If you’re a business owner or manager responsible for a team of people, it’s highly likely that at some stage you will have pondered the dilemma of how to motivate staff and get the very best out of each individual.
How do you motivate your people to achieve, and get things done? How do you ensure that you are getting the best return on what is often the biggest cost-centre in your business? And how do you do it skillfully, with a minimum of fuss, the way really Savvy, Successful Businesses do it?
In this Information Age, the ease of consumer access to your competitors (both here and overseas) makes it critical that Business Owners and Managers are able to motivate their people. Motivate them to do the things that keep your customers coming back time-after-time and allow you to stay competitive in the local and global economy.
As a Business Owner or Manager, you have goals and objectives to achieve in order to have the career you want and the life you want. Well, if your people play a part in helping you achieve those goals and objectives, then you need to know how to lead people in a way that MOTIVATES THEM to help you do it!
Let’s look at how to motivate staff according to Savvy Business Owners and Managers who achieve success.
1. How to Motivate Staff – KNOW YOUR TEAM
OK, so this may sound obvious, but take a moment to think, “do I really know what motivates each person in my team?”
When you were young you may have been told, “treat others as you’d like to be treated”.
But the fact is, what motivates one person may not motivate another, and often the best results occur when leaders connect in a way that treats others as THEY WOULD like to be treated!
Can you see how magic can happen when you get this right?
Know your people’s strengths and what Motivates them and you have a key that will increase Productivity almost instantly!
How do you find out? Well, have you tried asking them? Ask them what aspects of the job they find most satisfying? What would make them go the extra mile?
Give it a try. Their answers might surprise you.
2.How to Motivate Staff – SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS
It’s no secret that having a goal is essential.
And setting clear expectations around that goal is critical to its achievement. You need to work with your people to set the right goals up-front and to make sure that there is MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING of how it will be achieved.
This does not mean explaining what you want them to do and then asking, “Do you understand?”
The key is MUTUAL understanding. You need to make sure that THEIR understanding of what you said is the same as YOUR understanding of what you said! (You may not be surprised to find out how often they differ!)
Believe it or not, the vast majority of us actually want to do a good job at work, so being Clear on Expectations will provide clarity, certainty and motivate your team to focus on the task at hand, knowing full well what is expected of them.
3.How to Motivate Staff – INCREASE SELF-BELIEF
There is perhaps nothing more de-motivating than the thought, “I can’t do this” or “I’m not sure what to do”, so be strategic about increasing your team’s self-belief.
Self-belief encourages efficiency, initiative and enthusiasm, so build it in your people.
The first way you can do it, which we do not see done enough by managers, is to straight-up tell your team that you believe in them! Especially when they’re trying something for the first time. Simply telling them that you believe in their ability to succeed will motivate and dramatically increase the likelihood of achieving that very outcome.
Have your people work on things they’ve done well before. When people are good at something it can mean they are working with their strengths, which is also a strong motivating factor.
Provide your people with a suitable level of autonomy, which not only motivates but also results in freeing you up to focus on other areas of the business, knowing that the task is in good hands.
Once you’ve set them on a path, get out of the way. Don’t ‘hover’, continually asking them where they’re at with the task. Rather, set a time for a weekly or monthly catch up to check on progress and adjust if or where necessary.
4.How to Motivate Staff – LINK TASKS TO A HIGHER PURPOSE
Contribution is an innate motivation in most people.
We all generally want to understand how we fit into the broader scheme of the world around us and the same applies to our individual tasks at work.
So explain to your team members how what they do each day contributes to the success of the organisation. It provides context for their role, a sense of importance for each person in playing their part & is a great way to motivate.
This strategy is particularly useful if you employ Gen X or Gen Y staff, who generally have a strong desire for an understanding of higher purpose.
5.How to Motivate Staff – FOCUS ON CULTURE
Imagine your business or your workplace is a Fish Tank and you, along with all of your Co-workers, are Fish.
Now, the water in your Fish Tank you and all of your co-workers swim around in all day long is your Culture.
And if that water is dirty and brown, there is no way for any of the fish swimming in that bowl to avoid the water so it eventually becomes a part of them.
Your workplace culture is the same. Your current culture and level of motivation in the workplace will creep into the people you employ. You need to establish Values and Standards in the business which you as a Leader need to Role Model and which you uphold vigorously.
And if you think your culture is fine… just think about the fish in their tank. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge the quality of the water when you’ve been swimming in it for so long.
Beware The Pitfalls of Only Using Money to Motivate Staff.
You may be wondering why its taken so long for Money to be brought up? Well, that’s because Money is not an ideal motivator.
Money is a really short-lived incentive. Once the Pay rise has been lived with for a short while, that level of pay quickly becomes the norm and your staff member begins looking for the next bump. That leaves you looking for the next way to pay for it.
By all means, incentivise with money if that works for you and your organisation however, effective use of other means of motivating staff will reduce your reliance on money as a motivator and provide better results and more sustainable growth for your organisation.