To a large extent, good business management comes down to one core principle: If you want your employees to hit their goals, you have to make them want it, too. Your team won’t live up to their full potential if they’re not passionate and hungry to succeed. But too many managers don’t know how to motivate employees in a lasting, meaningful way. And with many employees still working remotely – and feeling less connected to their teams – in the wake of COVID, motivation has become more challenging than ever.
This lack of passion has real, tangible consequences. Disengaged workers cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars per year. According to Gallup, only 2 in 10 employees say their performance is managed in a way that inspires them to do outstanding work.
With that in mind, here’s how to motivate your employees in seven steps, so that they not only give their all to achieving the mission objective, but are excited about it.
1. Align on Your Purpose and Values.
This is the most important thing you can do in your business and the best way to motivate your employees. Know your purpose. Know your “why.” What are you trying to achieve? Are you aspiring to gain a particular market share? To establish yourself as a leader in a particular niche? To empower your customers to achieve a particular goal?
Once you’ve established your purpose, set defined values for your organization. Ensure employees are not only aware of them, but live them out every single day. Values are a great way to keep everyone on the same page with expectations.
How you motivate your employees depends on how well you communicate with them. It’s hard to feel invested in a team goal that you don’t fully understand. Over-communicate your goals and how you expect each individual to contribute. Communicate regularly on progress and changes in your business. In times of chaos, high communication and close ranks are critical to maintaining alignment. Read more about communication in leadership here.
Learn More: How to Build Excitement Across Your Team
3. Set Small, Attainable Goals.
Instead of setting large long-term goals for your team, set small, attainable, short-term goals for each individual employee that align to a larger mission objective. Going back to the importance of communication, make sure you’re communicating regularly with them to keep them on track. When they achieve their short-term goals, celebrate those wins in order to encourage this behavior in the future.
4. Motivate Your Employees By Example.
Your team will never be motivated if they don’t feel that you are. Show your passion for your organization and your work, which will spur them to discover their own passion. As a leader, you have to be an example of the execution rhythm you want to see from your team. This will demonstrate to your team that their short-term goals are attainable.
5. Empower Your Team and Employees.
Show your employees that you trust them, and allow them to contribute heavily. Ask for feedback. Open your ears and learn how you can help them improve their performance. Create an environment in which employees feel comfortable telling you that you’re underutilizing them. If someone takes the initiative to ask you to put them on an additional project, then congratulations: You’ve fully learned how to motivate employees.
Don’t stop here. If you truly want to empower your team, take their suggestions and implement them. Show that their input is valued and they’ll feel more driven to complete their tasks. In Flawless Execution, this empowerment happens during the Nameless, Rankless Debrief.
6. Offer Incentives.
At the end of the day, we’re humans. Humans respond to incentives, so it’s never a bad idea to add in a few in order to make your team hungry to win. Something as simple as offering training, or celebrating a win by providing lunch one day, will help show that you appreciate and value them, which will, in turn, motivate them to continue to do great work.
7. Bring in Outside Help.
To really learn how to motivate employees, it often helps to engage experts who can inspire from the outside. It can be tough to pinpoint internal issues affecting your team’s drive when the external environment is constantly shifting.
There are myriad ways to take advantage of an outside perspective or resource to help give your team the boost they need. It can take the form of management coaching, a high-energy event such as a seminar or workshop, or even connecting with other teams at your company.
If you’d like to talk more about bringing our team in to help, reach out to us here.