Is morale and productivity down with your team? Do team members have difficulty seeing the horizon because their gaze is fixed on the ground? Unlocking the door to team member motivation can seem a complex issue but leaders should never underestimate the power of a "thank you."
It articulates the value of each member's contribution to the team and says that he or she matters as a person. To open the doors and release the potential that each team member possesses, try these different keys:
1. Reward People Differently. Just as performance differs between team members, so should the rewards you use. Reward the behaviour you want to see! A smile, a "thank you" or a well-deserved "Great Job!" go a long way in keeping motivation high.
2. Ignoring It Doesn't Make It Go Away. Dealing with a carrier? That person that "carries" their negativity around like a disease and tries to infect the entire workplace? Emotions are contagious and that negativity can quickly spread through an entire department. Don't ignore it, address it - talk with your team member about what is going on and what you can do to help. Always remember to seek first to understand, then to be understood.
3. Be Concise on What Warrants Rewards. Let's face it, clarity motivates! Team member empowerment and freedom come from knowing what needs to be done and what they get as a result. Don't keep rewards a secret and let people know What's In It For Me.
4. Be a Coach, Not a Critic. No team member finds the act of failing rewarding. Walk along side team members - help them along. Team loyalty and mutual respect emerge from a collective effort. Root for the home team and WIN!
5. Build Them Up Publicly. Work to find people doing things right and let everyone know about it! Yell it from the rooftops! You'll be surprised how it motivates the whole team! Conversely, negative "publicity" should never be given in front of ANYONE - it impacts the overall work atmosphere and all team members end up getting punished.
6. Be Fair. No team member should ever feel like doing a good job on your team is like peeing his or her pants in a dark suit (it gives them a warm feeling but no one notices). Keep the balance of rewards in check with open communication and an atmosphere of collaboration.
7. Have Fun! Enjoying what you do is a reward that goes far beyond the bottom line. 85% of Fortune 100 companies concern themselves with making sure that employees have fun and enjoy what they do. Play a game, have a contest or just share funny stories. You will find that it will boost loyalty, retention, and productivity!
Don't be fooled, it takes time and effort to match the right key to the right door but it is worth the effort. When opened, you will not only have a team member that has higher morale and productivity, you will also have one that knows that you care. As a leader, isn't that the thanks we need?
Make a positive impact today and Accomplish Your Dreams!