Last week we talked about the difficulty that is faced by all managers in keeping their employees motivated. The presence or lack of motivation in your employees can be caused by any number of reasons on both a personal or professional level. Since there are so many different factors to motivation, we could never list them all, but we can target some of the most common killers of motivation and talk about how to avoid or combat them.
This week let’s talk about the remaining five biggest killers of employee motivation:
6. Inefficient collaboration: On average, 39% of people feel that their input is not appreciated. In this kind of situation, how long are you motivated to give your best? Odds are that sooner, rather than later, your performance will suffer. In order to improve internal communication and collaboration it is a manager’s priority to make sure their team feels not only comfortable collaborating together, but also with you, their boss. Make sure to foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable voicing his or her opinion, even if you have to start by asking each person to speak at least once per meeting until they get comfortable.
7. Time wasting: Chances are that your employees will be willing to put in more hours if they feel their time and input are appreciated. Just as we talked about in number 6, we need to foster an environment where employees feel like they are contributing to the team. But if you send another e-mail, make a new appointment, or share another piece of irrelevant info, that motivation will fall quickly. Time is such a scarce resource that wasting it is the last thing you want to do. So make sure every meeting you schedule is worthwhile, keep things short and simple, and try to avoid anything that is irrelevant. Also make sure your employees know that if there is no work to be done, that they do not have to feel guilty for not staying late. We can’t stay late every night, am I right?
8. Useless meetings: Speaking of useless meetings! On average, workers around the globe waste anywhere from 3-8 hours a week on unproductive meetings. Talk about a waste of time. So is the best idea to just avoid meetings altogether? No. Instead, let’s practice making meetings more effective/productive and bringing more life into our meetings. How do we do that? Schedule meetings for the same time each day/week, keep them short, encourage participation, ask questions, and reward accomplishments.
9. Fear of failure: Did you know that Warren Buffet was rejected by Harvard University at first? Can you imagine if he gave up? There are not many people who have had a straightforward road to success. Through failure we learn to recover and learn from our mistakes and become stronger and more successful. So make sure to push your employees outside of their comfort zones, but make sure that it is known that if they fail it will not be the end of the world.
10. Lack of clear goals: It is very hard for your employees to give their best if they do not fully understand the goals that you have for them. How do they know what to focus on? Which projects should gain more attention? To avoid them getting stuck and losing motivation, make sure to sit down with your team members (you can chose how often) and lay out clear goals and expectations with them. Also make sure to let them know if they find themselves stuck in a situation where they are unsure what to prioritize that they can approach you and you can talk it through together to determine what approach to take.
Often times the most important part of motivation for your team members can be you as a manager so make sure you show them that you are there for them, and ready to combat their low motivation if and when it strikes.