Great things can be achieved when a team is strong and every member brings in their own unique skills, knowledge, and personality. Whether it’s creating a website, surpassing your target profit goals, or launching a new product, those results don’t just happen overnight. As a small business owner, you’ll need to invest your time, money, and attention into each of your members - and this is the culmination of team motivation.
In this article, we’ll show you how to motivate employees in order to make the most out of everyone and reach your highest goals as a unit. Love our tips? Feel feel to work them into your Human Resources Guide.
01. Create a welcoming workplace
Here's something to consider as you start a business: Make sure that you truly take care of your employees’ needs early on. Nothing is worse than a dark workspace with no amenities. It’s as simple as a clean office environment and sanitary restroom, natural light, and decent free coffee to satisfy expectations.
If you want to go above and beyond and watch your team motivation skyrocket, also consider adding other amenities and perks, such as an espresso machine, healthy snacks, and a common space for phone calls and social time. This is dealt within a company's human resource management.
02. Identify and utilize each person’s strengths
There are so many different types of people in the workplace. Each one of your employees has something special and unique about them that they can contribute to the greater good of the team. For example, some employees are highly organized and some employees are natural leaders. Learn to not only recognize these strengths, but make the most of them.
Allow your team members to feel motivated by passing along tasks which align with those traits that make them who they are. They will thank you for this, feel valued, and work more effectively than you could’ve imagined.
03. Explain each individual’s purpose
In the day-to-day grind, the purpose often gets lost. Yet, that purpose is the fuel that runs your business and keeps your team motivated. Make sure that you get back to your meaning by consistently reminding your employees why they are there.
Whenever a new task comes up, a monthly progress report is released, or you have one-on-one meetings, these are great times to bring it up.
Also, always provide background information behind every assignment. Even if it’s crystal clear to you, it might not be the same for them, and it’s not something you should risk assuming.
04. Set clearly defined goals
Team motivation is achieved in the most concrete way when each member understands their intent and contribution to the bigger goal. Working towards small, broken-down, individualized goals every day will keep each person engaged and present.
Make sure to set realistic, defined goals and then meet with your teammates to discuss them. During those meetings, encourage them to ask questions so that there is no underlying confusion afterwards. Consistently follow-up to make sure to hold team members accountable too.
05. Provide formal feedback regularly
Let your team members know that they are valued by sharing regular feedback with them about their work. While doing so, acknowledge areas where they excelled, as well as areas where improvement is needed. Depending on the individual, you might want to be gentle or direct. Gage their personality before laying it all on the table.
No matter how you do it, make sure it’s a routine act by creating calendar invites for regular feedback meetings, be it weekly, monthly, quarterly or project-based.
06. Also request formal feedback regularly
Here's a successful habit—put the ball in your employees’ court. Just as you will give feedback, you should also request it. You certainly have areas to work on yourself, as no one is perfect.
Put your ego to the side if this tip makes you uneasy. Instead, think of it as a way to build a stronger, more motivated team. This feedback is super important as it empowers employees to speak their minds and share their doubts and uncertainties. Value will certainly arise as they become involved in the decision-making process and feel comfortable expressing their truths.
07. Offer development opportunities
One of the best ways to show your employees how valuable they are to you is to consistently give them opportunities to learn new skills. And certainly, team motivation will rise immensely if your employees have these growth opportunities to look forward to often. You can even think of it this way: if they aren’t learning and growing at your company, they will do so elsewhere.
08. Avoid micromanaging at all costs
If you’re constantly giving every minor detail a second look, and potentially changing things that are already good enough, you’re guilty of micromanaging. You also probably always feel busy and find managing your time to be a hazardous issue every day due to this trait of yours.
If that describes you to a T, that’s okay. Recognition is step one in finding a solution, and also an essential part of entrepreneurship. Now, to change this going forward, with every new project make sure to provide your employees with proper direction and set defined goals from the start. Then, take a step back and learn to trust them. This will increase their confidence, and also, there’s a reason you hired them for this role in the first place.
09. Reevaluate holding regular meetings
We’re all guilty of hosting time-sucking meetings that are often questioned for their existence in the first place. Your team is unlikely to feel motivated every time they have to sit in one of these, be it a weekly or monthly check-in. Reevaluate your purpose for every meeting, and then see if it’s possible to eliminate any of them, or even just take certain people off the guest list that don’t actually need to be there.
If at the end of that check in you find that you will still need to have them, learn how to run an effective business meeting in this guide.
10. Get out of the office
Team bonding undoubtedly results in stronger team motivation and inclusive company culture. So, whether it’s because of a celebration or not, leaving the office to spend time together doing team building activities is one of the best things you can do for your team motivation. Anything from a scavenger hunt, to community service, to a happy hour will do the job.