Whether you are an entrepreneur or startup with a handful of employees or a well-established business, you are only as good as your team.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to continuously monitor, guide, set the standard and inspire your employees – and that’s no simple task. Prioritizing the wellbeing and happiness of your team is important to the growth of your business. And keeping your team motivated will not only maximize output, but will also help employees innovate at work.
Here are five ways you can keep your team motivated:
Most places don't have a Google size budget to offer office perks – like free food all day every day. So how can you make employees want to come to work and feel excited about being there? Investing in your workplace doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of money building out your space. First and foremost, keep it clean and keep it organized! It's always nice to work in a place where everything is easy to find, there are fewer distractions and you’re not grossed out. If someone wants to show off their genius with a dirty desk that there's prerogative. Carve out a small space for employees to get away from their desk to either eat lunch or interact. It's never good for morale when the only place you can talk to someone is in the bathroom or on your way out of the building. If you can, bring in live plants, creative artwork or other items that can provide a sense of calm or inspiration. Making the place look less like a cubicle prison is a bonus.
As the saying goes, the road to success is always under construction. There is no single clear-cut path to achieve everything you set out to do but the key to progress is having clear goals set. Many times, it is not the inability of a team that results in failure but rather the ambiguity of overall objectives. Defining goals ensures employees know what they are working towards and encourages stronger team unity. It helps provide a rationale for business decisions and helps with task prioritization.
More importantly, it gives you a measurement for success that you can continuously compare against for growth. Once you define goals, be sure to keep them top of mind and reassess them as your business grows and evolves. Set it, but don’t forget it.
Think of it like cooking. Ingredients vary and methods may differ but if everybody knows the end goal is a chicken dinner, they’ll figure out ways to make it work.
Encouraging collaboration brings your team together and motivates everyone to do what it takes to cross that finish line. As saying goes, you can go faster alone but you can move farther together. Good businesses move as a unit encouraging each employee to not only work alone to reach their goals but to contribute to the team to help everybody along. It makes them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. It seems like common sense but it's easy to get caught up in seeing only what's in front and not understanding how everything fits together.
No one likes a stage five clinger. Micromanagement is cited as one of the top complaints employees have about their managers. Your team has actual problems to solve and a helicopter boss shouldn’t be one of them. In addition to being incredibly annoying, micromanaging demoralizes people by removing their sense of autonomy and making them feel like they aren’t trusted to make decisions on their own. Employees relish a sense of ownership and they need to be given the room to learn and grow on their own. Properly managing your team without being too overbearing helps employees feel more confident in their abilities and gives them a greater sense of contribution to the business.
As employees grow and improve their skill sets the value they add to your business increases. It’s common for employees to leave companies as they seek pay increases equivalent to their abilities. For startups getting off the ground, we understand this is easier said than done. But keeping the need for salary increases in mind and communicating some sort of path to team members will make a difference. It ensures they feel valued and constantly rewarded for their contribution to the company. Don’t lose great people because you’re underpaying them. If you like then you better put a ring on it (a.k.a. show them you value them and set goals to pay them what they’re worth!)
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