Three different perspectives were shared which included: founding the first Impact Hub in China, transforming a loss-leading project in Peru to a success story and understanding the motivation of social startups from a financial modelling perspective. We’ve condensed their presentations into 10 key points that you can action in your teams today to start leading.
Where does team motivation come from?
1. Understand where motivation comes from
Motivation often overlaps with the company’s larger goals as well as our team member’s personal goals. Firstly, the incentive and reward system is set up to reward team member’s for accomplishing their KPIs. They are driven at the most basic level to meet these performance goals. Secondly, individuals each have their own personal goals and ambitions which they are either working towards or hope to materialise the near future.
As leaders, understanding where these two goals overlap helps us tap into a higher order motivating factor that inspires our team members to deliver on our shared company goals while accomplishing their personal goals. Identifying this overlap in motivation helps achieve a win-win outcome for the company and our team.
When a group of people come together or when new members join our team, it’s our job as leaders to work with our people to create a shared will.
How do we motivate our team?
2. Co-create a shared WILL
When a group of people come together or when new members join our team, it’s our job as leaders to work with our people to create a shared will. This is creating a strong intention among the team to move forward together to achieve the group’s goals. Involving team members in the process of co-creation helps to align all members towards a common goal. Co-creating a shared will or shared intention with our team results in collective strength needed to weather the challenges that lay ahead.
3. Identify a personal WHY
Once we have a shared will to achieve our goals, leaders must take the time to understand what drives each of our team members because this varies from person to person. Once we understand what drives our people we can tap into these driving forces to tailor our communication and recognition to each person to get the best out of them and create an environment that supports their personal goals. This shows that we recognise our team members’ need for personal accomplishments and enables us to align these personal motivators with the company’s goals. This is essential for team motivation.
4. Define a clear PATH
Once we’ve co-created a strong sense of will and understand what drives each of our members, we must define a clear pathway for our team to achieve our group’s goals. Some ways we can do this is by clearly and consistently communicating the vision and mission, assigning our people stretch goals to build their competencies, providing mentorship, making training accessible and reprioritising member workloads. As leaders, our role is to help our people realise their dreams and the company’s together.
5. Identify the influencers on your team
Identifying all the influencers on our team is useful to reach everyone on the team and transmit the project goals. For example, involving the level-headed and respected member, the complainer who has a lot of the followers or the charismatic team member whom many people enjoy working with. Once our influencers are on board it becomes easier to convince others to support the team goals.
6. Present the situation as a challenge, not as a problem
At the kick-off meeting, present the project as an opportunity instead of as a problem to keep our team motivated and give them a sense of accomplishment. For others, it may be useful to present the project as a challenge to be solved. Knowing which approach to take depends on the personal motivations of our team so we must choose wisely. At every weekly meeting, make sure to transmit the goals very clearly and keep reminding the team of these goals using visuals as often as possible.
7. Learn how to influence your team members
We have to know what motivates our team leaders and team members in order to influence them to stick to our goals. Monetary motivation works the most when work is operational and repetitive as in manufacturing. When work requires a more cognitive approach other things tend to motivate us such as personal or professional growth, acknowledgement, open communication, etc. Consider these tactics based on the type of work involved in the project.
8. Acknowledge the good work
Publicly acknowledge and praise our team for their hard work and efforts. Take the opportunity to praise team members for their leadership skills and provide the stage for team members who want to be noticed as high performers or overachievers to be noticed by other department heads and members of other teams. This improves morale in the team and drives team motivation.
9. Show empathy
Let all team members know they are valued for their work and equally important – it’s not just about the project results. Ask team members how they feel about the project and listen to their opinions. If the team is large, key influencers and team leaders can keep spirits up in the team by displaying signs that they value their team members. Remember to consider cultural norms and what is appropriate behaviour.
10. Divide the project into milestones and celebrate them
Create a sense of accomplishment by celebrating every milestone to make the road a little bit easier. Team lunches and birthday celebrations can become a regular thing. Get together with all project managers to discuss the good things accomplished and mentioned specific accomplishments of individual team members that deserve recognition. Keep all individual feedback whether positive or negative for one on one conversations. Keep all meetings open and encourage team members to share their opinions.
Take the opportunity to praise team members for their leadership skills and provide the stage for team members who want to be noticed as high performers or overachievers to be noticed.
These tips certainly humanise the leadership experience and respect the uniqueness of our people within a collective team. Understanding why our people choose to work with us, where they would like to go in their professional lives and what we can do to help them realise their potential recognises our team members as people. This builds loyalty, respect, trust and ultimately a keen sense of commitment to achieving the group’s goals even under pressure. These 10 tips are simple enough for us to execute to build team motivation. It’s up to us whether or not we want to implement these tips to build a stronger team this year. As leaders, our people depend on us to lead by example…what better time to start implementing these 10 tips into our leadership strategy than today.
Thank you to all our speakers for sharing their stories and lessons from the field.
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