Spring Into Team Motivation

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Behavior is like a glacier.

We can see 10 percent of the glacier on the surface, but the other 90 percent is below the surface. That 90 percent represents the “why” ofBrinkGlacierIllustration personal behavior. On the surface, two people may behave similarly, but the reasons why they exhibit a particular behavior may be vastly different. People are driven by motivators, representing their individual needs, values and driving forces. While behavior (positive or negative) is seen by all, what motivates that behavior often remains under the surface.

In the workplace, managers tend to manage everyone in the same way. When their techniques fail to result in a desired behavior, they assume the employee is the problem, not the delivery. After all, other employees may have responded positively. BRIN1444 Photo_MotivatedTeamThe mistake is not recognizing that everyone needs to be managed differently because each person is motivated by different things. For example, one person may be motivated by money, while another person may be motivated by learning. For someone motivated by learning, the raises, bonuses and incentives won’t make much difference if the employee is left unchallenged and without mentorship. The employee will not feel understood by the manager. This will lead to less motivation to perform the job well.

So how can managers successfully motivate their teams? It starts by knowing what motivates each team member. Behavioral assessment tools, such as ProScan®, can uncover a person’s motivators, as well as their individual strengths and stressors. This brings awareness to both the manager and the employee and helps reve
al what lies in that 90 percent below the surface of personal behavior.

The things that motivate people speak to their sense of well being. These motivators will evolve over time as people mature and better understand what matters most to them. While money may motivate an employee in the spring of her career, it may not continue to provide motivation to the seasoned professional who is seeking meaningful and challenging work.

Ultimately, good managers find out what motivates their employees by listening to them. People want to be understood. They want to feel their organization cares about their wellbeing.

Surveys of American workers have identified several motivators which go beyond monetary compensation. What follows is a list of six commonly indicated motivating factors in the workplace:

  • Pleasant Work Environment — Create a workplace environment that is healthy, organized and inviting. Arrange work spaces to promote communication and foster creativity. Make it feel pleasant to come to work.
  • Personal Recognition — Reward outstanding performance, not just with monetary gain, but also with praise in front of peers. This boosts morale and lets your employees know their work is appreciated.
  • Meaningful Work — People want to know their work matters. Underutilizing an employee’s skills and strengths is demotivating. Give team members challenging work with the opportunity to excel and contribute in a meaningful way to the organization’s goals.
  • Healthy Relationships — The relationship between employee and employer should be mutually beneficial. Leadership must be trustworthy. People want to feel their managers care about them on a personal level, not just as a production unit. Managers also should promote healthy peer relationships and cooperation through team building activities.
  • Stability – Today’s fast-paced workplace environments are often filled with anxiety-inducing changes. Boosting your employees’ sense of security will motivate them to work harder, with more loyalty toward the organization and toward managers who they feel “have their back.”
  • Career Advancement — Employees lose motivation when they sense a career plateau. Create doors of opportunity for your people. Find out their long-term goals and help them achieve them. No one wants to feel “stuck” in a stable but unfulfilling job. As employees advance in their careers, they want to contribute in ways which will have a lasting impact on the organization.

Focusing on this list will help create a motivating work environment; however, never assume you know what motivates an individual employee. Keep the lines of communication open, and adjust your management style accordingly. It’s time to spring into motivating your team!

Allow Brink results to assist you in uncovering your team’s hidden potential! Call 239-334-1050 and ask for Jessica to set up ProScan® for your team.