To get results, leaders must inspire and motivate teams. How do you do that?
Let me be very clear. Your style of leadership affects both team and individual performance and the degree of engagement you realise.
So, how do you get the best of the team?
Stick with me and I’ll tell you. And, if you hadn’t guessed it’s so much more about the carrot than the stick!
Appreciation is thanking, recognition is seeing, and encouragement is bringing hope for the future.
Job satisfaction doesn’t have to be about financial reward. Indeed most people would say that being happy with their work starts when they know they are a valued part of the team.
That’s what gives them job satisfaction.
It’s about being appreciated and receiving constructive feedback on performance. Keeping employees motivated isn’t rocket science! But it’s not about spinning stories either. Honesty and tact are two leadership skills needed to inspire the team.
So, keep reading and I’ll share thirteen vital ways to inspire and motivate teams …
Leaders must learn new ways in which to inspire the team so individual team members stay motivated and engaged. It’s all too easy to forget to encourage and reward the team for the good work they do. Fail to so and you fail to keep the team motivated.
Motivation calls for common sense, so read on and see how well you fare at inspiring and motivating teams.
A leader shapes and shares a vision which gives point to the work of others – Charles Handy
Here are 9 vital ways to inspire and motivate teams.
- Keep yer promises. If you make promises, keep them! For example, if you say you’re going to do something about pay or working conditions make sure you do. Sometimes you may not have the positional power or authority to influence outcomes. So, make sure you don’t paint yourself into a corner you can’t get out of … avoid losing face and credibility.
- Don’t be a bear! Don’t coerce employees and demand the unreasonable. Don’t be a bully. Don’t micromanage! Rather, be brave, and generous with the trust you have in others. To grow the team you have to let them grow and mature in their judgement and skills. So, take pleasure in letting go and remember that when someone who works for you shines, you also shine.
- Rules are for a-breakin’. Rules are made for breaking! Well, sort of. Set clear standards and stick to them fairly, but don’t be overzealous about upholding them. Allow room to manoeuvre and give the team plenty of opportunity to challenge and change the status quo. What worked yesterday may not be right for today.
- Challenge ’em. Most people think they do a good job. Indeed most people come to work with the belief they are doing a good job. But routine leads to bad habits, complacency, and indolence. What should you do? Simple. Challenge ’em. Help them to grow and learn.
- Never settle for mediocrity. Following in the same vein, don’t settle for average. Rather, build a high performing team. And, if you’re going to do this, expect to lose some people along the journey. Therefore, place great importance on development reviews, objectives, goals, and one-to-one supervision. Goals provide challenges and opportunity for people … and the team … to excel. They also serve to evidence performance when expectations aren’t met. Nuff said?
- Get to know ’em. Know your team member’s personal goals, values and aspirations. So, pay attention to their lives inside and outside of work. Get to know them. And, don’t be fooled by those leadership writers who say you should stand aloof and not socialise with employees. They’re wrong! How can you inspire the team and keep them motivated if you don’t know what makes them tick?
- Have a little fun. Work … smile. Don’t take everything too seriously. But get the balance right. Celebrate successes, birthdays, or other remarkable events. Go for a curry once a month. Laugh about the latest football result. Moan about the latest football result. It really doesn’t matter. What does is building relationships and bonds, so people learn to depend upon and respect each other. The leader can’t make this happen, but he can make room for it.
- Challenge how people think. So, you want to improve team performance, and set realistic goals? Start with questions first. That’s right. It’s not your job to come up with all the answers. Let the team do the thinking for you! Effective business coaching is all about the questions. Helping people to think about their options and what they should do encourages self belief and self-development.
- Be creative. Creativity is a motivator. Give the team plenty of opportunity to solve problems. But remember this, if an idea isn’t used it serves no purpose and is a waste of time and energy. So, focus the team on real-world problems. Ask them to think about the possibilities rather than the limitations, and encourage feedback and suggestions.
If you hadn’t noticed, there’s a strong theme running through this list. It’s about leadership. It’s about showing the leið (road or way from Auld Norse.) That is, leadership is setting the direction.
Not for the team to follow you, but to make the journey with you.
Can you think of any other ways to inspire and motivate teams?
Creative Commons image courtesy Vernon Chan.