Employees are a company's engine. With their ideas and diligence, a firm can thrive in today's dynamic business environment. However, motivating employees is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. This issue has been exacerbated during the pandemic as people work from home and are separated from their physical place within a company.
We see this in the data from a pre-pandemic survey from Microsoft where only 21% of employees reported being "highly engaged"with their work, a figure that indicates the extent to which untapped potential exists in organizations today.
As a leader it is imperative that everyone in your team is highly motivated and ready to perform at their best, it is your responsibility to help your employees get there. This post will outline some helpful ways to boost your employees' motivation and explore how to leverage your leadership skills.
1. Delegate work with an eye on the big picture
When assigning tasks to the members of your team, much attention is paid to the details, such as plans and deadlines. However, it is crucial to ensure that everyone comprehends the purpose of the work they will carry out, and how this is aligned with the company’s vision.
For example, if your team has to prepare a proposal for a collaboration project with a large company, it will motivate the employees if they know their proposal will help the business earn a substantial increase in profits or reduce emissions, and that this will contribute to the firm’s continued success.
Asking your team how their work matches the company's goals helps them have a clear idea of their contribution. This way, you can assess whether your employees are capable of looking past their own workload and seeing its impact on the company as a whole.
2. Create good working conditions with emotional support
Having a physically comfortable working space with good equipment, for obvious reasons has been shown to increase productivity, but a supportive emotional environment is just as important. When employees feel psychologically safe and do not have to be concerned with the repercussions of making minor mistakes, they tend to be more creative and innovative.
Furthermore, being supportive of your team can make them feel more valued and appreciated - try putting yourself in their shoes and think about their needs and ambitions so you can support them the best way possible. A Harvard study found that when people had no choice of where they could work, motivation dropped 17% on a self-reported motivation scale, equivalent to moving from one of the top cultures to one of the worst in the industry, so being flexible with working places and hours can function as a great motivation boost. Show that you trust your employees even when they are working from outside the office and they will work diligently to fulfill their professional responsibilities.
3. Show trust towards your team
Employees’ engagement and productivity will be negatively affected if they feel that they are not trusted by their manager (Harvard studies). As a leader, you not only have to trust your team but also need to display your trust.
Firstly, letting go of control is a way to show your faith in your employees. Try to give more autonomy to your team and actively encourage them to come with their own ideas about the work process and strategic development. Be tolerant of their mistakes and encourage your team to learn from them.
Secondly, investing in your employees through for example providing professional coaching and offering them opportunities for further study can show that their talent and loyalty are valued and that the company will make every effort to help with their personal growth.
4. Provide your team with timely and honest feedback
In order to help your employees revise their plans and ameliorate their performance, giving timely feedback is of great importance. Feedback isn’t just a simple summary of the employees’ work but is a useful way to build their confidence.
Show your appreciation to the excellent parts of their work and give them encouragement and guidance to work on their weaker parts. Believing in your team can greatly pump them up and let them gain confidence. It will drive them to live up to your expectations.
If the team’s work does not meet your expectations, make sure to offer constructive suggestions on how to accomplish the task so that they can improve.
Motivation is fuel for your team and is always needed. As a good leader, it is important to keep everyone well charged and with an eye set on reaching the goals, not only acting when motivation dips but also proactively so that a consistently high level can be maintained.Using the tips mentioned above you will be able to help your team maintain its engagement and productivity, even inducing them to raise their ambition level and strive for better outcomes.To gain a deeper understanding of these principles and how you can apply them to your specific situation contact us and learn more.
Also if you're interested in learning more about how you take your productivity to the next level click here to read about how you can Use the Growth model to make a productive plan