Keeping your team motivated is one of the most challenging issues in management. With costly issues at the heart of it like boosting team performance and long-term staff retention, it’s easy to see why. As a manager, it can sometimes feel like you have to be an industry professional, life coach and career coach at the same time. Thankfully, you don’t need to be all three to manage a happy team as we share ten tips that have revolutionised team performance and boost long term staff retention. We will cover both exercises and company initiatives that have proven to increase employee motivation as well as the psychology of people management proven to drive team performance.
Company initiatives have proven to motivate employees and increase team performance.
You want the truth?! You can’t handle the truth!
Schedule regular management feedback.
Set up ongoing feedback from your team (at all levels) about how well they feel they are being managed and how company decisions are working for them and the business. Look for areas of improvement and communicate when company changes have been based on employee feedback so the team feel valued and heard. You can gather feedback in a mix of 1-2-1s, group sessions, and surveys. Survey Monkeyis a fantastic tool for gathering feedback and polls with data analysis features for making data-driven decisions. You can customise surveys or use their employee engagement template for ease. Electronic surveys are also a great way of receiving anonymous feedback for a deeper dive into the more raw and honest stuff! Other great survey apps include SurveyPlanetand SurveySparrow.
Your love keeps lifting me higher and higher.
Actively promote people from within the company.
A stagnant workforce breeds a stagnant mindset. Promoting from within drives a competitive mindset among the team and demonstrates that you are a company entrusted with helping people grow their careers. While it’s beneficial for companies to bring in external hires, employers often get seduced by this to their detriment. Solve this by agreeing on an annual target percentage of internal promotions to keep on top of this. Your team needs daily inspiration and what better way than creating everyday walking case studies of promotions and success for them to aspire to? Also, when employees fail to see people being promoted, they actively seek promotions elsewhere so handing in their notice is the first you’ll hear about it. EPIC FAIL!
It’s good to talk.
Keep your team in the loop about company news and decisions, and how that relates to their roles.
Your team have a far greater sense of what’s happening with you as their manager and the leadership team than you ever realise. Worse, when left out of the loop, they usually come to the most dramatic conclusions first which can foster a weakened work ethic, sense of purpose and poor staff retention. Fix this by keeping your team updated on key company decisions, short and long-term goals, financial performance and what this means for their individual roles. Even if it’s just to address any elephants in the room or a rough timeline for when more info is coming.
Elvis has left the building.
Learn from people exiting the business and re-evaluate the hiring process for the position.
Exit interviews are the best way of getting the most honest feedback from employees. Dedicate some time with people leaving to honestly evaluate what worked in the role and what didn’t and use this information to shape the new job spec. Gauge how the role has changed during the person’s tenure and what direction you both feel need to go. What void does this person leave in skills and character? Factor this into the hiring process to control any detrimental and demoralising effects on team output.
To me you’re perfect.
Reinforce positive behaviour with meetings highlighting only positive accomplishments.
Increasing employee self-esteem by verbally reinforcing their value works wonders for boosting employee motivation and workplace satisfaction. Schedule regular team meetings to celebrate successes ONLY. As a manager, come with one notable mention for each team member no matter how small. It could be a tricky email sent out or a successful event booking. Have your team come with three things they achieved and celebrate them. Remember, it’s the small things that lead to big wins. They don’t just poof out of nowhere!
The psychology of people management – exercises and understanding the basics.
The key to inspiring your team is to map out the character traits, strengths and weaknesses of yourself then balance your own approach against the different results of the team. Seeing it mapped out in front of you helps to address gaps and patterns in your team that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen before. Enabling you to apply a more targeted and strategic approach to motivating people and driving team performance. So, let’s begin.
Girl, check yourself.
Understand that successful people management lies in understanding yourself first.
When faced with the challenge of keeping a team motivated, it’s natural to dive straight in by looking outwardly at them. However, the foundation for managing a successful team is built on looking inward and understanding yourself first. Start with a behavioural mind mapping exercise identifying where your strengths and limitations are. Plot out what your motivators are and what your preferred management styleis. List your strengths and weaknesses in a mix of soft skillsand hard skills(including industry-specific ones like coding or digital marketing). Are you a detail-oriented person or a big picture thinker? Are you part of the 40.2% of “thinking personality types” motivated by objective principles and impersonal facts or part of the 59.8% of “feeling personality types” motivated by personal concerns and the people involved first? You need to be mindful of how different personality types work to tap into the different motivators of people within your team.
Learning this is simpler than you think. Firstly, why wonder when you can ask? Start by requesting management feedback from your team at all levels. Shape your questions digging deeper into the issues above and see point 1 in this blog on how to get productive feedback from your team. There are also free character self-assessments online that are ultimately a bit of fun that you can use to further identify patterns in your character, communication and management style. Personality Maxor 16 Personalitiesprovide suggestions on your strengths and weaknesses and whether you’re a “thinking personality” or a “feeling personality” and how this can impact people. VIA is a free character self-assessment that tells you the top three character traits you lead with.
