It’s a big question asked by many business leaders, but the answer is often a lot more simple and subtle than people will have you believe. And no, it’s not about having the latest office upgrade, the best software or the flashiest premises.
Motivation starts from the top. It’s inherent and it’s cultural, based on a foundation of good communication, staff buy-in, valuing those who opt to walk the business journey with you, and then rewarding their efforts.
Here’s a quick guide on how to motivate your team and why it always starts with the business leader at the helm.
Share your vision
As the leader of the business, chances are you have a firm vision of what you want that enterprise to achieve. You know the destination, but have you shared it with your team?
When your team is allowed into your thought process and shares the vision of the business, they have a clear destination to work towards.
More importantly, sharing your vision creates buy-in. The right vision and ambition will see your team invest emotionally in the outcome.
Set clear goals
While business visions are important, they can feel a little obscure. They’re hazy destinations that, all things going well, will be reached at an undefined point in the future.
That’s where goals and milestones come in. They’re tangible, deadline-driven and immediate. They’re the stepping stones you and your team need to reach in order to get where you want to go.
It’s not just about setting goals either. It’s about creating the action plans behind them that ensure they come to fruition.
Embrace a growth mindset
If you really want to motivate your team, you need to remove the barriers that stand in the way of shooting for the stars.
In other words, liberate them from fear of failure, or fear of looking stupid. This is all about embracing a growth mindset, where failures are allowed and provide room to grow.
It’s important to appreciate this mindset starts from the top. It needs to be implemented by example.
But what exactly is a growth mindset? In a nutshell, a growth mindset sees individuals believe their talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others, as opposed to a fixed mindset that sees people believe their talents are innate gifts.
Solid teams thrive on collaboration. They feed off group ideas that can be developed, honed and implemented.
When a team feels they are part of something bigger (the vision), have the ability to implement and be part of the outcome without fear of failure (the growth mindset), and can then bounce ideas off each other (collaboration), there’s no limit to what they can achieve.
This creates further buy-in and investment in the outcome which acts as a key motivator.
Offer development opportunities
Too often business leaders baulk at the prospect of team development, out of a fear a staff member will leave them for something bigger and better.
The opposite is true. When you invest in your team members, you help them realise their potential which engenders loyalty and motivation to do their best on your behalf.
Importantly, a great business leader also understands they don’t need to be the smartest person in the room. Instead, they need to equip themselves with a team of smart individuals who are motivated and inspired to bring their best each and every day.
Whether it’s a high five, a monetary reward, an accolade, or another form of incentive, everyone likes to be acknowledged for a job well done.
It begs the question, when did you last recognise your team members? Because acknowledgement and recognition goes a long way.
The final word
A great workplace isn’t built on the physical premises or the promises of higher remuneration. More often than not, team members align with something greater – whether that’s a company’s vision, culture, goals or workplace philosophy.
That’s where team motivation lies. It’s in the big picture and the small nuances of a business. Get it right and there’s no stopping what that team will achieve.
Talk Strategy with Clive
With more than 30 years’ experience in mentoring small to medium-sized businesses around Australia. Clive works with company owners and their teams to grow their business and achieve goals through strategic coaching.