Techniques to Motivate Teams and Work Groups
If managers want to truly motivate their employees, they must review the broader combination of factors that can impact performance. These factors go beyond the primary issue of money, rewards and recognition.
IMPLICATIONS — WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
Effective motivational techniques require managers to look beyond the issue of compensation or commission and to view all of the factors that can affect the individual employee’s performance.
It is important to understand that people are motivated by a number of different factors. A failure to grasp the larger situation can result in hidden factors that serve to undermine the motivation of employees rather than urge them to achieve to their maximum levels of performance.
STRATEGIES, TIPS & TECHNIQUES TO APPLY
There are a number of aspects that managers need to consider when developing a program that maintains peak motivation levels in the workplace. These include:
Reward and Recognition
Reward and recognition are two of the primary issues that arise when motivation is discussed. Managers must discover what motivates employees to achieve their goals and objectives and then confer rewards for superior performance. There are a number of companies that provide incentive programs. Managers need to determine what will best drive employee performance and then make these types of rewards available.
How to recognize employees’ achievements can be a more complex issue. The best approach is to query individual employees to determine how to recognize their superior performance, with what frequency and how publicly. The manager who takes the time and effort to discover these answers can make the difference between fostering a quality workforce and losing it.
Nothing can demotivate an individual employee more than having their skills underutilized or having to be placed into a position where he or she feels ineffective or weak.
Every employee has his or her own particular strengths. The astute manager knows how to best position each employee for success and places them on teams or in specific situations that best leverage their particular strengths.
Employees can be motivated when they are allowed to collaborate with others to implement new ideas, concepts and approaches in order to increase revenue or overall efficiency. In other circumstances, employees can collaborate with others on teams to enhance working relationships within the company.
Collaboration allows employees to stretch their abilities and contribute their skills on a broader scale than normal. However, managers must ensure that all employees in collaborative efforts are cooperating with each other. Otherwise, motivated employees can begin to lose their drive and fail to produce the work expected of them.
In many companies, training is given a cursory nod. However, employees are certainly motivated and receptive to effective training that provides them with new skills, approaches and techniques, which in turn give them the competitive edge they need for continued success. Managers that provide a continuous flow of effective training thus continue to motivate their teams.
One of the areas stymieing many employees is the lack of communication between sales, production and other critical support areas. When employees develop and maintain open communication with these areas, they are better and more quickly able to respond to daily problems and concerns.
Cooperation goes beyond good communication. The ability to work directly with critical departments to provide superior products and services improves overall effectiveness and professionalism.
If employees can completely rely on their manager to support their efforts, then they will be motivated to maximize their performance.
Managers who are open and available to individual members of their team and are willing to assist each one independently—no matter what the problem—find that they build a loyal and motivated workforce.
When managers are inconsistent or judgmental, they undermine this loyalty and remove the personal motivation and desire for employees to excel.
Coaching and Encouragement
Managers build their employees’ motivation through personal encouragement and by helping them hone and polish their skills. This also means working with poorly performing individuals and, if their performance fails to improve, removing them before they have a negative effect on the general workplace.
POINTS TO PONDER — SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
- Have you considered the list of factors in this lesson and how they impact your employees’ motivation levels?
- How do you determine which factors effect and influence positive employee performance?
TRAINING ACTIVITY — APPLICATION & ACTION PLAN
Using the list of factors below, review how each can be used to positively impact the performance of your employees.
- Rewards & Recognition
- Effective Use of Skills and Abilities
- Effective Training
- Coaching & Encouragement