A motivated team helps in achieving goals

Concern quotient

A motivated team helps in achieving goals

Today’s workforce is more sophisticated, more informed and ambitious than ever before. The individual managers’ behaviour and style can contribute to dissatisfaction or demotivation among the work force which can adversely affect the organisational objectives. People quit their jobs for a variety of reasons, with the lack of motivation being one of the major contributing factors.

Even with the lure of more money, people who are reasonably content with their work and are constantly motivated by their leaders (at all levels) seldom go out looking for other jobs. There is of course value in the incentives, reviews and promotions, stock options and bonus as there is with basic salary. But the most powerful motivators are internal, not external.    
    
Motivation means using the deepest preference to move and guide us towards our goals, to help us take initiative and strive towards improvement and to persevere in the face of setbacks and frustrations. Motivation can also mean emotional tendencies that guide or facilitate reaching set goals.

Managerial definition
Motivation is a strong will and action in people to do the required things cheerfully, willingly and persistently until the desired organisational objectives are achieved. In other words, motivation is what moves your team to pursue set goals; which in turn drives the team’s perception and shape each team member’s actions.   

Managing your people in the assigned team productively and effectively is perhaps the most challenging task facing today’s managers. Keeping your team members motivated consistently is crucial to generate an achievement drive and commitment. For achieving desired motivation and results, the manager (leader) must implement the following well-tried steps:

Help team members
When the company introduces a new product or develops a new project or evolves a new strategy/system, your team members require training/guidelines either by you or by HO personnel but the most important thing is that you should provide help and support your team members, particularly juniors, to enable each one of them to know what to do and how to do it.

Demonstrate the needful with them. Encourage each one of them to practice which can result in generating self confidence in each of your team members. This approach of ‘help and support’ facilitates healthy interpersonal relationships and builds a motivated and enthusiastic team.  Always remember that the average manager tells what to do, the good manager explains how to do and an effective manager demonstrates and inspires his team.            
 
Recognising positive results
When any of your team members achieves positive results, prompt recognition and sincere appreciation will help in keeping the team-members consistently enthusiastic and confident. In the present day work environment many communication channels are available. If not personally (if the team-member is away from your location); thru telephone or mobile or e-mail. If necessary, a copy of this communication can be sent to other members to make each one of them feel enthusiastic and confident   
    
Nurture potential  
As a manager, you may have the necessary ability. But a good manager has the ability to discover ability in his team members.

You must help them to acknowledge their own successes and failures. Counsel, coach and encourage them at every possible opportunity.

If employees are perceived as potentials rather than problems, possessing strengths rather than weaknesses, they will be more productive and grow to their capabilities.
Each person is unique and has a fair amount of excellence in him. The team leader has to identify the person’s excellence and channel its direction to achievement of organisational objectives.

Sincerity and Respect
Sincerely supporting your team members is a positive activity. It is not just about helping people move forward. Ultimately, support is what you give to enable people to do more on their own. The essence of good support and guidance is clear communication and your availability as and when required.

This will enable you as a team leader to develop a strong trust bond with your team members which in turn facilitate the development of an effective team of satisfied productive individuals, held together through healthy interpersonal relationships.   
 
Understanding needs
As a manager, your approach should always be people oriented. The employees’ problems and needs are as important as the organisational objectives. Your ultimate objective is to develop relationships with employees so that they are motivated to accomplish organisational goals of their own volition. Point out problems; don’t solve them. Let the team member solve his own problems with your help. When you intrude too closely on your subordinates’ personal space territory, you will notice that they become uncomfortable and uneasy.

If your team member is allowed to ‘discover’ the solution for himself, it will have more personal meaning and value. Hence, it is more likely to be implemented enthusiastically. All the steps mentioned above, build motivation and mutual commitment to perform and achieve desired results.

But the question is can one person constantly motivate others? And the answer is ‘no’. People always motivate themselves. As mentioned earlier, the most powerful motivators are internal and not external. However one can inspire and energise others so as to motivate themselves.

Classic Example
Kapil Dev was the captain in 1983 and he led the team from the front, with both bat and ball. Right from the match against Zimbabwe to the final match against powerful West Indies, he inspired the team all the way to the title.

This inspiration resulted in motivating each team member to work towards the desired result of winning the World Cup.

The question now is can you convert those who are indifferent/diffident? The answer is ‘yes, you can’.

This is how you can do it. Identify and analyse strengths and weaknesses of the concerned team member. This should be done before you schedule a meeting with him. Understand his behaviour and know his perception of his work, objectives and your behaviour. During the meeting be a good listener, understand his limitations and at the appropriate time express your confidence based on his potential. Ensure development of mutual understanding and goals. Conclude the meeting on a positive note.

More you understand indifferent team members, more effective you will be in keeping your team members motivated and energetic. As a Manager, you should always keep your team members constantly motivated. For this purpose your focus should be on development of your people.

Prioritise your task with each team member. As a Manager, you must constantly improve and strengthen your managerial skills: Enabling, Communicating, Listening, Feedback, Follow-up and Relationships, which can help you in keeping team members constantly motivated.

It is accepted that there are other factors such as salary, increments, etc which do contribute towards motivating work force.
Here the Manager needs to analyse controllable and non-controllable factors.
     
(The writer is a Bangalore-based Marketing & HRD consultant and can be reached at shettydm@rediffmail.com)

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