If you are a budding entrepreneur or a team leader and if the word‘PAYCHECK!’comes to your mind when you read this title, then this article is for you. Contrary to popular belief, more than compensation benefits, people look forward to come to office to do engaging work, feel valued and achieving milestones in their professional competencies.
Although ‘How-to-stay-motivated-at-work’ is on everyone’s bookmark, we seldom think about being a fairy to those around us. There is a reason why people build teams and work together to achieve one single goal. This is because as a human (muggle, if you know what I mean) you cannot do more than a one-person task. You might be talented, enormously. But still tasks need planning, implementation, and completion.
So how about sharing your morning dose of enthusiasm with your teammates? Don’t worry, no one would say- ‘You are too toxic with that energy’.
Here’s what we think works wonders in the motivation department-
1. Stay motivated yourself
I wonder if you saw this coming.
And I think I heard you muttering ‘OBVIOUSLY!’ with a puff.
But for those of you who need a reality check on this one- Do you love your idea? Or are you still in the‘evolution’phase? Do you have that clarity about your mission? Do you see yourself sailing with that idea? I don’t care if your answer is yes or no. But the thumb rule here is, stay motivated yourself.
Because if you do not have a smart-realistic-measurable-achievable goal which is tickling you every morning, it’s highly uncertain that your team would be interested in accomplishing it for you.
2. Offer them an enjoyable office space
And this does not necessarily mean a swanky office space with gym and spa center. And free beer on Fridays! What you need is a congenial zone to do work. Do minimal. A 6’X6’ cubicle is where people spend most of their time. So make sure you give them enough ‘clean’ space which stimulates creativity, makes them feel good about their private corner.
With the emerging startup culture, people often go to great lengths to spend lot of money on salaries and perks for employees, but if there is a bug on the office chair and if people don’t like to come to office then there is no way you can make them feel motivated about your idea.
3. Encourage creativity
Got any developer who loves sketching? A designer who was a musician in the past-life? A test engineer who got bitten by photography bug? Well, you have an amazing talent pool and there is no reason why you should let it pass.
The truth is, each one of us is creative if given right environment and platform. Surprise your team with something they don’t expect–a sketchbook on that developer’s table, a musical evening on Friday- anything.
You will see people performing exceptionally well when you put a smile on your employees’ faces.
Appreciate ideas which bring your organization and people close and make it a merrier place to work.
Because only when people are content on their personal front, they are able to think more positively on the professional grounds. So encourage their individuality.
4. Help your team overcome their weakness
It’s practically impossible to achieve success in one go. You fail. You experiment. You learn from your mistakes. It is only after multiple attempts that your realize the correct way of doing things. So do not punish failure. Let your team experiment, let them discover their weakness and let them grow and bring out their hidden talents.
One of the best thing about being a fantastic leader is encouraging people to think out of the box. Do not point out at a mistake or do not offer them a comfortable solution in one go. Rather, ask them to hunt for solutions. Experiment. And then find out the best possible way out.
5. Show them the way, lead by example
Be careful when you are leading a group of people. If you reach at 10 for a status meeting, you can not expect your team to reach at 9. If you always sneak out for frequent snack break, then you can not expect your team to sit for long hours at a stretch and complete work.
Your team looks up to you and sooner or later your ways will become their habits.Don’t expect them to follow the codes which you yourself do not follow. Don’t expect them to imbibe your values which you yourself are not much fond of. Set an example. Be a leader who is worth following.
6. Never underpay your employees
Providing a great work environment is one thing and providing a good paycheck is another. If you are a startup, keep an eye on how much you pay your employees.
Everyone wants quality work, everyone wants to gather new feathers in the cap. But at the end of the day if you are underpaying your employee, then very soon you’ll see them losing the motivation about work.
Nobody wants to be paid less for working hard. It’s highly demotivating. And you sure don’t want to lose talent because of this factor. Always keep the salaries as per the industry standards.
7. Be flexible, avoid micromanagement
Not everyone in your team will be a rockstar coder or designer. Some may be in the early stages of learning, some might have years of expertise. For this reason, they might need hand holding and guidance at regular intervals while others might excel only when you give them more liberty of thoughts.
To let those ideas blossom and to prepare your team as future leaders, it is important to understand that the best results appear when you have the right mix of guidance and freedom. Nobody likes a boss who creepily stalks your work.
8. Set clear team goals
What’s a life without goals? Likewise, what is the point in doing work which doesn’t bring any accomplishments? Unless you like being an oarless boat who just flows with the direction of river, which is both pointless and naive, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a goal.
Clearly define your vision, set short-term goals, share your long-term plans with your teammates. Be clear with the quality of work that you expect. Share your expertise and provide as much support as you can and then allow your team to work upon achieving those goals.
9. Reward your team
Not just compensation benefits. But use small gestures to reward your team. It can be as simple as dropping a ‘Great job’ note or a ‘Rockstar of the month’ award for your team member. You can apply productivity stats, or some other metric that would keep the team motivated, and then a simple reward in lieu of that outstanding performance.
Team rewards create a sense of accomplishment and the group can focus on their individual conduct in alignment with the company goals.
10. Communicate often and do it regularly
You will only cherish half the success if you are a great mentor and problem-solver but you fail to communicate well within your team. Communication, be it personal or professional, is like the black coffee. If it’s refreshing and stimulating, it won’t let you sleep.
Make sure you do effective communication which is the most important part. Speaking continuously is not necessarily communicating. You have to listen. You have to speak in a way that your listener understands it. It has to be a two-way process. So before mastering the art of leadership, learn to communicate well.