Question : The industry I am in has felt the effect of the recession sharply. Motivation in my team is low and performance has suffered. How can I address this, given that there’s no possibility of increasing financial rewards?
Heather Dunwoody, partner at CMD Consulting, replies:
Answer: This is a common challenge, and it’s in this situation that managers need to devote time to motivating and developing their teams. Interestingly, research has shown that factors like pay and benefits are of limited value in motivating people on a day-to-day basis.
The good news is that the most powerful motivation comes from things that you as a manager can influence. Key motivators have been found to be — a sense of achievement, recognition for a job well done and opportunities to learn.
Here are a few ideas that, though simple, can have a significant impact. Have regular team-time together. Use it to discuss something that is important to team members. It doesn’t have to be long or highly structured; a 10-minute catch up every few days is enough.
Encourage team members to share their skills and expertise with others. This can give a real sense of achievement.
Celebrate success together. It’s especially important in difficult times to mark the smallest achievement, even if it’s just with coffee and buns.
Give recognition and feedback to team members so that everyone knows that what they have done well is seen and valued by you.
It’s also important to pass on all positive comments from customers or other departments.
And finally, remember that you are undergoing the same challenges and stresses as your team.
It’s vitally important to look after your own health and wellbeing and to give yourself the same consideration as you give to your team.