Keeping everyone on your team focused and motivated is not easy, especially if you fall into one or more of these common traps. From Inc.com
If you feel that people are the most valuable asset at a
business–and we certainly do–it’s important to keep everyone motivated
and sailing towards the same port. Recently, we wrote about three
things business leaders can do to motivate their team. Equally important
is what you should avoid doing.
1. Don’t motivate solely on salary.
Salary might be why someone leaves your firm, but it won’t be why
they stay. Paying a competitive salary is table stakes, but it’s an
extrinsic motivator. To tap into people’s intrinsic motivation, focus on
creating an environment that encourages everyone to take ownership,
communicate the purpose behind the work, and maintain a positive
environment that encourages the open exchange of ideas. Cash-based
incentives can help to deliver results in the short term, but long-term
success requires a higher form of motivation.
2. Don’t multitask when you’re meeting with people.
There’s no quicker way to undermine the importance of your employees
than by actively engaging with your cell phone, laptop, or tablet during
meetings. By not giving your full attention to the team, they will feel
second rate and less motivated. Leaders must set the tone that
everyone’s time is valuable and that people deserve full attention when
discussing business issues.
3. Don’t deliver mixed messages.
Delivering different messages to different people is an easy trap to
fall into, but it’s exactly that–a trap. Communicate consistently to
increase efficiency and give people the complete confidence that the game of telephone
won’t be played in your organization. While using different styles with
different audiences is a critical part of being a successful leader,
don’t confuse this with tweaking the actual content of your message
because you perceive different parties might want to hear different
4. Don’t stifle creativity by shooting down ‘dumb’ ideas.
Creating and sharing ideas is part of a healthy work environment. By
quickly shooting down people’s ideas, you’re likely to stifle
creativity. Next time you’re faced with an idea you’re not initially
fond of–and there will be lots of them–try using this idea as the
launching point for a broader brainstorming session. Encourage the
creation of long lists of potential solutions to a problem. Ideas one
through 10 on the brainstorm list are likely to be straightforward, but
by the time you get to idea 25, 52, or 78, you might really experience a
breakthrough. New ideas to solve problems are the essence of successful
companies, so be sure to create a culture where ideas are treasured,
Avoiding these common traps will help business leaders create lasting motivation for their teams.
Send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Avondale’s Bradley Hoos contributed to this article.