One of the greatest challenges you’ll face as a leader of an organization is motivating your team on an almost daily basis. While I believe that the outstanding individuals helping my company grow are stocked to the brim with motivating factors, the truth is that with time and repetitive tasks, motivation to succeed and create can be tempered. It is your job as a leader to not just to motivate your team, but help them find their own motivating factors to inspire growth.
Motivation is a tricky animal in an office environment. No matter how much someone loves their job or the overall mission of the company, there are just some days that feel like motivation is the furthest thing from active thought. As I walk through my day, I continuously think of new ways to keep my team motivated, as well as hold constant conversations with them to not only motivate myself but to discover what makes them tick.
In order to optimize motivation within your organization, there are three things you should keep in mind. Each of these three points are integral to helping your employees find their voice and stay motivated.
Efficient team management
Your team leaders should be actively identifying opportunities for motivational actions. Employees who seem distracted or showing a lack of competence when their skill set would indicate otherwise are ripe for teaching moments. When employees are questioning their skills or knowledge, this is the time when your managers need to step in provide support. As a leader, it is your job to make sure your managers know that part of their job is constant support of their employees and creating a team environment where motivation of their team is part of their goals.
Taking an active role in the motivation of your team members and management does not necessarily mean that you should always be in total control. I find that just reminding my managers to work with their team to discover motivational expressions works much better than telling them to keep their team motivated.
In a sense, there is a bit of reverse psychology here. While you are empowering your managers and their team to motivate each other, they should be getting the feeling that they are motivating themselves. This sense of controlling one’s own destiny is imperative to a healthy and productive environment where everyone is motivated to push themselves to their full potential.
Community and culture
Creating this succession of motivational power is directly tied to the working environment that you have created. I encourage my managers and employees to speak their minds, to have a sense of creative freedom and express themselves when applicable (and professional). The interest I express myself is not feigned or artificial, I truly care about how my employees find their motivation throughout the day and their lives.
Humans are inherently social animals. Our circle of friends, coworkers, mentors and everyone we interact with affect our motivational spirit every day. As a leader, I look for ways to inspire my managers and team members to rely on their social circles for not only creative ideas, but for motivational spirit as well. Creating that culture of reliance on each other, and not just on ourselves, helps to motivate your employees when they might be feeling that the motivational spirit has left them.
In summary, if you are actively involved in keeping your managers motivated to motivate their employees while being open to your team motivating you, you will create a healthy culture of circular motivation. Understanding the catalysts for motivation, how to maintain a motivated workforce while allowing employees the freedom to express themselves, is a key factor in keeping positive momentum on any project or idea. So get out there and start motivating!