One of the most debilitating issues that many businesses may face on a day-to-day basis is having an uninspired, unmotivated team. As a leader, you can directly tie motivation to how well you perform. So if there is ever a time you feel unmotivated, recall why you’re passionate about what you do, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and face the next challenge. As it were, being motivated is an issue that is easily controlled by you. But what do you do when your team isn’t as motivated and inspired about what they do as you are? What if their unmotivated output is putting a damper on your overall productivity? Chances are, your company hasn’t established an environment of self-motivation within its culture. Now don’t get me wrong, people are responsible for their own actions, and the sooner you learn you can’t control anyone, the sooner you’ll be an effective leader. But, there are some steps leaders can take to help motivate uninspired workers and maintain an environment built on motivation.
Not having any amount of decision-making power can leave a person discouraged and deflated. And, the feeling isn’t just subject to outside the office. Employees who are able to make even the smallest choices at work are empowered and have higher buy-in to the overall goals of the company. Autonomy at work can be defined as the ability to control the work environment. In other words, it is giving your employees the discretion to choose how they approach their work. Employee autonomy will differ from office to office and industry to industry, so what works for others may not work for you. One example would be allowing a worker to choose what projects they want to tackle, while another example could be letting employees choose their hours or to work remotely from home. In a micromanagement setting, employees have to get permission every step along the way. Remember, you hired your staff because they have expertise that others don’t. So by giving autonomy, you empower their creativity and passion.
Giving your employees the power to work how they see fit within their job duties is the first step to establishing self-motivated team members. But as it has been said time and time again – with great power comes great responsibility. High risk begets high reward – and high loss. When employees are able to make more decisions, they will need to answer for the outcomes. People who don’t want accountability don’t take on responsibility, and subsequently, will remain in a state of disengagement. Every action has a reaction. If there weren’t consequences for actions, there would be no right or wrong decisions. But life is matter of making choices, which in turn leads to success or failure. When someone knows they will be accountable for how certain tasks play out, they will put more effort into succeeding.
Words can have the weight of mountains and the power to change lives. However, sometimes in our society, we don’t put as much thought into how we are communicating to others as we should. Encouragement is similar in the sense that how we tell our team something can be just as important as what we tell them. Give praise when praise is due. Brag to upper management about how well a certain employee is doing. Remember, when you give your employees the autonomy to decide how they chose to manage their job duties, they have to take on more responsibility for their actions. So if a project falls through, it’s on them to fix the problem. This can be added stress if not managed correctly by you. Instead of micromanaging, be a cheerleader, an advocate for their success.
Trying to motivate a team can be like trying to fill a bottomless well. But if you give your team the tools needed to be self-motivated, you will be surprised by the increase in productivity and overall engagement within your staff. How have you motived your team? Are their certain tools you give your employees so they can be self-motivated? Let us know in the comments section below!