It can be a very challenging task to keep the team motivated and on track. When motivational levels are low leaders try various ways to get the blood pumping. The following three strategies are often used in the workplace with various success.
“.. We are going to be the best company in the world..come on let’s all YELL IT OUT!!!! We are the best, We are the best, We are the…”
You know how it goes. An inspirational speaker who has overcome all odds or the big speech from the CEO designed to rally everyone to new peaks in performance. This approach can create a great atmosphere and bring some short term change. The problem is that it doesn’t resonate with many people who, after leaving the chanting crowd, go back to business as usual. Also, in the light of the financial difficulties and uncertainties of the past few years, many people are more cautious when hearing hype and would much prefer straight talk.
This is really motivation 101, using an assumption that by offering rewards people will be motivated. While this is not untrue, it is certainly not the whole picture. Extravagant dinners and gifts will certainly make a lot of people happy, but will it motivate them to do the hard yards? People should be rewarded for great effort and attitudes, but some thought needs also to be given to what these rewards will be. Treats won’t buy off the negative effects of ineffective leadership and a lack of vision.
Sadly, for many leaders, this is the easiest and cheapest way of trying to motivate the team. Yelling, threatening and conveying anger and disappointment may result in the team working harder, but at what cost? The team will develop dysfunctional patterns and the motivation will only be out of fear. While the leader may feel that he/she has motivated the team, all they have done is exert their authority and made people comply.
What do you do to lift motivation levels in your team?