It doesn’t matter if you have been in a senior position for several years or are new to the managerial world, motivating a team can be difficult. However, understanding how to engage individual team members or entire departments and keeping morale high is vital. After all, 50% of employees quit a company to escape their boss, not their position, so learning how to properly motivate and inspire a team is critical for long term success.
Fortunately, there are 6 steps any manager can take to maximize their team’s productivity while keeping workers motivated:
1. Set Clear Expectations & Goals
One of the easiest ways to make an employee feel engaged in their job is to ensure that they understand their role. Setting clear job expectations for each team member before the start of a project is necessary for getting departments on the same page. Additionally, outlining concise project related goals and what employees are striving towards in terms of their career development is important.
Only half of employees agree that they know what is expected of them at work, and this lack of direction can cause team members to feel overwhelmed. By setting clear instructions for each employee as a manager, you can ensure your team remains focused and motivated.
2. Provide A Support Network
Almost half of workers suffer from burnout at some point in their career. As a manager, it is important to spot the signs of a struggling employee in order to address the root cause of the problem before the situation worsens.
Creating a support network as a manager is critical for increasing employee motivation and strengthening a sense of teamwork. Providing employees with additional training or resources to better complete their job is recommended, as well as ensuring that employees have a proper work-life balance.
3. Communicate Regularly
Communication between managers and their team is critical for both motivated and disinterested employees. Consistent feedback can encourage productive employees to continue their outstanding work, and it can also provide lagging employees a chance to ask for help or guidance.
Ultimately, by keeping open lines of communication with all team members, managers can gain a better understanding of their team’s strengths and weaknesses. Scheduling weekly or monthly meetings with employees can be an effective way to gauge the state of a department, address concerns or problems, and make adjustments to increase productivity.
4. Give Recognition
Studies have shown that recognition is the number one thing employees say their manager could provide to encourage them to produce better work. This is simply human nature. Praise for hard work and producing results can motivate employees to strive for further success, and it keeps employees feeling valuable.
Leaving talent and hard work unnoticed can lead to employees feeling unappreciated over time, increasing the likelihood the resign or become disinterested. A skilled manager knows when recognition for valuable work is due and how to provide it to their team.
5. Remember The Bigger Picture
Setting clear expectations for employees before the start of a project helps clarify the division of labor and team roles. However, as a manager, it is also important to outline the bigger picture when beginning and concluding a project.
Employees will feel higher levels of motivation if they believe they are working towards something important for the organization that they work for. It is easy for employees to feel as if they are a simple cog in a machine after years of employment, but a skilled manager should outline the importance of the task at hand and the value it brings back to the company.
Reminding employees of the value they provide is a simple but effective tactic to increase motivation and get the most from a team.
6. Lead By Example
While managerial tactics such as providing recognition or keeping open lines of communication are useful ways to motivate employees, a good manager must still lead by example. A department cannot succeed under poor leadership. Additionally, employees cannot be expected to excel at their job and remain motivated if they are burdened by poor leadership.
A truly great manager leads their team by example, setting a standard of professionalism and work ethic that inspires their team to greater heights.
Managing a workforce can be challenging for experienced and novice managers alike. However, as long as managers remember these 6 critical steps, they can effectively motivate their department, keep morale high, and deliver results.