Motivating The Team

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Motivating others in a team is more often easier being said than done but it’s a very valuable aspect that deserve more and more attention. If you often need to lead other people (not necessarily a permanent leaders), you might want to think about how to motivate your team. Why you need it? Simply said: motivated teams deliver the best results. Keeping the team motivated also make them stick to you better (not resign quickly).

Everyone has their own way to be motivated or not but generally if they believe in the benefit that they will get eventually, the more possible they stay motivated. Remember that financial reward is not always on the top of the employee’s list for a job’s satisfaction. Many polls and study tend to see that job satisfaction seems to depend more on the intangibles aspects like having the feeling as part of a team, being appreciated consistently, and having an acomplishment consistently outrank financial reward. It doesn’t mean financial reward is not important, it’s just not the only thing the employee needs to be happy.

Recently, I came across an article titled “10 Steps to Keeping Employees Engaged and Motivated” by Eric Friedman (see link: This article discuss a couple of things that made me step back and realise how many aspects that are often neglected by leaders. Eric’s ten steps to successfully retain high performing member and keep them motivated are:

  1. Clearly define your vision. The vision need to be clearly understood by the employee so they know what to expect.
  2. Give them what they want and need. Check in with them personally to really understand what the gaps are and how you can do your best to eliminate the gaps. This might not sounds popular but we need to remember that the lower barrier to achieve the best results, the more possible those best results will come out.
  3. Communicate well and often. Check if our communication or message is well understood and if they are confused, it’s not their faults. You need to craft the message better. Communication is a critical aspect, especially in difficult times or during times of change. Goodman and Truss recommend the following objectives of the communication in that kind situation: getting people’s buy in, getting the commitment to change, reduce resistance, reduce people’s anxiety, ensure clarity of the objectives, share information/vision, challenge status quo, obtain clarity and reduce uncertainty.
  4. Get everyone engaged. By getting everyone engaged to some level, the work becomes everyone’s baby. Something that people are willing to fight for, to do their best at. Asking people for their ideas and inputs, use other’s ideas have been proved to empower and motivate people. 
  5. Coach for success and practice random acts of kindness. Give timely and random feedback can be a great motivator. Saying “thank you” and “great job” to a well executed work can also become an excellent motivator.
  6. Act fairly, respect and create trust. Don’t be a jerk. Create supportive environment and brave to admit if you were wrong. This will enable the team to relate to you better.
  7. Make the work fun (but don’t forget to verify). Lighten up! Always think how to make the work fun for everybody. Work can easily become a routine and boring activity. Bored people performs poorly. That’s why a little bit of fun won’t hurt.
  8. Give special attention to high-potential employees. The reason is simple and obvious: the less they engaged with their jobs, the more possible they are planning to leave.
  9. Avoid downsizing. Downsizing for reducing cost will create a negative atmosphere and create loss of trust. The remaining people might jump ship also due to the perceived instability.
  10. Implement incentive program/reward system. The following results were found in a study by the International Performance Improvement, on the benefits of the incentive programs: improve performance significantly (22% increases in individuals and 44% in teams), improve employee engagement (performance improved by 15% and 27% if the reward is repeated), attract high potential employees and make them stay.

So, those are the 10 steps to motivate your team. Leave in the comment section below other steps that you think you can do to motivate your team.


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