Managing your team's performance can put you under a lot of pressure, especially if they're not motivated to do the work. So how do you inspire them to be productive and boost their motivation? Here's a 5-step guide.
Day to day work can become mundane for employees. Work output starts to decline and employee morale dips. As a manager, it can feel like an uphill battle if you're trying to motivate a team that is struggling with low productivity.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to motivate your team and inspire them. While establishing these habits will take time and effort on your behalf, the outcome of increased productivity and morale for your team are well-worth your efforts.
The first step for inspiring productivity as a manager is to delegate. If you don't like to delegate because you worry things won't get done or that they will be done wrong, you're not alone. Many managers feel the need to control tasks — but this can be detrimental to employee productivity. Look at delegation as a tool that allows you to get more done. It’s also a great way to help employees develop their skills, confidence and capabilities.
When you delegate, you can optimize productivity and success by giving the right tasks to the right people. Look for people with the skills needed who are in lower positions in the company structure. This ensures you're giving employees a chance to improve their skills and doesn't take higher-level workers away from other tasks only they can do. Learning how to delegate is difficult, but effective managers who inspire productivity must learn to master this skill.
2. Set goals
Setting goals is a great way to help motivate your team and inspire productivity, but be careful of the goals you set. Goals you've imposed on your team and are impossible to achieve will kill productivity just as surely as setting no goals at all. Instead, work with your employees to set goals they can work towards that will benefit the company. Working with them on their own personal goals that align with company objectives is motivating and rewarding when they achieve them — fueling further goal setting and achievement in the future.
Good goals are SMART goals, goals that are specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, and timely. Setting SMART goals can have a major impact on employee success and performance by giving employees something to aim for.
A lack of communication is detrimental to teams and companies alike. As a manager, you act as a link in communication within the company. It's your responsibility to keep people up-to-date with important information so they can do their job properly. A lack of communication hinders employees from doing their job and makes them less efficient.
Good communication on your part means establishing good non-verbal communication through body language to show you're engaged and attentive to employee needs. It also includes actively listening to what they have to say and regularly engaging with your team. Set times to regularly check in with team members — not only to check on their progress, but also to stay in touch with how they are feeling about their workload. They may be at their breaking point and you don't even know it.
4. Set aside time for your team
Making time for your team is important for inspiring productivity as a manager. You are a resource for your team and it's important to set aside your time—and potentially other work—to talk with your team members and help them accomplish their work. Setting aside time for your team also encourages them to come to you when they have questions and promotes a culture of communication.
5. Show appreciation
Individuals like to know they're appreciated for the work they do, and even a small thank you can go a long way if it is sincere. Showing your team sincere appreciation can lead to improved morale and increased productivity as it helps keep employees motivated. Showing appreciation as a manager also reflects positively on you, and it will impact how other employees behave as well. Plus, employees feel more motivated knowing they've done their job well.
Inspiring productivity as a manager is not a one-time event, nor should it be. As a manager, it's your responsibility to continually employ these five steps of delegating, setting goals, communicating, setting aside time for your team and appreciating them too. Creating habits and patterns of success will impact your team culture and foster an environment of productivity, growth and collaboration that lasts.
Author: Annabelle Smyth is a freelance writer located in Salt Lake City, Utah. She enjoys writing about leadership, HR, and employee engagement. She has most recently worked with CMOE. When not writing and educating herself, you can find her hiking the canyons with her dog and friends.