When you are managing a team that’s faced setbacks, is struggling or just needs some motivation, the first thing to do is to find out why. Ask individuals behind closed doors and listen to their answers. Try to empathize and be positive without being dismissive of their concerns.
Be wary of exploring their uneasiness and frustration in a full team meeting. This can sometimes result in angry outbursts and accusations and cause more interpersonal squabbles than solving problems.
Once you’ve heard the concerns, address the problems if you can. Vary the workload or change their tasks to things you know they’re capable of to help build confidence and stimulate positive momentum. Encourage an ongoing dialogue with you until the frustration dissipates and the team is back to full function again.
Here are three more tips for keeping your discouraged team engaged and motivated.
Inspire, don’t micromanage
People are more productive when they feel their work truly matters in the world, so focus on the impact each person’s work has on the whole company, but not on financial results. Communicate the big picture and why everyone matters.
Don’t place blame on individuals because this can further discourage them. Instead, focus on the whole team. When a team mindset prevails, individuals are usually more responsive because they’re conscious of how they’re helping and affecting their colleagues.
Inspire your employees to feel committed, productive and satisfied. This will help them maximize their performance and help them to stay in their jobs longer.
Give them what they need
Equip your team so each employee is set up with the tools for success. This might mean the most efficient or up-to-date technology or the most comprehensive training. Show them you trust them enough to really invest in them. The results will be more capable, confident team members to power your business.
Establish and reward goals
Once you set up fair and attainable performance goals for your team, provide tracking metrics to hold them accountable. Celebrate the successes. This can mean public pats on the back, cash rewards or even something as simple as treats in the break room. Have the value of the reward match the significance of the goal on the company. The more ownership employees have of their day to day, the more motivated and engaged they’ll be.