Do you find yourself struggling with motivation, or are unable to motivate your team? You're not alone!
All pandemic stress aside, we are at the point in the year when momentum slows down; the inspiration of the New Year wears off, the feeling of burn out creeps back up, and winter weather starts to get serious (at least in NYC where I'm writing from!)
The struggle of motivating others – or motivating yourself – can seem an insurmountable challenge. Most people generally know what needs to be done, but the trouble is that they don’t do it. This could be for any number of reasons, which is why we've compiled a list of easy, accessible strategies for motivation. No matter what the excuse, these strategies are straightforward and simple.
By employing any one of these strategies, you'll be one step closer to motivating yourself or your team to achieve a goal or accomplish a task.
Simple Strategies for Team and Self Motivation:
- Offer incentives. People are motivated when they have something to look forward to. An eager team working toward a reward will almost always be more productive than a team struggling to keep their jobs. Since most salespeople are still working from home, you will probably have to get creative with the incentive. Perhaps offer up time off, a care package or happy hour covered by your business. Whatever matches your company's culture best.
- Identify the destination, but not the path. Giving too detailed instructions or having to micromanage people can overwhelm the team. Instead, set clear goals, and let your team figure out how to accomplish them. Be supportive as needed, but give your team the opportunity to come up with ideas themselves. By encouraging your team to get inventive, you show that you trust their ability to deliver.
- Foster a learning culture. People will be more effective when they can build on each others' strength, and no one wants to let the team down. A team-oriented, learning environment is key to a motivated team. Check out our eBook on establishing a learning culture.
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- Recognize achievement. Provide both one-on-one and group recognition. Everyone likes to know that their work is appreciated. Even just a few words of affirmation can go a long way. Especially in these difficult times, acknowledging your team's hard work can boost morale and make folks want to continue doing good work.
- Create a game and have fun some. People love to solve problems and overcome challenges. Turn your goal into a game and enthusiasm will soar. This is a great way to bond your team, even with the distance of working from home.
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- Give prompt feedback. Feedback, whether positive or negative, should be given quickly and often. Don’t wait until it’s too late to let someone know they’re going in the wrong direction or else you'll have wasted their time, the company's time, and your own time. Think of yourself as a guide, or a coach, and offer feedback that is constructive so your team is set on the right path.
- Identify the consequences of failure. For some people, hearing the potential consequences of failure is just what they need to inspire them to work harder. This doesn't work for everyone; some people might not do well with this kind of pressure. But if you know you have the kind of team that thrives under stress, you can clearly communicate what will happen if the team doesn't succeed by making people aware of the results for everyone involved.
- Set clear milestones. Everyone procrastinates, and one big deadline is an invitation for failure. Instead, set up a series of milestones that will lead you to your goal.
- Demand improvement. Continue to set higher targets. It’s easy to stagnate when goals never change. Setting new targets gives your team the chance to prove how far they've come.
- Communicate. This is perhaps the most important strategy of all. If there is anything we've learned from this past year, it's that transparency is imperative. Communicate openly and respectfully with your team, and they will do the same with you.
- Create opportunities. Lastly, people need to know they have the opportunity to advance. Make sure they know that their hard work will pay off. If they know they are growing towards something greater, they are more likely to rise to the challenge.
Remember: action precedes motivation. Just taking the step do employ any of these strategies could be what ends up motivating you to keep going. Good luck!
Do you have any different strategies for achieving team and self motivation? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at us at @CFSPlayBook! And be sure to check out our Let's Talk Sales podcast for inspirational episodes to keep you motivated.