When in an upper management position, we must focus our efforts on growth and developing new opportunities, but it is also our responsibility to ensure that we have within our company a team that is loyal and more importantly, motivated.
After all, without a dedicated team, it will be very difficult and in the end impossible to achieve the objectives that we have set for the growth of our company’s bottom line. A team that is truly motivated that understands its importance and its purpose will function with greater efficiency and commitment.
To develop this motivation, upper management must first and foremost inspire each member of a given team to give their very best effort on an individual basis. More specifically, each employee must understand the importance of committing themselves to reaching the objectives directly related to their job that in turn will allow the team as a whole to reach the goals established by the company.
We must remember here that each member is an important part of the team as a whole and plays a key role in the performance of the overall department. An efficient and productive team is composed at its core of motivated individuals who are dedicated to reaching their objectives. That’s why, when seeking to motivate our team, we must personally manage each member of said team.
In order to do so, we must first reiterate that errors are human and that everyone has a right to make them once. Similar mistakes on a regular basis must be addressed quickly, but we must not create a situation where the employee is scared of working rapidly or taking risks because errors are often seen as unforgivable.
In a company that is growing and becoming more and more dynamic, we must let our team grow as well by allowing them to be creative and take chances. That can only happen if upper management understands that mistakes happen. Accepting them creates an environment where everyone can concentrate on achieving the goals of the company with any additional pressure. Not allowing for errors the first time they occur will be detrimental to creating a feeling of belonging that we are trying to instill in everyone.
We must then encourage everyone to work towards the company’s global objective by reiterating the importance of the goals we have set for ourselves. In doing so, employees will take an active and proactive role, not limiting themselves only to their responsibilities by pushing others to other team members on the grounds that “it is not my job to do this”.
This is only possible if there is transparent and regular communication between upper management and employees. Isolating the employees from what is happening within the company will create a barrier between the company’s objectives and those of each team member that ultimately will not encourage proactive behavior.
We must also focus the attention of the employees on the short term, and simple and precise goals whose achievement can and will be recognized rapidly. Setting only long term goals means that recognition does not come on a regular basis, making it harder to develop a sense of loyalty while increasing the risk that our team losses motivation. On the other hand, regular rewards for positive results achieved consistently favor a sense of belonging to the mission of the company.
When training for a marathon, you have to set weekly goals that pertain to the distance you want to successfully master. If one aims to run 42 km the first week, it becomes more difficult to get motivated. Dividing the distance into shorter segments that have to be successfully completed every week will help motivate and dedicate us. It’s the same principle when managing a team working on an important and continuous project. Divide the project into steps, and reward the completion of each of them.
A simple way to do that is to establish regular performance reviews that lead to immediate individual and collective rewards.
Although achieving and rewarding short-term goals are important, it is essential to offer our employees an environment where they can grow. It is important to create a culture where efforts are rewarded with more responsibility and advancement within the company. An employee with the impression that they find themselves under a glass ceiling will be less motivated to provide maximum effort. Responsibilities then become a transient job, not the first step toward a rewarding career.
When we are growing as a company, there are several opportunities that are created. By recognizing the talents of your employees, and taking the time to discover their interests, you give them the chance to seize these opportunities, thereby increasing their sense of belonging to the company.
On the other hand, we must also reinforce the notion that there are consequences when we do not achieve the required results. The term required here is very important because to say that we simply want to achieve certain steps towards the successful outcome of a project is not enough. We must communicate to our team the negative outcomes of not reaching our goals, such as a negative reaction from our customers or the loss of a contract which leads to less work being available.
A good manager understands the importance of every employee within the company. They are your most valuable resources, those that allow a sustained and exponential growth. So make sure to communicate with your employees. More importantly, get to know each personality on the floor in order to learn how to motivate them to give their very best effort in a pleasant and serene environment where they feel at home.