If you manage and lead teams, then how you motivate people will directly correlate to your personal success story and overall productivity.
This might not be an article for everybody, but if you are responsible for anyone in your organization then following these simple tips will help keep the peace, focus the process and boost your ability to deliver.
1. Empower people!
Autocratic and authoritarian managers who lead through fear and intimidation will only go so far! They will create an in-group/out-group feeling, limit growth and set a glass ceiling at their own personal capacity.
You must empower people. Spend time identifying key skills, gifts and interests within your team, and delegate accordingly to them. When you delegate you must make sure that it’s not a ‘token role’ but has an element of real responsibility. This will reflect a sense of value and propagate trust. As Rick Kimball would say, “…the fastest road to success isn’t about assembling smart people and working hard, but rather engaging people in a bigger ideal than themselves and positively engaging people to work as a team.”
Giving people projects and roles that are individually suited to someone will bring the best out of them. You can take this further by adding consistent positive reinforcement when they perform well.
2. Match spaces to activities
Think carefully about what activities you do in which spaces. There is a whole world outside the office – walks, coffeeshops, parks and gyms – that will bring out different approaches and fresh perspectives. Think what needs to be achieved, and then think of the best place to make that happen.
For instance, having a one-to-one supervision session might work well by taking a walk outside; A business meeting that needs to be productive, swift and to the point could be had standing rather than sitting; A creative brainstorm, however, might need a big, open and colorful space with large sheets of paper, lego and music. Think out-of-the-box – literally!
Remember to respect your team’s space by avoiding on-the-fly meetings around their own work cubicles.
Finally – always make sure there are ‘heads-down’ areas that are only used for quiet or reflective work and activities.
3. Remember your please’s and thank you’s
This should be an obvious and second nature tidbit, however too many managers think that they are above general, personal people skills.
If you cultivate a culture of asking for things respectfully, in a friendly tone and a direct, engaging manner, then you’ll almost never need to demand, aggressively chase up or chastise. Simply remembering your manners will do so much for morale and productivity.
4. ‘No Meeting Wednesdays’ – A tip from Facebook
Dustin Moskovitz, the Co-Founder of Facebook always sets one day a week that his teams know that no one will be called into meetings. He says “this is an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work. For me personally, it is often the one day each week I get to code.”
Having some simple and uninterrupted space every week will go a long way towards gaining productivity and respect from your team. You too will find it valuable!
5. Give creativity space – A tip from Google
Google gives all of its employees one day a week to work on personal creative projects that they think might benefit the company as a whole. Some of their most innovative and successful inventions, such as Google maps, have come out of this simple principle.
Give space to your team to work on an idea that they think will benefit what you do. You never know where the next great big lunge forward will come from!