6 ways to motivate your employees
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We've all had those can't-wait-for-the-weekend jitters-no matter how much we love our jobs-but it's important to recognize the other times when a lack of focus and motivation on the job can be damaging. Workplace boredom isn't uncommon; research shows that 71% of American employees are disengaged at work. Even those with exciting career paths are susceptible to boredom, and while it's natural to feel occasional disinterest, the consequences can be detrimental to a company.
Luckily, it's easy to combat this with a little creativity, and the results are a rejuvenated and motivated tech team. Here are six tactics to try:
- Challenge them
People often describe themselves as being “up for a challenge,” but when those challenges are the same each day, it's easy to lose motivation.
To help teammates regain their ambition, pay attention to their behavior and task them with something new and exciting. Have them identify a common problem that the team or the organization faces and then, as a team, come up with unique solutions. Working together on strategies helps the entire team feel more connected and the unique result can leave the group energized, too.
- Hand over the reigns
Tech teams are forever taking direction, but how would the team approach a task differently if they were in charge? Find out how they would run things, which decisions they'd make (and support these decisions) and encourage them to adopt Agile processes to carry out their ideas. Team members will appreciate the autonomy. Be sure to share their progress with leadership as well.
- Bring in a mentor
Have you ever tried to tackle a weekend project only to find yourself wishing someone would show you the way? Depending on the team and the task, not knowing how to approach a responsibility can be plain old frustrating and stifling. You can help team members learn new skills and become more confident through an informal mentorship program.
Where one person is skilled, another may be lacking and vice versa. Rather than managers taking on the task of mentoring employees in all areas, allow team members to share their skills with one another. Not only will employees gain knowledge, they'll build confidence in each other, have a chance to share personal knowledge and spark the drive in everyone for continuous learning.
- Take an online class together
While it's well recognized that workplace development is important, following through with development plans can sometimes be easier said than done.
Instead of waiting for a guest speaker or juggling eight different schedules, try taking an online class as a team. Sign up for the same class, paying special attention to classes that teach a new technology trend, management skill or something else the entire team is interested in learning. Set aside time each week for group study so you can discuss the class and work on assignments. Regardless of how your team approaches it, mastering a subject together builds confidence, assists with engagement, forges a connection with between team members and empowers the collective team with loads of new knowledge.
- Define a mission
Why is your team doing what it does? What difference does the team make to the organization and the people in the company? Awareness of these two seemingly straightforward answers often isn't top of mind for tech teams. You can put it there by defining your team's “brand.”
Start by creating a team mission statement together to instill a sense of purpose. When team-members understand how they fit into the big picture, it's easy to feel even more motivated to work toward a common goal.
- Go straight to the source
Not only are your team members brilliant techies, they're experienced employees with thoughtful opinions. Rather than implementing changes that you think they need, become a better listener or ask the team for honest feedback through an anonymous survey. Providing them with a platform to voice their thoughts helps team members know that their ideas are respected and management has their best interests in mind.
At the heart of every team is the individuals who generate ideas, share opinions and provide essential skills. It makes good sense to invest in them so they stay invigorated and motivated within their career and know just how valuable they really are.