Ask ten different people what motivates them, and they will likely give you ten different answers.
Ask ten different leaders what motivates their employees, and the answers are unlikely to match.
Motivation is a key factor in employee satisfaction and company success; motivated employees have been shown to improve company productivity, employee retention and customer satisfaction.
So why is motivation misunderstood?
Understanding what motivates an individual is key to enabling them to perform better in their role, but there are changes you can make that will help to improve motivation across a team, or even a whole company.
The science behind motivation can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 6 ways to motivate your team:
While it may seem obvious, setting attainable goals is an effective way of improving your team’s productivity and motivation. The importance here is on attainable. Goals should be something to aim for, and not a given.
They may currently be out of reach but with an effective strategy and regular performance reviews they can be achieved, leading to a sense of accomplishment and better employee engagement. When people can see their improvement, they want to continue improving.
By having a formal performance management system, employees and managers are able to work together to build stronger relationships and stay motivated in their role.
2. Give feedback
Everyone likes to hear that they’ve done a good job, but unfortunately not everyone is given the opportunity. The benefits of giving feedback to your team and employees are numerous, and improved motivation is one of them.
Employees want to develop and improve and giving regular feedback enables them to see what they’re doing and how well they’re doing it.
The same works for the inverse too, if someone is not performing optimally in their position, feedback enables them to address their issues and perform better. It also makes them feel valued, and when employees feel valued they’re more likely to take ownership and responsibility on projects.
Plus, with our brand-new team kudos feature you can show your appreciation for other departments who have gone the extra mile to help you by sending them all kudos in Breathe.
3. Provide employee rewards
A thoughtfully created employee rewards scheme can go a long way to motivating your team and increasing productivity.
While there are number of common ways companies reward employees (Friday beers, staff lunch etc.) a rewards scheme is not a one-size fits all policy. Instead, think about what works best for your team specifically, make them inclusive and appropriately sized.
Whether they are geared towards personal goals or embodying company values, chances are you’ll see your team reinforcing your company values and better teamwork.
Don’t sleep on small rewards either; a hand-written note, or a shout-out at a team meeting can ensure your team stays motivated.
4. Office environment
The likelihood that someone is going to love their job 100% of the time is slim. There will always be the occasional down day where people simply won’t feel as capable to perform in their role. It’s just as important to motivate your team on a bad day as it is a good one.
Thankfully, one way you can tackle this is by creating an office environment that is pleasant to be in. Studies have shown that plants are a cost-effective way to improve office life and increase positivity and motivation.
5. Talk and listen
Whether it’s at a performance management meeting, formalised in a company survey or in the kitchen making a drink, talking with your team is the best way to understand what motivates them.
Good communication is an effective tool that can be used to boost morale and employee value.
Take the time to listen to what your team has to say and come up with ways to address their concerns. Ask what they want, but be prepared that different generations may want different things from their job and the workplace.
6. Take a walk
Nobody likes the thought of being chained to their desk. Feeling like you must stare at a screen until your work is done can be demoralising and restrictive, two factors which decrease motivation.
Walking has been shown to improve creativity, focus and wellbeing, both physical and psychological.
Whether it’s the change of environment or simply moving your limbs, that feeling of blowing away the cobwebs allows your mind to be clearer and better focused on the task at hand. The simple act of going for a walk can leave you feeling refreshed, inspired, and motivated to work.
Motivation is both a science and an art. You can collate the research, but an ineffective implementation of those ideas is going to yield poor results.
By simply talking with your team you’ll gain a better understanding of what makes them tick and what motivates them. Knowing that will help you to build a system that rewards great work and encourages employee engagement.