As a manager, your job will be easier if you know how to motivate your team. Employees who care about their work will be more resilient, innovative, and productive.
However, you may have a long way to go. According to the latest Gallup report, 51% of employees are disengaged in the workplace and 13% are actively disengaged.
The challenge may be even greater when you add in the new demands of remote and hybrid teams. The Harvard Business Review cites a study that found motivation dropped 17% when employees had no choice in shifting to working at home.
What can you do to inspire more positivity, and keep discouragement from spreading?
Try this proven formula for boosting your team’s motivation.
How to Boost Intrinsic Motivation
The most powerful motivation comes from within. Your employees will choose their own thoughts, but you can create conditions that encourage a growth mindset.
Increase your team’s internal motivation with these strategies:
- Clarify your purpose. Help employees to understand the reasons behind what they do and how it fits into the bigger picture. Share your vision and mission. Set concrete goals.
- Facilitate reflection. Ensure that your discussions go beyond tasks and deadlines. Give team members frequent opportunities to think about how they’re feeling and voice their opinions about what’s working and what needs to change. Ask questions and listen to their responses.
- Experiment regularly. Value innovation even if the initial results fall short of expectations. Let your team know that you believe in learning from experience and will give them credit for taking risks.
- Empower workers. Resist the urge to micromanage. Show employees that you have confidence in their judgement and abilities. Let them take responsibility for completing their assignments in their own way.
- Be realistic. It’s easier to be enthusiastic about a project when you know you can do it. Make your goals challenging but feasible. Provide adequate support and resources.
- Meet one-on-one. Individual sessions can be a forum for addressing personal issues, sharing in-depth feedback, and focusing on career development. Aim to meet with each member at least once a week if possible.
How to Boost Extrinsic Motivation
Some external rewards can help too. Even employees who are highly engaged will appreciate targeted incentives and signs that you value their contributions.
Keep these techniques in mind:
- Gamify tasks. Look for ways to make work more like play. Encourage friendly competition. Browse online for ideas or bring in a consultant who specializes in this area.
- Plan events. Birthday parties are about more than the cake. Gathering as a group strengthens relationships and team spirit. Put celebrations, outings, and retreats on your schedule.
- Send gifts. Give employees free stuff for the winter holidays or as a surprise any time of year. You can design your own items or work with a vendor who makes logo coffee cups and t-shirts.
- Provide advancement opportunities. More importantly, review your organizational structure to identify paths for employees to take on more responsibility and move up the ladder. Publicize programs like mentorships and tuition reimbursement.
- Add variety. A change of pace can be stimulating. Bring in outside speakers for a meeting or start the day with a stretching class. Involve employees in their job design to help them practice new skills.
- Create ambience. The workplace environment matters too. Balance common and private spaces. Maximize natural light and let employees decorate their own areas.
- Use surveys. If you’re unsure what your employees want, ask them. Post surveys online or ask for a show of hands to vote on different options.
It takes effort to turn a group of employees into an effective team, but the results are worth it. A motivated and engaged workforce will enjoy greater job satisfaction and help you reach your business goals.