Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How to keep your team motivated

One of the questions I often get asked, is about motivating the team. Leaders need to be sure they keep a keen eye on their team's motivation and take small and subtle steps to keep motivating members.
While some members are driven by cash it is surprising to find out that the majority of our team members actually prefer rewards other than cash to feel appreciated and rewarded for their efforts and so motivate them to do bigger and better things in the future. Try this experiment and see if it helps you maintaining  your team in a highly motivated state, it cost you very little and is more about behaviours rather than using a reward as a motivator.

Next time you see one of your team members doing something that is particularly good, casually stop and chat and praise them for what they were doing, be sure to mention exactly what you saw and why it was good for them and how it makes a positive impact on the team. Observe their reaction and make a note later on how they received this positive feedback.  You may be surprised how many people in your team really appreciate your action and respond in a positive manner. Try over the next three to four weeks to do this for all members and to be consistent in the delivery.

Look ahead in your team schedule and find an afternoon toward the end of the quarter and plan some team activity, perhaps bowling, golf whatever. Take the team out and enjoy, sometime during the activity when everyone is together make a short speech thanking the team for their efforts over the period.  This is a team activity and a team reward for delivery of the team goals to date.

Some members crave public attention and will respond best to an award in front of the rest of the company, while this can be a very powerful motivator for the individual it can also have negative effects on the rest of team. I would only suggest to do this if and when someone has gone well above the call of duty and everyone knows it.

Monetary awards as a means of motivation tend to have a very short impact, however they can be useful for team players who are very introverted (as these people rarely want to be put in the spot-light).

Keeping our team motivated is one of the critical tasks we can do as team leaders, it something we should experiment with to get the right balance and keep our team at its peak.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Create break out year for your team

A new year for most leaders means striking a plan for the achievements of the team. But what if  you could create a situation to give the team you lead a chance of making a huge break-out?  Would you give it a go?

Put this simple strategy in place and see your team prosper and grow. Late last year I posted about which team member  would deliver the best result for the team if you could just find a little more time to help one member, again we'll look to these members to deliver our break-out performance.

 This year we should plan early to get our usual quota and adopt this plan to get some big scores on the board.

First lets take our goals for the year and write them in a list. Next we take the list and categorise each goal, shared or team goal, individual goal, and break-through goal.  Test your list of goals and be sure to whittle them down so there are only 2 team goals and a couple of each other category.

Next step is to arrange the goals in these three categories in a matrix against each team member. When you draw up your matrix place your weakest team member first in line and your strongest last in line.
Allocate your goals out to each team member, they should have no more than 5 goals. Try to fill your matrix from your weakest member through to your strongest. When you consider each member against each goal it should play out such that the strongest member has one or two goals spare. This becomes your opportunity to assign them with a break-out goal.

Before sharing your plan with the team it is important as the leader to reflect on what you have assigned to each member and assess its suitability, especially its ability to be achieved within the period.
Remember your first priority is to meet the team goals, once you are comfortable that can be achieved, you know that the allocation of the break-out goals to your stronger members will drive your team to a higher level.

As the leaders of our teams it is very important that we set realistic goals for each member and we positively support everyone to make these goals come to fruition as the year rolls out