TEAM MOTIVATION AS A KEY PRODUCTIVITY FACTOR
If you manage a group of people, you must learn to motivate others. If you focus on understanding what motivates other people and how to meet their needs, you will be on the right path to a positive and productive experience. When the basic human needs are met, we begin to work for self-satisfaction. For example, if a person is hungry, he will not be able to concentrate on the critical task in which needs cognitive work and concentration. So, every person “in-charge of productivity” should start motivating “the troops” by making sure that the people have metaphorical lunch before getting down to cognitive tasks.
How to Make it Worse?
Before you learn to inspire and motivate wards to work effectively, managers should find out what things should stop doing. Below are a few rules that you should get rid of as soon as possible.
- Come up with a bunch of stupid rules. For example, overly strict rules of turnout or cancellation of bonus miles during business trips. Even a couple of extra rules can drive people crazy. If a person feels that he is always and everywhere followed, he will simply find another job.
- Ignore employee achievements. It is easy to underestimate the benefits of praise, especially for the most capable employees who, by their nature, aim to win. Everyone loves to receive encouragement, and most of all, those who work hard and fully devotes themselves to work. Noting the individual achievements of employees, you show that you care. Managers need to communicate with their employees to understand what satisfies people (for someone this is a salary increase, for others, it is the respect of colleagues), and then to praise people for a job well done.
- Hire and promote the wrong people. The best and most diligent employees want to work with their kind. If the manager does not try to recruit only decent staff, then people who will have to work with those whom he hires will be very disturbed. Worse, if you promote the wrong people. Any person will be upset if it turns out that he worked for a long time tirelessly to give way to a person who simply liked the boss. It is not surprising that after such many decent employees quit.
- Treat everyone completely equally. This tactic is suitable for working with schoolchildren, but in the adult world, everything is different. Using the same approach to all employees, you show that there is no point in working at the maximum of your capabilities because, in the end, everyone will receive the same amount as the laziest of your wards.
- Ignore bad results. It is said that the level of a jazz band play depends on the skill of the worst musician: no matter how good some team members are, they still end up hearing everyone play the weakest of them. The same rule applies to work. When you let someone work half-heartedly or make mistakes without consequences, it can spread to the whole team and even to your best employees.
- Break your promises. When you promise something to people, you stand on a thin line: step over to one side – they will be infinitely happy, you will rise to the other – they will turn away from you. When you fulfill your commitment, you grow up in the eyes of your employees, because you prove that you are an honest person and you can be trusted (two very important qualities for a manager). However, if you break your word, you will show yourself to be deceitful, indifferent, and disrespectful. In the end, if the boss does not consider it necessary to keep his word, then why should others?
- Be indifferent. More than half of the people who change jobs are doing so because of bad relations with their superiors. The most successful companies make their managers able to strike a balance between professionalism and humanity. Such managers sincerely rejoice in the achievements of employees, sympathize with those who are experiencing problems, and treat people critically, even if it is difficult to do so. The heads, who are indifferent to their employees, provoke them to dismiss. It’s impossible to work eight hours a day (or more) side by side with those who care about everything except your productivity.
How to Make it Better?
Now that you’ve gotten rid of bad habits that prevented people from working, it’s time to adopt the following seven rules that will make people love their work.
- Follow the platinum rule. The Golden Rule (treat others the way you want to be treated) has one drawback: it means that all people want the same attitude towards themselves. However, people are motivated by completely different things. Someone seeks public recognition, for others to be the center of attention – the torment. The platinum rule – treat people as they would like to be treated – is free from this shortcoming. Good leaders can understand people and change their behaviors and communication style depending on this.
- Be strong, but not tough. Strength is an important quality leader. People prefer to make sure that their leader is strong, and depending on this, decide whether to follow him. People want to see courage. They need someone who can make difficult decisions and act for the good of the team. They need a leader who does not break under the weight of circumstances and continues to walk. People will show their power much more often if their leader does the same. Many leaders mistakenly consider dominance, total control, and such things as manifestations of power. They think they can earn the loyalty of their subordinates by fully controlling and forcing them to work. Force cannot be shown about its employees. Strength is what your manifest time after time in difficult circumstances. Only in this way will people believe you and follow you.
- Remember that communication is a mutual process. Many managers consider themselves excellent people in communication, not realizing that all this time they have been talking alone. Some proudly call themselves empathetic and responsive, although they usually do not try to listen to people and their ideas. Some managers do not designate specific goals and context in which people should work; others do not give feedback, forcing subordinates to guess, dismiss them, or improve.
- Be a role model, not a preacher. Great leaders gain trust and respect through their actions, not words. Many leaders talk about how important honesty is for them, but far fewer managers demonstrate their honesty and openness every day. Calling people to behave in a certain way and close is not as effective as demonstrating this behavior by example.
- Be straightforward. Good leaders directly talk about the goals, expectations, and plans of the company. If the boss tries to embellish or hide the unfavorable facts to create a favorable picture, the employees immediately see it.
Determine What Motivates Your Team
Treat people well: As a leader, you should be treated with the utmost respect and kindness to the people who help you. Praise them if they deserve it. You might not know this, but it really helps when you treat people right. People are pleased to know that they do their work well and enjoy working with those who are good to others.
