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How to keep your team motivated in the crunch time?


I am sure, as a manager, you must have encountered a situation where your team has been working very hard for past few months to get that next product out of the door. And due to this situation, everyone in your team feels under-appreciated and overworked. And you don’t know how to keep your team motivated. Does this sound familiar?……..Through this blog, I would try to give you some tips through which you can keep your employees motivated during this crunch time.

Provide feedback: As far as feeling under-appreciated goes, this has to be the #1 killer of team’s motivation. During the crunch time, our focus is so much on the end result that we forget to provide feedback to our team. Sometimes it is very crucial to provide constant feedback to your team on how they are doing. This behavior not only conveys the message that you care for your team, but it also gives you the opportunity to correct any mistakes in your current process.

Communicate purpose: The second biggest killer of self-motivation is negativity. When we set personal expectations at a level that are unattainable, we start to invent reasons for why we are not achieving our goals. We start thinking about past failures that have not gone our way and weak points in our character or at least in our working style. This causes us to come up with all the reasons that we can’t succeed. Hence, to keep your team motivated, you not only need to accept that the timeline given for the project was too aggressive, but you need to also provide them with the reason of ‘why we are doing, what we are doing’. This will provide your team with some background on why you are having these aggressive deadlines, and how it will impact the business, if you don’t meet those deadlines. Also, (if possible) you need to provide them with some blueprint of the plan, so that this doesn’t happen again.

Positive reinforcement: During these tough times, I would recommend you to remember old success stories, and recognize it for what it was. The power of this kind of positive reinforcement and positive feedback can’t be underestimated. Make sure that your team is getting the positive feedback from you that they need. Always make sure to restate your team’s and individual achievements during your team meetings and one-on-one meetings with your team members. This will encourage your team to keep going.

I hope these tips will help you to keep your team motivated in the crunch time. What would you do in this situation? How will you keep your team motivated?

Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi.

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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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Motivate your employees with “Why”


Have you ever wonder about how Apple and Google makes itself the best place for employment than other organizations. They have the same pool of talent, technology, and resources as any other organization in the world. So, how are they able to attract motivated people than other organizations? Do you think its their lucrative salary package? You may be completely wrong, if you think that money can motivate people to perform their best. I am not denying that money can’t motivate you, I am saying that  money can’t be the only thing that can motivate you to do your best. Don’t you agree?

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Those days are long gone, where people were working in labor intensive jobs (production jobs). In the 21st century, with latest technological equipments, most of the employees use tools/machines to get their work done. You can certainly motivate your production employees by providing money as an incentive, but you can’t motive your other employees through the same technique. In fact in one research by Dan Pink, he talks about – how money does not motivates us to do our best.

I personally believe that – its not “what you do” that motivates your employees. But its “why you do it” that motivates your employees. Lets put this concept in to your life. I am sure that you must have come across some situations in your lives, when you must have had an employee, who was not motivated. The most common technique that you might have adopted must be “fear”. You must have communicated something like – “You need to finish this, otherwise….”. Do you realized, what did you do? You communicated – what he/she needs to do. Lets consider an another scenario. Lets assume that  you communicated to him personally and said something like – “Your work is important, and this is how it helps the team, and this is why we do it”. Don’t you think this approach would have worked better?

Take Linux for an example. Linux is an open source software, which is used as a corporate server in 1 out of 5 organizations. And surprisingly enough, it is free. Why would someone make something, if he/she doesn’t get any benefits out of it? The answer lies in my headline – “motivation through why”. Lot of people believe in open source platforms, they believe in the “why”, and that’s why they are willing to create these kind of software for free. So, next time if you see a poor performer in your team, then don’t directly jump in to “how to fix it”, instead help him understand “why you are doing the work that you do”. I guarantee that – you will see some positive result at the end of that discussion.

I hope my blog helped you understand Leadership from a different perspective. Let me know your opinion through your comments. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2010 in 21st Century, Leadership

 

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