How can you motivate your team? It’s not enough to offer competitive pay and benefits. Although this is important, pay is one of the lesser motivators. People need more, and the difficulty for employers is that people, being unique individuals, are not all motivated by the same things. You can do as many personality assessments as you like, and align job roles with people’s strengths, but people still have their own unique priorities and motivators. To get the best from your employees, and for them to be happy and productive, you need to fully engage them. Here are some top tips for managers and leaders to get the most from your people.
1. Get to know them. Who is in your team? Beneath the exterior of the employee, there is an individual with unique personality traits, experiences, beliefs and history. What do they really care about? What are their values? What’s going on in their life? When you know what’s really important to people, you can understand how they think, how they show up for work, and what people need in order to be at their best.
2. Create the best environment. It’s not just about having the best physical environment, although having natural light, the right furniture, plants, and access to outdoor space are all important. Think beyond the physical. What helps to create a working environment where people can thrive? Positive culture, clarity on expectations, open communication, and good leadership are foundations for productivity. Turn your business into a community. Yes, people are here to work, but you wouldn’t expect a plant to flourish in bad soil or without water. Create the right conditions to get the best results.
3. Enable them to grow. Provide opportunities not just for training directly linked to their job role, but further personal and professional development. Find out what people want to learn and create those opportunities. By enhancing someone’s employability they’re less likely to leave and more likely to stay with you. Investing in people helps them to feel valued and increases loyalty.
4. Allow them autonomy.Giving people responsibility and autonomy increases trust. If your employees feel that they are making a meaningful contribution to the business, and they have space to use their unique skills and see how this fits into the bigger picture, they’re more likely to feel valued. People will be more invested in the success of the business when it feels like a personal success too. Individual goals aligned well with company goals are more likely to be achieved. So long as there is clarity around expectations and objectives, and people know that you are there if needed, give your team some space.
5. Give them a voice. Where can you make space in your business for open discussions, feedback, and genuine conversations? Encourage open communication through forums, management by walking around, and regular feedback sessions. This is not an annual exercise, but part of your culture. Involve people in decision making. Listen and be open to learning from your team.
Be the leader that you would want to follow.