5 Steps to Motivating Your Team This Year

Pep talks, performance contests, monthly luncheons… do these things really increase morale and motivate people to perform better? Maybe!!

Not all of us are good mind readers. We tend to believe that we know what our team members are thinking and what motivates them, but how can we be sure?
Simple – ASK.
I have learned a few things about motivating people:
  • You can’t motivate people to do things that they don’t want to do. That doesn’t mean that you cannot MAKE them do these things. It simply means that you cannot MOTIVATE them to do things they don’t want to do.
  • All people are motivated by something!
  • People are motivated to do things for their reasons and not for your reasons.

We have to be in tune with those we work with. Why is it that they come to work? Money? Prestige? Social reasons? Security? Experience? Once you know what each person is working for, what their motivations are, it is easy to design programs, incentives and activities to dial into their personal motivations.

So, how do I “tune in” to my team and motivate them all this year?

1) Set up an informal meeting that allows enough time for everyone to give their input. If possible, center it around a potluck lunch or at least a catered box lunch. People really like to show off their best cooking abilities, or their lack thereof, with a potluck function.

2) Give everyone an index card and ask them this question: “What do you really need to do with your paycheck?” Give them examples such as pay off credit card debt, help aging parents, save for their kids’ education, save for retirement, fund a vacation or trip, buy a new car. Sincerely ask people to THINK about what it is that they work for and what their biggest pressing needs are. Ask them to write this in four words or less on a card in an unusual handwriting, fold it up, and drop it in a big box. Shake the box. Have people pull the cards out, read them, then list what is written on them on a board.

3) Reaffirm that we are all here working together to help one another achieve this or her needs and goals. We all have goals. Some are fun. Some are dire. Regardless, if we are to get what we want we must be willing to help others get what they want. Really show your sincere interest in helping each person attain their real life goals.

4) Ask people to come up with ways in which the company/organization can help foster an environment to help people succeed at their jobs. Suggest monthly potlucks, changing the office around, field trips to other companies/organizations to see how things are being done other places, incentive awards, score cards, etc. Let people have input to the process to achieve a level of “ownership”.

5) Reward good results, invest in motivational tools such as posters and books, be sure to make the days FUN for people and be sure to keep everyone engaged and updated of their individual and joint progress. Foster a warm environment that encourages your employees to achieve their personal goals by supporting each other and working together.

When your employees are happy and productive, your business will reap the benefits!

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