware of what work was a priority, and what wasn’t.
- Professional Development.
There is a rising trend with forward-thinking companies to offer professional development. This can be either in subjects related to the business and where they are trying to go, but also subjects outside of work that an individual wants to do. Allowing space for professional development yields loyalty and high levels of motivation.
- Don’t micromanage.
No one likes a boss who is constantly looking over her shoulder and second-guessing their every decision. In fact, 38% of employees in one survey reported that they would rather take on unpleasant activities than sit next to a micromanaging boss.
Provide your people with clear goals, communicate effectively and then work with them to figure out the formula to achieve them.
Meetings are designed to set clear objectives and motivate. Avoid useless, repetitive meetings – an average professional wastes nearly 4 hours in unproductive meetings each week…over 200 hours a year. Meetings should be prepared, be succinct, have a point and have actions to complete.
- Create healthy competition.
Make sure any competition has the capacity to involve everyone, not just the over achievers.
- Create a collaborative working environment.
Research has shown that environment/team culture is more important to employees than money. This is a great chance for you to create extra motivation for your staff by making the work environment a positive place to work, rest and have fun at the same time.
Employees’ three most important issues to keep in mind are:
- A sense of accomplishment
Deviating from this and not showing respect, not acknowledging accomplishments or not giving recognition can lead to negativity about a management style.
Author: David Joynes