Bernard Marr, the author of The Intelligent Company, recently said that after getting the right people on your team, an efficient team leader’s job is to devise an intrinsic motivation strategy to keep them almost always excited about their job.
This comes as no surprise, considering the fast-paced work lives we have these days. It is often difficult for professionals to feel excited and engaged all the time. If your team members continue to work under stressful conditions for a long time a burnout is inevitable.
A burnout, as it is colloquially termed, is a serious ailment and affects more than just the productivity of one team member – it affects the whole team. However, they can be reduced to a great degree by introducing small changes in the work place. This is crucial for maintaining a growth oriented team that delivers high-quality work.
Here are 8 such changes that will keep your team stay happy and productive:
- Motivate Yourself
You can’t motivate your team if you are disengaged or disinterested yourself. Your mental framework and your approach towards work is a great part of the experience your coworkers share. So re-energize yourself every time you feel you’re out of ideas or blank while executing project plans or at a loss for words during discussions. You may have to speak to a senior in the industry or with someone who understands you professionally and personally. But keeping your own mindset a positive one is undoubtedly the first step towards having a motivated team.
- Setup a Code of Conduct
Generally, newly hired employees are briefed about the standard code of conduct that is practised in an organization. But it’s often noted that as the course of work progresses, the interpersonal relationships amongst employees change. This is not to say that there shouldn’t be any exchange of ideas. But keeping a moderate code of conduct while ideas are brainstormed avoids resentment among team members. Managers have a mandatory task of ensuring each of their team members is treated respectfully.
- Increase Employee Engagement
The dream team is often described as one that works together, motivates each other and keeps the competitiveness healthy and positive. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group said, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients”. You should remember that only assigning new designations and giving monetary hikes does little to retain the team’s positive spirit. You should make efforts to connect with each employee personally and discuss how their contribution shapes the bigger picture.
- Ensure Job Security
Often, the question that plagues individual workers is that of job security. When a new member joins the company, he/she has certain expectations. The growth path within the organization and the parameters for the performance appraisal are key things that should be clearly discussed with your employees if they are recruited for full-time positions. Having a constructive feedback discussion with logical guidelines for improvement lets your subordinate know that you value their services. This motivates them to work on their shortcomings, which has an overall effect on the mindset of the team.
- Tackling the Roots of Stress
Lack of motivation can happen due to any kind of stress within your team members. It could be a circumstantial factor or a long-standing one, but recognizing the root of it and managing it effectively. This doesn’t mean you have to spoon-feed your team members or offer them personal favours, talking it out with them is enough to mitigate issues. The key point here is communication, providing the space to employees for speaking out their cause of stress is a necessity.
- Develop Greater Focus
When a project has a long timeline, it can get monotonous after a point of time. Your co-worker might even develop a distaste for the whole thing or make mistakes in the project just due to lack of focus. To prevent this, it’s imperative that you have a project refresher session or an update meeting from time to time so that the goals of the project stay clear. You can also use this time to define a larger purpose of the project and make this an opportunity to discuss new ideas and change the project timeline. Just as new projects get your team excited, so will new goals and new methods.
- Lead By Example
In any situation where there is a mentor and a mentee involved, it’s obvious that managers/team leaders influence their subordinates’ professional behaviour. If you are a meticulous and perfection-oriented, your team members will imbibe the same too. The degree or the pace of learning may not be equal, but sooner or later it will determine the way they approach their work. So if you want your team members to be focused and diligent, you must first be planned and focused yourself. Similarly, if you want to tell your team members to take fewer breaks, you should be doing the same.
- Recognize and empower
By and large, we’ve known that giving recognition of employee’s work goes a long way in motivating them. After you’ve recognized the star performers of your team, you would be tempted to give them more important tasks and also give them full ownership of these projects. But there’s a possibility that sudden spikes in workload can transform your horse-powered employee into a feeble lioness. So, give your above average performers the freedom to re-arrange their resources in order to optimize the overall productivity levels of your team members.
In short, a manager has to wear different hats on different days, and yet stay consistent in terms of attitude. This is a task easier said than done, but the spirit of the team remains by far the biggest yardstick to test leadership abilities.