I remember a time when I was a team lead at the organization. The team under me would never hesitate to tell me their issues and would turn to me whenever they faced a problem. It was not like I did not scold them for the mistakes they made or was not upset with the team when they miscommunicated the things to the client. Let me be honest, as a first-timer, there were times when I would just burst out at the mention of something going wrong. But, with time, I learnt and adjusted to the new leadership position and discovered the bitter way to tackle situations.
I remember how exactly things turned around for me. From being a tyrant boss, I went on to become an understanding boss for my team.
There was this developer in the team who had been working with the company for over 4 years. He had some issues with the client, and he observed that I was just interested in getting things done, without being bothered about how my team felt. He pointed it out to me in a one-to-one meeting and told me he felt demotivated as a result. He went on to tell me how my disinterest in the well-being of the team made him feel incompetent and stressed.
The meeting set me thinking of my role as a leader. I was just delegating the tasks and not actually leading them, which is why people in my team seemed unhappy with me. After a lot of introspection and time spent connecting with my team over their expectations with me, I realized they needed someone who could motivate them and guide them. They were aware of their tasks but, it would help if they got an excellent guide and mentor and not someone whose interest was just in getting them to finish the task list.
Here’s what my experience with the team taught me. These are a few tips that every new leader should inculcate in their lives so that they can lead the team in a better way.
What makes appreciation important?
The first question that hit me while I was introspecting was the need for appreciation. I had realized that the employees were expecting motivation and constant appreciation from me, but, the school of thought I ran then was that people had to be self-motivated. Why then, do I need to motivate them? Here is what I gathered from this thought process.
- People are continually doubting their actions, especially when you scold them for the wrongdoing or just keep telling them where they go wrong. The little word of appreciation helps them understand that they are not entirely wrong, and they are not people with no expertise or knowledge. In fact, it boosts their morale, and they are ready to accept the criticism you have lined up for them. They will even accept their faults and battle it out the nice way.
- When you motivate your employees to do things the right way or, guide them through the process, you will realize that the amount of rework that you used to be obsessed with would reduce effectively. You would actually get things done faster as they would know what is expected of them, and how you want things to roll.
- Employee retention is an important aspect of most organizations. If you are unable to retain employees, you will invariably increase the hiring cost for the company. The best way to deal with that is to increase retention. When you motivate and appreciate the employees, you tend to increase their productivity and also their morale, which in turn increases the retention. The employee will stick with you for a long while, as a result.
- The final deal of motivating employees is that you get better results and better performance. The idea of satisfied and happy employees is no longer a myth for you.
Tips for Managers to Motivate People
Team motivation is the key to getting better results for your company. If your team believes they can achieve it, then you have nailed it right, and you will get excellent results. However, the key is to keep the people motivated. Here are a few tips that should come handy to you.
- Empowering the employees: The first golden rule is to empower the employees with certain decision-making capabilities. For instance, the employees should be able to change the methods, the algorithms or even the basic premises based on their understanding. They need not take your permission for every client communication, and what they need to talk.
- Involve the team: When it comes to decision making, make sure the entire team is involved. Don’t make all the decisions related to the work, the timeline or the milestones on your own. Discuss it with the team, take their help in completing the timeline, and finally, send it to the client. Only when the team has the right to make the decisions, will they feel motivated, and will help you with the completion of the tasks.
- Appreciate small things: Even if it is a small accomplishment, make sure you acknowledge it and show gratitude towards the completion of the work. I realized this is important when the people around me started thanking me for results that were not great but of importance to them. They made me want to work harder and give my job my 100%.
- Performance appraisals are important: When you want to retain the employees and make sure they feel wanted, you should offer them good performance incentives. It is important to appraise their performance, give them rewards, and distinctly offer them promotions and monetary benefits as and when needed. They will also benefit from the appraisals and get the much-needed boost in their self-esteem.
- Seize the opportunity: Every single time you believe that you have an opportunity to appreciate someone, make sure you don’t lose out on that. It is important that you seize every bit of opportunity to reward and recommend your team.
- Keep showing career growth: As a leader, it is very important that you show the growth path to your employees. You need to tell them what is their growth path, and how they can move ahead in their career with the current opportunities in hand. Appreciate every move, and tell them what are the various things they can do to move to the next step in the ladder. These motivational talks and guidance will keep the employees rooted to the team, and help them perform with efficiency.
For managers, appreciating and motivating employees comes much before delegating the tasks and actually leading the team. They should connect with the team and communicate every aspect and understand the woes of the team. Listen to communicate and not to answer, so that you know what is going on within the team. Empower the individuals and the team and make sure that productivity is boosted as a result.
If you believe that productivity is going down and the efficiency of the employees is getting affected, you can connect with me. We can have a thorough understanding of what is going wrong before coming up with a solution for the same. You can mail or call me to get in touch with me with your requirements.