If you tell me there will be coffee at a meeting or function, I am there. Though coffee may motivate some people to come to a meeting, it certainly does not motivate everyone. This post will address how to motivate your employees to make a more effective team.
Each person has unique factors that contribute to the way in which they are motivated. Some people will do anything for money, others for recognition and still others will help from the goodness of their heart. As a leader, you need to be a motivator and an effective one at that.
How Does Motivation Work
I love leading the creative team at Digi Tech Studio. Whether it is video production or web development, each team members is enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. Over the course of time, I discovered something interesting: when I wanted to get something accomplished and I offered everyone an incentive to increase productivity and turn around time, only a select few would go for the deal. People are motivated differently, and as a leader it is crucial to understand how motivation works and differs for every individual person that you lead.
Everybody is Motivated Differently
Several years ago, there was a project I was working diligently to accomplish. Some of the members on my team just didn’t seem to be hitting deadlines. Thankfully, these were self-given, soft deadlines and not client deadlines. As the final “hard” client deadline drew closer, I began to sweat. I started to try to motivate my team members in anyway I could. I ordered food, I changed up the work environment by going to Panera, I tried music, additional rewards, games and more. I tried all sorts of little things to make the work seem more enjoyable and get done faster but nothing worked. I was running up against a wall and could not figure out for the life of me how to motivate employees to get work done.
Discovering Motivating Factors
Finally, after every scheme and trick in the book failed, I had to halt all work and ask my teammates, “What motivates you?” It seems like a simple question, but their answers were revolutionary. The question shed light on the simple motivating factors of these team members that I would have never considered simply because we were each motivated by different things. The most surprising answers were those that said something along the lines of, “Just stop trying to motivate me and let me work. We can celebrate when it’s finished.” See, I am just the opposite and if I don’t have someone cheering me on along the way, I work slower. But that was just the problem, instead of discovering the motivating factors or my employees, I simply just applied what gets me motivated to everyone else.
As a leader, it is pivotal that you are aware of different motivators. Not everyone can be persuaded by a cup of coffee like me. Take the time to find out what keeps your team members awake at night and what gets them out of bed in the morning. By identifying your teammate’s motivating factors, you will be able to positively influence and encourage your team unlike ever before. It won’t take you long at all to realize that tailoring your leadership style to your different team members can revolutionize your team’s efficiency, communication, attitude and happiness.
What are some motivators you have used to encourage your team?