In short, no. You still have a fixable problem if you caught it early enough. You can go down the route of the typical methods such as introducing a bonus scheme, an open one-to-one conversation or a day off to recharge, but these are short term fixes and won’t solve your underlying issues.
You need to think outside the box and introduce measures that will motivate your team in the long run. Here are 8 motivation tactics you may have never considered before.
1. Be transparent
More and more businesses, especially start-ups, are being open about the business’ performance from web traffic to costs and revenue to the number of sign-ups. I’m not suggesting that every business should be this open, but by providing some transparency to your employees will help them understand how their role positively affects the business. This, in turn, makes them feel important and drives new ideas on how they can improve things.
2. Say ‘well done’ at least once a day
We all like recognition, but it doesn’t have to be a full-blown awards ceremony or email to everyone in the business. A simple, yet often ‘well done’ or ‘that’s some great work’ will do the same job. Too many managers forget to give credit where it’s due and don’t give the employee their appreciation.
3. Be kind
Gone are the days of a ruthless manager barking orders at every employee and expecting admiration and respect in return. Today, this just does the opposite and demotivates people. New research from DDI suggests that 57% of employees leave because of their boss, so if you have a lot of team members leaving, maybe it’s time to reflect on your own management style. Alternatively, be a friend to them, help solve their work challenges, give them your valuable time, and you will be rewarded with a highly motivated employee.
4. Forget the micro-management
If there’s one phrase I’ve never heard it’s “I’m so happy the way my manager micro-manages every aspect of my job”. We as humans like autonomy and freedom to feel in control of our own time and energy. As a manager, try trusting your team as this is the foundation for any relationship and in the long-term will help you build a self-sufficient team that wants to work for you.
5. Use gamification
Never heard of gamification? It’s a simple way of turning work-related tasks into a game. Take your most important tasks and add elements such as badges for hitting milestones or other rewards for completing a task on time. Think about your favourite smartphone apps, where you are encouraged to use the app to gain bonuses. This approach will add much needed friendly competition amongst employees and give them back the ‘spark’ that was lost.
6. Make your team feel part of a team
Matching uniforms are a great way to signal that you’re ‘part of a team’. Think about the team spirit sports teams have like athletics or football. Matching uniforms originally were to signal one team from another, however now it’s a sense of unity, identity and co-operation. When players or employees match, they know they are as one, working towards achieving the same end goal. To do this, you can simply get your employees branded t-shirts and swag like hats, pens or even more fun items like sunglasses or inflatables.
7. Friendly competition, not cutthroat competition
As mentioned above, friendly competition is a good motivator for your team. However, if you as a manager encourages a higher level of competitive spirit, it could morph into a cutthroat culture focusing on self-interest and not the benefit of the team. This is one reason why sales teams usually have one or two stand out performers but the rest work in fear of not meeting goals. Show every employee that they have a role to play in achieving the target, even if that’s as a support role.
8. Ask them what they want
In most cases, your employees will know what makes them tick. Ask them directly what changes they would like to see. This could be an office dog or breaking down projects into manageable chunks to decorating the office or flexible working. Just remember to actually carry out these changes to show your care about their ideas; otherwise, your employees could slip further down the motivation ladder.