The immediate boost in team morale following a good status meeting can be like that all-important half-time team talk that turns a game around. However, it’s one thing to keep a team pumped for an hour or so to see them through to the end of a game, and something else entirely to keep them firing on all cylinders for a few weeks or a month until the next meeting.
Knowing how to motivate your team outside of the big sit-downs is a skill that can be the difference between project success and failure. It is those incremental gains – the extra 5-10% on a daily basis – that will form the foundations of a winning project, more so than a sudden 50% jump the day or two after a big speech which then falls back towards the baseline as the words fade in the memory. We’ve put together some of the best motivation tips for achieving consistently high performance.
How to Motivate Your Team in Between Status Meetings
- Ensure your people are listened to
Depending on your style as a manager, it can sometimes seem like the best way to get everyone working towards the same goal is to lay out a plan of action and get people to follow it. However, this can actually serve to limit the possible solutions to the challenges you face. Being open to what your employees have to say empowers them to achieve the same goals but with ownership of the process.
- Set achievable targets and give recognition
Not receiving feedback or understanding how one is performing in their role can be understandably demotivating. This can be avoided by working with team members to outline specific and achievable goals, using a system such as Objectives and Key Results (more commonly OKRs), which is used at Google, Intel, Twitter and many other firms to push staff to the upper limits of their potential, but not punishing them if they don’t get there.
- Gamify work processes
Knowing how to motivate your team also means understanding that sometimes you have to think outside the box. Even though it’s been around for quite a few years, advances in technology mean that gamifying performance has never been easier. Simple platforms can be used to input goals and metrics that staff achieve through work performance, with the final reward for the “winning” team or individual usually being something fun, like a meal out or concert tickets.
- Create a space that embodies what you want to achieve
If you put people in an empty warehouse with some desks and chairs rescued from nearby dumpsters, you might encourage the idea that you’re trying to be innovative, but that’s just to paper over the fact that you’re cheap and don’t care too much for workplace hygiene. Showing you care about where people work will be rewarded by your team also caring about how they work.
- Show people a path to personal development
Career and personal development are major motivators for staff, especially Millennials and Gen Zers, yet only 29% of employees are happy with their career advancement opportunities. To establish a bridge between the positive group check-in at one status meeting to the next, one of the best team motivation tips is actually to focus on the development of each individual. Work with them to create a plan of where they want to go and how to get there, whether it’s educational opportunities or more responsibility. People stay motivated if they can see a direct link between their daily work and their personal long-term ambitions.
- Pay people what they’re worth
It might be one of the most basic team motivation tips but at the end of the day, ensuring that you are competitive and recognize the value the employee is bringing to the organization, is a major motivating factor for any employee. Even for engaged workers, 26% would leave their current job if they were offered as little as 5% more somewhere else, so always be proactive in making sure that your team members are getting what they’re worth.