The key lies in mapping out your strengths so you can play to them and identifying your limitations to pinpoint the changes you need to inspire others better.
You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?
Understand others in relation to personality traits and team functioning.
Now that you understand a bit more about your own personality style, it’s important to learn the personality make up of your team to ‘click into’ other people’s motivations to achieve results. The question is less ‘do they understand me?’ but more ‘do I understand them?’ Start with a brainstorming and mind mapping exercise plotting out your team's personality traits. Look for patterns in extraversion, introversion, and “thinking” personalities inspired by facts and stats and “feeling” personalities inspired by the impact on people and causes. Who prefers to work autonomously or as part of a team? Who are your big picture thinkers and your detail-oriented people? Look for emerging patterns across your team and involve them by asking them how they see themselves.
With this info mapped out you can now begin to adapt your approach to the different members of your team. Look for personality clashes and play up to personality matches. Check those company decisions and information are explained in a way that inspires different people. This mapping exercise has proven to help managers understand the spread of behavioural traits within their team, what makes them strong, and identify the changes needed to deliver a more targeted management approach.
Tip: Get your team to try the VIA Character Assessment Test and 16 PersonalitiesTest or Personality MaxTest (whichever you prefer the look of) to gather more character and behavioural info on the team.
Together we make an imperfect whole.
Map out the strengths and weaknesses of your team.
Start by conducting a skills mapping exercise plotting out your team’s hard skills and soft skills makeup. Your teams’ strengths and weaknesses will be a mix of hard skills such as software testing and soft skills such as critical thinking. You can either choose target skills to fit people into or just map out the skills across the team and see if patterns emerge naturally. Identify skills gaps, spikes and dips across the team and involve your team in the exercise. Our clients use their skills maps to identify development areas and understand what makes their teams strong.
With your teams’ strengths and weaknesses mapped out in front of you, you can begin to identify where tasks can be reassigned to play to people’s strengths and buddy people up for peer-to-peer learning. For example, pair digital experts with others who want to improve their digital skills or data crunchers with people who want to learn reporting skills for future career opportunities. Review and shape your company training programmes based on skills gaps and existing needs. Finally, use this document to shape your next hiring spec to bring in the most needed qualities into the team, and update this document throughout the year.
Boy, don’t push me!
Understand that there are two main types of motivation – extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivation is when you use external factors to motivate your team to achieve your desired outcomes. Time off, pay raises, bonuses and disciplinary actions are all extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivation is internalised where individuals are motivated by having a personal desire to produce high-quality work, overcome a challenge, or work in a team they like. Sit down with each member of your team to discover what motivates them and establish a tailored motivation and performance review plan together, and review progress throughout the year.
Check your own presumptions and projections.
Assuming how people like to be managed is an often unnoticed and costly mistake. Your management style is strongly influenced by what you believe about others. Never mind how you came to your assumptions, get input from each member of your team about how they like to be managed. Do they prefer autonomy or more teamwork? Are you micromanaging them or do they want more input? Make agreed changes and review how successful these changes have been in performance and employee satisfaction reviews throughout the year.
Bringing it all together.
Keeping employees motivated at work is a hard gig but incorporating a just few points in this blog has proven to boost employee motivation and increase team performance for companies of all sizes.
At Projectus, we use Projectus Edgewhich does all this for you. It’s a comprehensive assessment tool that produces fast team effectiveness reports for our clients. Using 54 years of behavioural research, it enables companies to plot the different profiles of their team, understand what motivates their teams and what makes them strong. It enables clients to:
Understand the spread of behavioural traits across the team.
Understand the team’s strengths.
Identify gaps or weaknesses for developmental purposes.
Help the team to be able to communicate and understand each other.
Enable teams to overcome conflict.
Celebrate the diversity of the team.
Clients who have used Projectus Edge have seen an upsurge in team motivation and team performance by 85% and thousands saved in staff retention by up to 89%.
For a consultation on keeping your team motivated or discussing your team management needs, contact our experienced consultants today.
Blog Links and References
Projectus Edge: https://bit.ly/3wxpfh4
VIA Character Assessment:https://bit.ly/3q5Qs8j
16 Personalities Tests: https://bit.ly/3grYmpi
16 Personality Types:https://bit.ly/3gBcXxJ
Personality Max: https://personalitymax.com/
Thinking Personalities: https://bit.ly/3pYqgwg
Feeling Personalities: https://bit.ly/2RYi6Yc
Soft Skills: https://bit.ly/3ztsybd
Hard Skills: https://bit.ly/3zyGikP
Survey Monkey: https://bit.ly/3gExQb8
Management Style: https://bit.ly/3gwKKYM
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