motivate your team

How to motivate your team to improve performance

A smooth, dynamic team that delivers results doesn’t happen by coincidence. Even if you already have an awesome team, knowing how to really get the best from them can be a challenge.

Here’s a refresher with some helpful tips to make sure that you’re motivating your team without the headache.

Step 1: Learn their “why”

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of knowing your why. It allows you to focus your efforts, make decisions with purpose, and ENJOY your work.

It’s absolutely no different for your team members.

Understanding WHY each of them is working for you / with you and what their driving force is can be a game-changer in terms of being able to position things in a way that suits them. It can help you help them reach their goals which gives them a fantastic reason to work as hard and smart as possible for you and your organization.

Let me emphasize — I’m talking about figuring out what drives each team member individually.  You can’t generalize that “the sales team” is motivated by X or the “why” for the Marketing Team is XX. Two people in the same role may have similar outlooks but we’re all individual and making assumptions about the whole team can lead to ruin.

Step 2: Cater to their communication style

I so often see poor communication at the center of issues in an organization. Clarity in communication can alleviate even the stickiest of situations. Remember, communication is as much, or more, about listening as it is about being heard.  One way to keep your team motivated is to make sure they feel heard.

Taking the time to figure out the communication nuances of each of your team members will save you hours of time resolving issues.

And, when there is clarity on what needs to happen next, what the most important priorities are, and what expectations are – it’s easy for team members to take it upon themselves to prioritize in alignment with organizational goals.

Step 3: Acknowledge and Reward your team

The ol’ carrot dangling thing seems archaic but despite all the changes to society – we’re not that different. We’re motivated by rewards and acknowledgement.

However, we each respond to different rewards and like to receive acknowledgment in different ways. The trick is figuring out who’s motivated by money, who likes time off, who likes flexibility, or autonomy and ensuring you’re rewarding people in the way they like to be rewarded.

The same goes for acknowledgement. One team member might love to receive accolades in a company wide email, while another may prefer a more quiet pat on the back.

Figure out who prefers what and speak to them in their language.

Coach’s Questions:

How do you plan to get to know each of your team member’s motivators? What step can you take today to understand nuances in communication style? What will you do to make a point of acknowledging and rewarding your team members the way they want?