Good results are achieved especially when you have a team of passionate and dedicated individuals. However, there are times when they lack zeal in getting work done. The key is to motivate them. But how?
Refresh them with your project's mission. People work if they know there's a reason to. Stating the purposes of a project highlights the team's contribution in achieving those objectives. It gives them a feeling of self-fulfillment, especially if expected outcomes are clarified to them. Once is enough, though. No one will find it inspiring if you just nag about the why's and how's of your project.
Boost your team's morale. Praise your group for their skills. You may cite past projects, which you know became successful mainly because of your team's genuine and creative ideas and their determination to make these ideas work. Avoid mentioning failed or "blooper" projects as these will just add to your team's low spirit. Give them tokens of appreciation such as plates or mugs bearing their exemplary performance at work, or complimenting their loyalty to your company. These things will definitely make your team feel important. Likewise, they will be motivated to give the same degree of service, or better yet, do better in the future.
Provide incentives for a job well done. Reward your team for their accomplishment of a task, or even for their perfect attendance. Incentives such as salary bonuses, lunch or dinner treats, gift certificates, and other freebies, are perfect ideas for keeping your team motivated.
Encourage cooperation among your group through team-building activities. Take your team to a three-day seminar to enhance their working capacity, thus providing professional growth. On the other hand, other companies opt for sports events to have some time off from the hustle and bustle, yet encourage teamwork through leisure activities. That way, your team will not feel burned out, since you are acknowledging their prerogative to enjoy life even in the midst of work.
Give the center stage to your team. Leaders tend to dominate the scene and dictate instructions for their team to follow. However, this practice discourages the rest of the team because they feel left out. One way of motivating them is to let them handle a project by themselves, with the leader as a mere facilitator. Solicit and consider the members' ideas. Do not be afraid to stretch the box! For all you know, your team can squeeze lots of creative juices which may be beneficial to a project. Give them the chance to conceptualize from time to time. Doing so is a proof that you trust your team, and that you believe in the kind of output they can produce. You may also subtly ask them for comments and suggestions. Referring to your team as your "mirror" will no doubt motivate them because you are giving them the opportunity to view a project based on their perspectives. Considering them as your partners, and not just as team members, is a vital ingredient for a successful project.
Be honest and unbiased with your feedbacks. More than anything else, feedbacks will gauge whether your team is doing okay or not. If you think the performance is a notch below the average, do not make it appear as they have done excellently. Likewise, avoid, at all costs, exaggerating the feedback, as if their best will never be enough. Be honest, but provide realistic comments and suggestions, and point out some practical solutions. Giving constructive criticisms help motivate individuals, and target problem areas as well. When providing feedbacks, it is better to address it to the team in general, rather than point out a specific person. In a group, everything is everybody's business, since they must rely on each other to yield positive outcomes.
Working with a team may be a little challenging for you deal with all sorts of people. They key lies in your motivating strategies as a leader. A successful group must be filled with persons who face little, if not none, negative issues regarding their profession. Once you know how to encourage your team, it would be easier for you to manage them, and they might even thank you for it.