Are you starting to see some shoulders and eyes droop around the office? Do you think your team needs a little extra motivation? Well you’re definitely not alone. Managers and leaders all over the world constantly look for new ways to motivate their team. Ready to hear a few?
Here are six highly effective ways to keep your team motivated.
1. Avoid unnecessary meetings
If you’re like most business people meetings take up the majority of your day. Whether it’s a phone conference, lunch, or all hands in the board room they’re never ending.
The truth is, meetings can be a huge waste of time. In fact, it’s estimated that the average professional wastes almost 4 hours in unproductive meetings every week. Next time you’re in a meeting that seems like a waste of time take a look around the room. Do the participants look energized and motivated? Or do they look like they’re ready for an afternoon nap? I think the latter.
Keep your team motivated by keeping them out of unnecessary meetings. If you think it’s time to host a meeting, then you should write down a full agenda. Writing things down helps us flush out our thoughts. Read through the agenda and determine if it’s worth having a meeting. You’d be surprised how many times your agenda items can be accomplished by simply sending an email.
2. Make priorities and goals clear
As the leader or manager it’s up you to make sure your team is crystal clear on their goals and priorities. When you create tasks and projects for certain teams or team members you should always follow the same process of prioritization. Determine the end goal first. Then make sure each team member is clear on their own role, relative priority, and expectations. Give everyone their own swim lane – nobody likes sharing lanes.
3. Create a pleasant work environment
This involves many factors. The obvious ones are the physical environment. People like to work in places where they feel productive and stimulated. Equip your space with furniture and office supplies that are conducive to productivity. While it doesn’t have to be that state-of-the-art standing desk, you should look to invest in nice furniture for your team.
You should also emphasize natural light and reduce as much clutter as possible. An unorganized desk leads to unorganized thoughts.
Another thing you should take into account is the social atmosphere. Does your office layout encourage collaboration and socializing? Or are teams separated into rooms with no communal meeting areas? Your office layout can play a huge role in creating a positive work environment.
4. Encourage constructive criticism
The goal of every single team is to make each other better. This is always a tricky situation. Improving one another through feedback can often cause tensions to rise. People don’t like being told what to do or even worse that they’re wrong.
As a leader you need to encourage constructive criticism amongst your team. One strategy is to lead an open discussion specifically for criticisms. Break the ice by asking your team to give you some feedback. This way people will be more comfortable to share what they really think. The discussion will get testy at times, but if you’re there to moderate, it’ll be extremely beneficial in the long run. The last thing you want is for your team to feel like they can’t share criticisms or feelings towards someone.
5. Offer remote work with flexible hours
Let’s face it, in this day and age remote work is more popular than ever. Thanks to the million different ways we can communicate with one another, we’re always connected. That said – you won’t see a decline in productivity by letting your team work flexible hours. In fact it’s quite the opposite.
By letting your team work flexible hours, you’re giving them freedom. People, especially millennials, don’t like the feeling of being hunkered down in one spot. They prefer to have freedom of choice while maintaining a basic structure. As long as you create a company culture that awards results and not strictly hours put in, you shouldn’t have an issue foregoing strict office hours.
6. Team-building activities
If your team has a personal connection to you and the rest of their team members, they’ll be more motivated to work with one another. The best way to build these personal connections is to schedule team-building activities outside of the office. Team building activities are beneficial for many reasons – a few include:
- Increase creativity and collaboration around problem solving
- Develop communication skills
- Gives other team members the opportunity to showcase and practice leadership skills
- Allows people to “let their hair down” and have some fun outside of a professional work environment
When it comes to different kind of activities to schedule, you have tons of options. The more creative you can be, the more fun the activity will be. The obvious ones are after-work happy hours, lunches, or team dinners. If you’re feeling adventurous you can try some of these options:
- Team-sports: Sports is one of the best ways to foster teamwork and build stronger relationships. Look for company specific leagues you and your colleagues can join. This serves as a great opportunity to compete against companies on the field and not on the keyboard!
- Cooking class: A team that can cook together is one that will stick together through thick and thin. Jokes aside, a cooking class is an awesome way to build relationships, learn new skills, and fill your bellies all at the same time. If you’re feeling like a little competition you can even host a cook off between different departments of the office. Who can make a better pizza – the marketing team or the engineers?
- Go-Kart Racing: Getting people out of their comfort zone is key part of coming together on a personal level. Adrenaline-pumping activities like Go-Kart Racing is a great way to accomplish this.
If you’re a business leader, or any leader rather, your goal should be to keep your team motivated at all times. If you’ve run out of ideas, I suggest giving the six suggestions above a shot.