How is your team’s attendance lately? Are your team members performing well? Is your turnover at a reasonable level?
More often than not, the best way to assess if you have a happy team, who are enjoying their job is through their attendance and overall performance. Your team is highly motivated if they are seldom absent or late for work and if they are carrying out their tasks according to and even beyond your expectations. Poor attendance, performance and high attrition, on the other hand, are strong signs of demotivation. As a leader, how do you avoid this from happening to your team?
Team and individual recognition is one of the most effective ways to motivate your team. It is a way of showing your appreciation for their hard work and dedication to their job. Day-to-day tasks can be really stressful at times, especially those with deadlines and targets attached to them. Who likes deadlines anyway?
Recognition can be in any form—verbal, written, or awards—it’s up to you. If you know your team well, you should know what works best for them. What’s important is that you are able to show them that their efforts are being appreciated no matter how stressful the work environment is.
Creating a fun working environment is another way of motivating your team. How do you feel about doing the same job every day? How about coming to the same work environment for weeks, months, years? It can be boring right? You probably can’t do much to change their daily tasks but you can definitely do something to add a little fun to their daily activities.
Theme days where they have to dress up according to a specific theme is one good example of people engagement activity. Best attire gets a prize. This often works well in conjunction with a charity fund raise for example – maybe for Red Nose Day. Workplace decoration is another example. As well as engaging your team, this can create a great atmosphere for visitors and customers – like at Christmas or Halloween.
You can organise a team away day where the team gets involved in team based activities too.
However, it is not necessary to go to any expense. Regular one-to-one conversations with your team members is possibly the simplest way to motivate your individuals. We use the word conversation on purpose as we are not referring to coaching here. One-on-one talks should be set at least once a month with each of team member to ask how they are doing. This is the best time for you to build rapport while discovering the challenges they face or help that they need. This is also a great time for you to find out what exactly motivates them so you a leader know how to approach that person. Simply put, this is your bonding time.
Letting your team members know that you are open and approachable takes away any awkward moments in the work environment and makes them feel more comfortable having you around while working. You don’t want to see your employees hiding or avoiding you the moment they see you approaching, do you?
A happy team makes you happy as a leader too. Merely spending some time with people, really getting to know what makes them tick, you’ll find that poor performance due to de-motivation has a way of disappearing. And if your team is performing well, then you can enjoy your job too.
Leadership is not just about doing reports and handing out tasks. It is about many things, but the one thing it is always about is your people.