Give people responsibility: If you have tasks that you can delegate to others, choose someone who will be responsible for them. When a person is responsible, he is more likely to find for himself the motivation to complete the task. Therefore, as part of a group, a person may not feel that his work is important, and when he is responsible for this himself, he understands this. Those in charge also understand that they will also be accountable for the success or failure of the project.
Keep everyone informed: No one wants to be alone in the dark. Make sure your thoughts and decisions are communicated to the team you are motivating. Naturally, sometimes, some things may not be worth sharing. You need to communicate information when you communicate on important topics. When you are working on the motivation of other people, remember – it is very important to strengthen their sense of involvement in the work. You lead a small family, and when each of them is happy, they are motivated to do great things.
Set up Fair Game Rules
Fair play in sports is a set of ethical and moral laws based on the inner conviction of the individual about nobility and justice. It is very much applicable to the business environment.
- Respect your team
- Respect the rules and decisions already made
- Equal chances do not mean that all employees are the same
- Self-control allows you to be able to perceive any outcome adequately
In business, such principles constitute the best “sports behavior” and deny the idea of victory at any cost.
Motivation Key Factors
Broadly, there are Sevens Strategies for motivation:
- Positive reinforcement
- Effective discipline and punishment
- Treating people fairly
- Satisfying employees needs
- Setting work-related goals
- Restructuring jobs
- Base rewards on job performance
These are the basic strategies, though the mix in the final ‘recipe’ vary by workplace and certain business and human needs. Essentially, there is a gap between an individual’s actual state and some desired state, and the manager tries to reduce, if not eliminate this gap.
Appreciation vs. Punishment
Encouragement and punishment – perhaps one of the most pressing topics. There is a different system in different companies. Some introduce monetary bonuses and fines. Some forced employee to work longer hours or weekends, as a punishment for not meeting the deadlines or productivity markers. The balance between reward and punishment in your motivation system is the key to successes.
Employee Incentive System:
- You need to promise a specific reward, not a vague one. For example, salary raise, additional social benefits, or other non-monetary rewards. If you promised a specific reward, you must abide by your promises.
- You need a regular “reality check.” For example, a monthly assessment of the effectiveness of the motivation scheme is made: does it solve the issue?
- At the same time, the motivation scheme should never be revised by canceling the fulfillment of all obligations. The exception is only for obvious errors that lead to large financial losses.
- Praise is a strong and free tool to enhance productivity and team spirit. It should be public and specific. It is advisable to make an example of specific deeds that brought success to your business.
Employee Punishment System:
- The employees should never be punished for not having achieved the necessary results despite the lack of the necessary resources.
- Just as with rewards, the punishments should always be fulfilled as promised.
- “Pardons” are never out of the question – we all are just humans, and we all make mistakes.
- However, you should never pardon employees who do not take responsibility for their mistakes.
- Remember, you need to punish not a person but an act.
- When applying penalties, it is necessary to explain what consequences the violation of the rules has and how to avoid them in the future.
- “An error” – a mistake in an unregulated field, should never be punished. “A misdemeanor” – a violation of the established rule must always have consequences.
Time Tracking: Motivator or De-Motivator?
Time-tracking, as a concept, has two distinctive and opposite sides to it. When done right, it saves tons of time and money. It helps every employee to create their own “rhythm” without messing up the overall workflow. It has proven to help organizations create better working environments for the teams and more accessibility of specialists for the executives. On the other hand, it dissolves the trust, thus creating a toxic working environment, “eats” extra time for employees and management and can even mess up the healthy rhythms of the organization, when done wrong.
The “right way” must be respective and convenient for both – the management and the teams. If your team consists of five people, it’s relatively easy to accomplish. However, if you have a significantly larger team, like a 1000 people, who work on different projects, in different departments and with different tools, “respective and convenient” becomes so much trickier. Imagine a single working day in a multi-project organization: meetings, briefings, corporate correspondence, several project management tools (like JIRA, Azure, or Trello) for different tasks. It may take so much more time effort to create an accurate account of a single day than it should when done the wrong way. And when you literally waste tons time on “reverse engineering” your working day every day, it doesn’t affect your motivation in a positive way.
What if you could just check one dashboard that automatically “retraces” all your steps for you, without invading your privacy? What if all you and your employees must have done for creating insightful and useful time sheets and reports was a 5-minute check (the list of all the meetings, Skype calls, letters, tasks, and plans)? Wouldn’t it be just marvelous? Well, the good news is that you can with the power of data aggregation. There’s a tool called PPM Express Time, that allows its users from both camps – the “troops” and “the decision makers” – to get over with time-tracking and reporting in no time, without loss of accuracy. It connects to all the tools you use in your organization (from outlook to PPM toolkits) and aggregates data on every separate task. All the uses must do is check the list and approve it at the end of the day. That makes time tracking experience one more motivating exercise – you can see for yourself how much you’ve done, without remembering and “guesstimating.”
Team Motivation Checklist
- Make employees feel they are doing something meaningful.
- Effectively communicate and share information.
- Give employees clear job descriptions and accountability.
- Have–and show–faith and trust in your team.
- Listen to, focus on, and respect your employees’ needs.
- Provide recognition to worthy employees.
- Provide fair compensation and pay for the performance you seek.
- Establish fair company policies that support the company’s goals.
- Get ongoing input from employees.
- Manage, but don’t micromanage.
- Encourage teamwork.
- Modify your management approach for different types of employees.
- Give employees opportunities for personal growth.
- Fire people when needed.