After an extensive track record in a sales related role, working with a diverse range of colleagues, managers and customers, it still amazes me that there is still a consensus that managing/leading is not achieved through a one size fits all blanket approach.
Every person is different (thankfully – not sure how two of me would work in one office) and we are all motivated by different forms of recognition, reward or achievements. Using a blanket approach for all will more than likely be detrimental to you and your team’s success. I have always believed a happy team is a productive team and a productive team means we not only achieve but exceed targets.
The first thing to do is to take the time to get to know your team, as individuals. This doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to the pub to ply them with alcohol and see what happens next. This can be achieved by having a one-on-one meeting, where you find out what motivates them, what they are looking to achieve in their role and what they need from you to help them achieve.
People are motivated by different things
Praise / recognition
We often send out blanket messages to remind people of what is not being done well or correctly, but when we want to recognise them for a job well done / goal achieved, we only send it to them...WHY? Why not share their success story and perhaps give them something extra to work towards.
Growth and development
Your team members are often looking at scope for development / growth either within their current role, or in the future. If you understand what they want to achieve, you can play a pivotal role in helping them achieve it. It’s better to have them see you in the street in two years’ time and have them thank you for helping them develop, rather than them saying you did the opposite!
Goals/objectives to work towards
Some people LOVE having goals to work towards (stretch targets that are still achievable) – so spend the time to sit down and set these up. The key is to have regular one-on-ones to see how they are tracking and if they need help. Then you can provide it, there and then, to keep them on track.
If you have an incentive in place for either individuals or team based incentives, make sure you set clearly defined guidelines for them to work with and understand. Don’t change the goal posts! It is so demotivating having a team member put 150 % effort into a task and then for it to be changed at the last minute and they find themselves excluded, while others who didn’t achieve those targets, being rewarded. This is sure fire way to reduce motivation and engagement!
A person’s motivation starts internally, but external factors can add to it or reduce it. Take the time to understand your team and develop them as individuals first and you will soon see that they will form a formidable team, where each person’s strengths are utilised.