Apr 14, 2012

Tips for Motivating Your Team

It can be tough to get everyone moving in the same direction, at the same speed and with the positive attitudes that are required for the task at hand. Either personal circumstances in an employee's life or changes in the workplace can be factors that negatively affect morale. However, as a team leader, you need to minimize the negative influences on your team and motivate your employees to rise above difficult situations and meet challenges in a productive and cooperative manner. Here are some tips to help you do this:

Know Your Team Members Well

Take the time to get to know each member of your team and understand what makes them tick. Everyone has different personalities, strengths, weaknesses, talents and motivations, and different things affect people in different ways. This may seem obvious, but all too often people assume that if something doesn’t affect them, it shouldn’t affect others either. Knowing your team will allow you to understand why a certain employee behaves the way they do without pre-judging them, which opens up opportunities to address the behaviour and its cause without making the employee feel targeted. This sends a message to everyone on the team that you care enough about them as people, and will always look out for their well-being and support them to do their best work. Employees who feel valued in this way will go out of their way to do the best they can for the team.

Show Appreciation Consistently
Regardless of the outcome of an employee’s efforts, if they are putting a lot of hard work and dedication into a project, it is important to acknowledge that effort. People like to be recognised for doing their best, and while it takes little time and effort on your part it can make a huge difference to their morale. Rewards can range from small tokens of appreciation – like cards or a box of chocolate – to offering training that will enhance their career aspirations. For example, if your company is in retail and you know one of your employees is keen to move up from an entry-level position, you can reward their dedication by offering them a
sales training course that will give them the qualifications they need. This demonstrates to your team that you are as serious about their success as you are about the success of your business. The important thing is to reward effort consistently; if you are hit and miss with your appreciation, they may be hit or miss with their efforts.

Provide the Ingredients for Excellence

If you want people to do a good job, you need to make sure they have what it takes to do it well. This can mean providing
educational resources such as training, the right tools or materials and proper equipment. There is nothing more frustrating than being required to do a job but not having the right materials, information or equipment to do it, and it sends a negative message to your employees. The more positive motivation you give your staff, the better chance you will keep them working for you, and helping to make your business thrive.

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