Have you ever felt like your team lacked motivation? You’re probably right, because most employees do! But don’t despair, you can turn them around with your leadership tools on how to motivate your team effectively. As business owners, we have all gone through times where we wonder, “Does this employee really give two craps about our business?” Not a great feeling for anyone involved.
The ideal scenario, and the one I’ve taught to thousands of business owners over the last 20 years, is a happy, motivated, caring, high-performing trusting and trustworthy team. Oh, and you’ll feel GREAT as well!
Here are my best strategies for learning how to create happy, motivated teams:
1. First, realize that EVERYTHING starts at the top, with you.
Then it trickles down through your leadership teams, and to their teams, and so on. If YOU and I are not:
- Motivated and enthusiastic,
- Role modelling compelling and inspiring mission, vision, and culture statements, and
- Showing the team exactly how you want them to work through your example,
then there’s really no point in reading the rest of this. YOU are the bottleneck or the booster in your business. Be the booster!!!!
This post details what you need to be a great role model.
2. Ask every staff member to write you a 30 year letter, detailing their ideal life and goals.
Review those letters every month and do everything you can to help them reach their personal goals and dreams, while they help you reach yours!
3. Ensure that you have mission, vision, and culture statements that are MOTIVATING, COMPELLING and INSPIRING!
Let your team help to edit/update/create these. People are so much more bought in when they get to assist in creating something.
4. Clear roles and goals are KEY to motivating employees, especially your high-performers or “A players.”
Exceptionally clear and measurable job descriptions and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are not optional, if you want to motivate your team effectively. I have heard so many leaders say, “It’s not written down, but everyone knows what their jobs are.” I have to cover my face with my hands every time. Get the roles and goals clear, get it on paper, and review it every single month with them. Make sure their KPIs add up to you hitting your strategic objectives. Ensure you focus on future success rather than a past failure when coaching around these. And finally, make sure to update them as often as necessary. It can be necessary QUITE often if you grow as fast as my companies do. Systemize this. Clear roles and goals. Remember that rhyme!
5. Make sure your team KNOWS that you want them to be happy, successful and motivated.
At first, depending on how bad your leadership has sucked in the past, they may not believe you. You need to prove it by getting feedback and using it to get better. Prove it by reiterating that their happiness and attainment of their goals is incredibly important to you, as important as you hitting your company goals. Prove it by re-reading those 30 year letters and having conversations about them achieving everything they want to achieve.
6. Workplace appreciation languages are amazing!
They can either severely handicap you as a leader, or be one of your most effective tools for motivating your team. Here’s the website my clients and I use to quiz our employees, then ensure we appreciate each team member in their preferred language, not our own. I had wasted SO MUCH TIME AND MONEY in the past because I was simply appreciating everyone in the way I wanted to be appreciated, my natural way of showing appreciation. Once I learned how different we all are, and made myself a chart that sits right under my computer, I became a much more effective appreciator. And since most people leave jobs because they don’t feel appreciated, this is a KEY SKILL you need to learn! Find the surveys here: https://mbainventory.com/
7. Build and show trust, in any way you can to motivate your team effectively.
Keep your word. Use your calendar so you never forget what you promised someone you would do. And really TRUST your team members. Trust in an organization is one of the most powerful tools to improve efficiency, morale, and productivity…and of course, motivation! p.s. The book “The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything” by Stephen Covey is amazing and will help you to dramatically improve the trust in your organization.
8. When you have praise, share it publicly.
When you have coaching/constructive criticism, share it privately, and only focus on what you want the future to look like, NOT the past mistake(s).
9. Job descriptions and KPIs need to totally clear; expectations must be crystal clear.
How could you possibly expect someone to live up to expectations they don’t know about? This is something you might be skimming past because you think you already know this, or are doing this, but don’t skip this part. Before you can truly say you “know” something you must be doing it consistently, and in precisely the correct way, for a sustained period of time.
Make sure the job descriptions and goals show your team members how important they are to the overall mission and goals of the company.
Make sure that all job descriptions make sense and are followed. You can lose star performers due to frustration with others not being held to expectations!
10. Money: it is not the huge motivator you may think.
Remember when giving raises or bonuses that a one point increase in the trust scale of management is equal to a 40% raise in income, in terms of the effects they have on overall life satisfaction. TRUST!
Second, know that increases in income up to the level a person feels that they “should” be earning (their self-image-associated number), WILL make a big difference for them. However, once you hit that level, anything above and beyond becomes much less effective.
11. Feedback, feedback, feedback!
“Thank you for the feedback!” Get used to saying thank you for feedback instead of taking it personally or considering it unimportant. Your team has feedback for you and if you can be the trustworthy and caring leader they need, they will share it with you and you can all feel more happy and motivated.
“Leadership” is always my answer when someone asks me, “How do you motivate your team to achieve goals?” and it always will be. This should be empowering to you as a leader, because it gives you the ability to create that amazing atmosphere full of motivated and happy employees. And of course, great success in business as well.
Until next time, Remember that Business Can be Better™ and it SHOULD BE!