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Q. What is one thing I can do to inspire my team to work harder than we have been in order to meet goals without damaging morale?
One of the best things about running a marathon is hitting that finish line, which everyone participating knows is 26.2 miles away. Likewise, make sure your team knows where your finish line is, and what they’ll get for crossing it (a break, for example). This will act as a motivator. Having no (or an improbable) finish line can be very damaging. — Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
Generate buy-in by holding an open call for project ideas. During our last sprint, I asked my team for a features wishlist of what they’d like to build. Their enthusiasm made me feel even more inclined to empower them with these choices. Give your employees the honor of ownership. — Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR
The issue about working harder is about buy-in and understanding the tasks at hand. You’ve got to get your team to understand what you’re up against and what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s better to do this in small groups and to try to simplify it. — Luke Skurman, Niche.com
Do you know that it will be extra busy on a specific day? We found that when we greeted our employees with an explanation and a small treat, they were happy to help. Even something as simple as a latte can show your workers that you really care. We have even supplied babysitting when we felt our employees would have an easier time getting out to work. Think about your employees’ needs in advance. — Elliot Bohm, Cardcash.com
As Aristotle stated, “The whole is greater than the sum of all parts.” A team member might feel devalued or underestimate the value of their own work if they don’t clearly understand how everyone’s contributions have a direct impact on the overall goal. Accomplishing a goal is more rewarding when you know how you made an impact. — Kelsey Recht, VenueBook
I always want to reward employees for their success as we meet and exceed our goals. Throughout the year, we strive to have employee recognition events to show our true appreciation of our employees and their dedication to the company. Essentially, everyone wants to feel like part of a team environment, and we focus on highlighting our employees. — Sean Marszalek, SDC Nutrition, Inc.
This only holds value if you have already built a team that fosters a culture that rewards excellence. The best way to get people to work harder is for the leadership team to work harder. The greatest generals ate only when their troops did and stood with them in battle. This builds trust and respect, which gives your team the motivation to push through the hardest of times. — Rahim Charania, American Fueling Systems
Tell everyone the real story of WHY they need to hit goals and what they get if they are accomplished. Then tell them what happens if they don’t hit their goals. Morale should spike in a positive way if you have the right people. — Greg Vetter, Tessemae’s
Building a real-time dashboard or scoreboard for your team improves performance and enhances morale. It takes “your opinion versus mine” out of the equation. Accountability, performance and execution all improve. — Rob Nelson, Grow
Personal “thank yous” go a long way. Make sure your team knows that their hard work is appreciated, either with handwritten notes mailed to their homes or, if appropriate, small gifts. Appreciation and acknowledgement often mean more than fiscal rewards (like bonuses or raises), so make sure your team knows that their dedication doesn’t go unnoticed. — Brittany Hodak, ZinePak
It seems like we’re always hustling to meet some deadline or other and I frequently have to call on the team to try just a little bit harder. The only way to keep them from burning out is by easing up when things aren’t SO mission critical. As a leader, handing out well-earned praise and making sure that I give them the break time they need keeps them ready and willing to step up when needed! — Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media
According to Daniel Pink, motivation has three dimensions: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Are your company’s goals defined well enough for team members to creatively achieve those goals in their own way? Are they given time, support and access to training to do their job well? Does the problem your company solves resonate with the team still? Solve the issues impeding personal motivation. — Avery Fisher, Remedify