7 Tips For Motivating Your Team (Even When The Going Gets Tough)
“ When people are crystal clear about the most important priorities of the organization and team they work with, and prioritize their work around those top priorities, not only are they many times more productive, they discover they have the time they need to have a whole life.”
You can spend months defining your team’s core values, articulating your Mission and Vision, and fashioning a flexible, up-to-the-minute strategy — but your whole tower will crumble if your team members don’t feel motivated enough to execute rapidly and consistently.
If their collective attitude boils down to “Who cares?” then you’ve lost the game before you’ve even begun.
If that’s true, then who’s at fault?
Well, you can blame your team if you like. You can even punish them for being unmotivated — a dangerous form of self-sabotage that will most likely force you farther toward failure. Or you can decide to shoulder the responsibility and work to engage your team and rev their motivational engines.
“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” So said legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, who had plenty of experience with both commitment and motivation.
The son of a second-generation Italian-American butcher whose business prospered during the Great Depression, Lombardi grew up with daily exposure to the type of commitment required not just to survive but to thrive during hard times. He later earned a football scholarship to Fordham University, where he picked up the skills necessary to excel as a coach at West Point, and later with the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, and Washington Redskins.
What can you do to inspire your team to the Lombardi level of commitment? Start by showing them you believe in them; you are going to hold them to a higher standard, because you have confidence they can achieve it.
Try these tips, especially when the going gets tough:
1. Make sure everyone understands the big picture
If your team isn’t already familiar with the organization’s main goals, then lay them out in plain language.
Show them where they fit within the organizational structure, and why their work moves everyone toward those goals. Make them feel valued, so they’ll have reason to engage with and “own” their jobs.
2. Give them what they need
If team members lack the right tools or training, they may not feel capable of or confident about doing the tasks you’ve assigned them. Whether they need training, a new computer, a smartphone, or a better printer, make it happen, so they can move forward with confidence.
If they express a need for something to help them be more productive, and you fail to provide or approve it, they soon will stop coming to you with improvement ideas.
3. Plan carefully
Because long-term strategies r