(It will be in my print newsletter in May too!)
Here’s Why Your Team Doesn’t Seem Motivated
You walk around the corner of your building and you see a pack of employees laughing and joking. One of them spots you and the group breaks up and they busily scurry to do their work. You probably want your employees enjoying their time at work but you also want them to do their work while they’re conversing.
The Myth and Reality Of Motivation
Have you ever wished your team was more motivated? Have you ever wondered whether you could motivate them so they would give 100 percent of their effort while they’re at work? Have you ever read books on employee motivation? Well, stop trying to motivate your team. It’s impossible.
Many business owners try to motivate their team. But here’s the reality: motivation is internal. It’s something each individual feels within themselves. As a manager or owner, you can inspire your team, and that inspiration will help them feel motivated. But you can’t motivate them yourself.
Money Does Not Equal Motivation
Many business owners think that their team is motivated or inspired by money, and they don’t understand why employees would risk losing their job by not performing at the highest levels. However, money isn’t what motivates people. Money is a tool. Money itself doesn’t motivate people; what really motivates people is what they do with their money. If you want to know how to inspire your team, find out how they spend their money.
Does one of your employees repair a classic car? Does another employee play guitar in a weekend band? Does one of your employees save their money so they can put their kids through college? Does another employee use their money to take care of an elderly parent? Forget money – THESE are the true motivations of your employees.
What your team spends their money on, and what they spend their time on, will be the clearest indicator of their motivations. Those things are the reason they show up to work every morning.
Get to Know Your Team and You’ll Get More Out of Your Team
Rather than becoming frustrated because it feels like you have to beg and bribe your team to do their work, spend some time getting to know each member of your team. Find out how they spend their money and what they do in their spare time. Discover their hobbies, interests, and priorities in life.
This relationship, just like any other relationship in your life, will take time and interaction and questions. Don’t interrogate them. Rather, take an interest in their life outside of work and you’ll discover what drives your employees.
Then, when you want to help your team give all they’ve got, remind each one about what motivates them to come to work and draw the connection between the work they do and their ability to spend their money and free time on that priority in their life.
And when an employee isn’t working to the standard that you expect at your company, ask them about their life beyond work. Has their motivation changed? Sometimes, employees just need to be reminded about how the work they do supports the things that are truly important to them.