The secret to motivate employees seems to rely on knowing your team individuals well, and consequently customize the way you recognize and motivate them according to their specific preferences.
Recent studies, proved that the key to motivate employees is far from being money centred. Therefore, it is essential that you understand what you need to do in order to keep your team engaged and focused on the common goal. You’ll need to spend at least as much time building an engaging ecosystem as you’ll do hiring new people and motivating your staff.
1. Stop Micromanaging
Even though people often look at you as you were Superman, it does not mean you actually have his super-powers. Being a manager at the same time you are an employee is something that only Clark Kent could dream of.
Alysa Gregory wrote a pretty insightful post on how you can effectively address this common problem with specific techniques. The problem with micromanagement is that it will make your employees too much dependent on you for direction and therefore less likely to learn, think and produce quality outcomes for themselves. Provide direction and give assistance when required but also provide freedom for employees to do things their own way.
2. Give ownership
Over time workers can develop what's called tunnel vision making them to start focusing only about their own duties and deadlines. Rather than working for the company goals, they work towards meeting the minimum requirements.
A Forbes article recently explores the advantages in leveraging something they defined as “psychological ownership” - the extent to which an employee feels as though their organization or their job is “theirs” (i.e., “this is MY company!”) to the point that the company becomes an important part of an employee’s self-identity.
In order to foster this mentality across your team you should guarantee that each collaborator gets to understand how his role impacts directly the final customer as well as his colleagues.
Make sure your team feels responsible for what the customer is buying
3. Push employees out of the comfort zone
Even though some managers feel their staff does little further from what it is required of them, the fact is that by nature most people do get bored of doing a specific task over and over again.
Therefore, a key ingredient to make people step out of the comfort zone relies in leadership. It starts with you. Step out of your comfort zone and describe the process to your staff as well as the reasons why. Your behaviour will soon resonate. Then, be ready to identify barriers and understand what motivates the individuals in order to guide your employees breakthroughs.
Staying within your comfort zone is a good way to prepare for today, but it's a terrible way to prepare for tommorow -
David Peterson, Director, Executive Coaching & Leadership at Google -
4. Share information constantly
When you are growing fast, assumptions and goals change in the same pace. As a business leader you have a clearer perspective on the bigger picture than your employees do.
Spreading the intel gets everyone on the same layer as you are and at the same time strengthens the feeling among workers that they are an important part of the organization. Nowadays, you can easily share information through several different ways. Being it:
- Standup meetings
- Daily wrap up emails
- Open Documents (Google Docs)
- Team instant messaging tools (Slack, Facebook for teams )
- Project management tools (Trello, Asana )
5. Create an environment focused on the top performers
All the efforts you put into improving your team working conditions should always be focused in satisfying the top performing employees.
Eitan Sharir develops a thorough analysis on the impact a team build upon an high-performance culture may generate.
Your mission is to understand the best way to motivate your most talented employees in order to improve their production rate. Get to know what are the roadblocks they're hitting and make sure you clear them so that they have no barriers to get the most important work done.
6. Use a simple employee recognition
Most recent studies indicate that employees feel recognition more fulfilling than any money rewards or gifts.
Even though almost everyone already get this point, managers struggle to deliver constant recognition/feedback when there’s no system implemented that eases the process.
Tap my Back tackles most of these challenges. It is a tool designed to facilitate both upwards and downwards recognition in a fun and frictionless way. Either for remote or local teams recognition may be made public or privately to any specific worker. On top of it, team leaders have access to analytics on the taps given so that they can extract insights that make them better managers.
7. Fire underperformers
Even though it may seem a paradox in terms of team motivation, firing underperformers actually works well on motivating your best employees. When other employees see these individuals getting away with underperformance, then they start to underperform. Therefore, firing—as long as you explain to your team why people were fired—can actually motivate employees to improve daily.
8. Encourage Innovation and Creativity
As a manager you must realize that the vast majority of innovations come from the people who are manufacturing your products or designing your services, who are interacting with customers.
Fostering creativity will not only bolster employee motivation within the organization but also help in creating a more flexible working environment as it creates an openness to change.
Disruption either in terms of products, markets or processes is the common ground of every growing company
9. Invest in staff learning opportunities
People who get the chance to grow their skills and expertise take more pride in their jobs, you should encourage employees in your organization to gain new skills.
However, providing trainings and learning programs is not enough. You must ensure that employees are able to apply the knowledge gained to accomplish their work and further benefit their career utility.
You can do this in many ways, such as providing on-the-job training and other opportunities to teach your employees new skills.
10. Do not hire Clones
It often happens that new employees dress, sound and think the same way as the one who recruited them.
The last thing any entrepreneur should try is to recruit a bunch of"mini-me's". Rather try surrounding yourself with experts who excel in different areas and bring unique perspectives. It will create a much more exciting environment for everyone on your company.