Even within the most renowned companies, work can become very pressurising or even humdrum at times. But if you’re a manager, it’s important to keep your team motivated so that they stay productive and engaged. Here are nine tried and tested ways to do so.
1. Treat them to a pizza
Taking your team out for a lunch is a great way to lift morale and improve group dynamics. Plan your team lunch a week in advance to give staff something to look forward to.
2. Give public praise
Be effusive in praising the efforts of your staff. We all like praise for a job well done and taking the time to give sincere and genuine thanks to a staff member in front of their peers will boost their self-esteem.
3. Train one, train all
Providing people with the opportunity to attend an external training course is a great means of stimulation and simultaneously shows that you are prepared to invest in their development. After they return, encourage them to outline what they've learnt to the rest of your team.
4. Have Friday afternoon fun
Work does not have to feel like work all the time and every hardworking team needs a little downtime. Once a month, on a Friday afternoon, is often a great time to do something different that keeps people motivated for the following month. In some cultures, giving out team prizes that combine humour with public recognition may go down well. For example, one prize might be delivered like this: "For dealing with the most abusive customer of the week, we have this bespoke set of ear plugs".
5. Give additional responsibility when needed
Learn to recognise when a member of your team wants and is ready for additional responsibility. Smart people often crave opportunities for development, figuring that the additional skills they pick up make them more marketable.
6. Improve job titles when needed
It costs nothing to improve someone's title but may mean a great deal to him or her personally and the way that they are perceived in the workplace.
7. Demonstrate integrity every day
Nothing destroys team morale and cohesiveness more quickly than a boss who no one trusts, particularly one who plays team members off against each other. You must be prepared to demonstrate integrity and stand up for your staff at times.
8. Be flexible and gracious
Sometimes staff members may have to take time off unexpectedly. Try to be gracious and accommodating about such requests. In return, staff will often work exceedingly hard to make up for lost effort. Indeed, when happy, we're often more productive.
9. Provide clear goals to a rewarding career
People need clear goals for the short and medium-term at work. Do your best to provide those objectives and steer your team towards meeting them.