It’s often said that you cannot motivate people; They can only motivate themselves. However, as important as self-motivation is, it cannot be maintained without external factors. External motivation is what lies in the zone of a team manager’s and business owner’s responsibility. Creating an environment that energises people and fuels motivation is essential for an effective teamwork and commitment.
So, how do you inspire your team and create an energising work environment?
1. Make sure everybody’s work is meaningful
It’s not just about areas of responsibility – it’s also about vision and goals. It is important that everyone on the team knows the strategic goals and their personal role in the movement towards them. Clear workflow is what is helpful here: it gives an idea of the big picture and how individuals fit into it. Besides, meaningful work is the best type of job security the employer can give to an employee: is the job is important, it is unlikely to be cut.
2. Listen to your team
Every team member has their own reasons to choose the work they’re doing (besides money, of course): flexible schedule, bonuses, opportunity to travel (or not to travel), etc. Among possible reasons, learning and professional growth are also worth mentioning. Knowing what the employees expect and giving them opportunities is crucial for their motivation to work.
Incentives are key point for employees’ engagement. Develop a reward system that will help you detect and incentivise high-performers and proactive employees. Depending on the environment, it can be also helpful to implement gamified tools and procedures to increase motivation. It can be a prize for the best performance, earning points for specific achievements, etc.
4. Provide growth opportunities
Professional growth and development of new skills is a strong motivational factor. Make sure that your employees see a perspective within your company and team – and can make use of it. Know what your team members expect: qualification improvement, career progression, or new skills – and give them growth opportunities when possible.
Also read: 5 habits for a productive startup team
There’s no need to mention how lack of communication impairs work process. So communicate with your colleagues, make sure they stay informed about everything related to their work, and provide them with feedback about their work results. Organise efficient communication flows, and adopt special tools that meet your team’s needs.
6. Recognise and appreciate
Make sure that good work of your team members is noticed and appreciated. Motivate individuals rather than teams in general by recognising their achievements and accomplishments. This will inspire the employees to do more and eventually increase standards within the team.
7. Maintain a healthy work environment
Work environment and company’s culture is one of the most important motivating (or demotivating) factors. Nobody likes envy, gossip, and conflicts, but sometimes it’s not really easy to prevent them. As a team leader, learn to recognise and eliminate work environment issues, find ways to solve conflicts if they happen, and build trust within your team. What’s also important here is avoiding micromanagement, as it undermines trust and impairs employees’ ability to make their own decisions.
8. Implement flexibility
Flexibility is not only about flexible schedules, however they are a great way to get maximum value of a team’s working hours. It’s about having less strict rules to follow, treating employees like adults, and not focusing on unimportant small details. Concentrate on what is really important, and protect your team from unnecessary and inefficient bureaucracy.
As we see, there are many ways to create an energising work environment where it’s easier for employees to stay motivated and engaged. External factors, such as transparent workflow, growth opportunities and recognition of achievements, fuel self-motivation and support commitment. That’s why implementing motivational procedures and approaches is essential for teams’ productivity and performance.
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