Imagine: you’ve been working for a particular company for a while. The team you started out on has slowly been disbanded and replaced with people who have different skillsets. Management changes have left you feeling like a cog in a machine. Your job satisfaction has hit an all-time low.
Now imagine: you are part of a team where everyone is working towards a common goal. Everyone is motivated and excited to come to work each day. You feel valued and appreciated by your team members and management. Job satisfaction is high.
Which team would you rather be on?
It’s clear that team motivation is essential for any organization that wants to be successful. A motivated team will be more productive, creative, and cohesive than a team that lacks motivation.
Now, that sounds all fine and dandy, but how do you know when your team is lacking motivation? What are the early telltale signs you should look out for, and what can you do, as a company, to establish a healthier, more supportive, more motivated team dynamic?
In this article, we’ll cover all of these topics and more. We’ll discuss the importance of team motivation, explore the early signs that your team may need a motivational strategy, and provide some tips for how you can motivate your team more effectively.
Is Stress the Main Factor for Lack of Motivation?
It’s no secret that stress can harm our health and wellbeing. But did you know that it can also be a major factor in team productivity?
A 2021 Work and Wellbeing survey conducted by the APA (American Psychological Association) found that those who typically felt stressed out at work were more than three times as likely to seek employment elsewhere within the next year (71 percent vs. 20 percent).
The same survey has also shown that close to three in five employees (59 percent) had been impacted by work-related stress — including a lack of motivation or energy (26 percent), difficulty focusing (21 percent), and a lack of effort at work (19 percent).
Needless to say, stress plays a major role in team motivation, but is it the main factor? That’s tough to say, as many different factors can contribute to a team’s lack of motivation. However, it’s safe to say that stress is definitely one of the major factors — if not the main factor.
Factors that Contribute to Unmotivated Employees
Team motivation is essential to keeping employees on track and ensuring that they are productive. Several factors can contribute to team motivation, including:
- Heavy workload
If team members feel that they are constantly under a lot of pressure and have an excessive workload, this can lead to a heightened amount of stress that will end up with them losing their drive to complete tasks.
- Long work hours
Having employees work long hours is not only unsustainable but damaging to their wellbeing. If they feel that they are not being given enough time to rest and relax, this can lead to burnout and impact their motivation levels.
- Unsuitable working environment
If the working environment is not conducive to team members being productive, this can also lead to team members feeling unmotivated. Poor lighting, noise levels, and temperature can all contribute to an unsuitable working environment.
- Co-worker/management conflicts
Conflict with co-workers or management can create resentment in the workplace. If they feel that they are not being treated fairly or that their opinions are not valued, this will significantly decrease motivation and productivity.
- No opportunity for advancement
If team members feel like they are stuck in their current position with no opportunity for advancement, they can become unmotivated and begin to seek growth opportunities elsewhere.
- The feeling of under-appreciation
Team members won’t be willing to put effort into their work if they feel under-appreciated by their company. If their hard work is not being recognized or they are being underpaid for their contributions, this can lead to a decrease in motivation.
- Trust issues with major management decisions
If team members do not trust the decisions that management is making, and feel like they are being led astray or that their company is headed in the wrong direction, this can cause them to gradually detach from the organization.
- Outside-of-work issues (family illness, bereavement, or financial concerns)
Obviously, if team members are dealing with personal issues outside of work, this can have a major impact on their motivation levels. It is important for employers to be understanding and accommodating when team members are going through tough times.
The above are just some of the key factors that can contribute to unmotivated employees. If you are an employer or team leader, it is important to be aware of these factors so that you can address them head-on. By doing so, you can create a more motivated and productive team.
Tell-Tale Signs Your Team is Lacking Motivation
There are a few key tell-tale signs that your team may be lacking motivation. If you notice any of the following, it may be time to take action:
- Increased absences
If team members are taking more sick days or vacation days, it could be a sign that they’re burned out or want to escape their work environment.
- Continuously late
If team members are regularly coming in late or leaving early, it may be a sign that they’re not motivated to go to work or stay at work.
- Negative comments
If team members are making negative comments about the company, the team, or their work, that’s their way of saying that they are not happy with their current situation.
- Lack of participation in team activities/meetings
If team members are not participating in team activities or meetings, it may be a sign that they’re not engaged with their work.
- Lack of focus
If team members seem to be constantly distracted or disinterested in their work, it may be a sign that they’re not motivated to do their job.
- Lack of productivity
If team members are not meeting deadlines or producing quality work, it could be a sign that they’re not motivated to do their job.
- A noticeable drop in their performance
If team members are not performing at their usual levels, it may be a sign that they’re not motivated to do their job.
- Sleeping difficulties
Team members who have difficulty sleeping or aren’t getting enough hours of sleep may be experiencing work stress or find that their work schedule isn’t flexible to their needs.
- Showing signs of depression and anxiety
If team members are displaying signs of depression or anxiety, such as social withdrawal or irritability, it could be a sign that they’re lacking the support they need.
If you see any of these signs, it’s important to have a conversation with your team members to see what is going on and how you can help them be more successful.
How Can You Motivate and Inspire Your Team?
There are many ways to motivate employees, but the most effective ways to motivate employees are those that address their specific needs and provide them with a sense of ownership and control.
When employees feel like they are a part of the company and have a vested interest in its success, they are more likely to be motivated to do their best work.
Here are the most essential principles to implement when inspiring and motivating a team:
Set Specific Goals and Share Your Vision
When you’re working towards a common goal with your team, it’s important to not only keep everyone focused and on track, but advocates for your vision.
You can do this by setting specific goals and sharing your vision for the project by communicating regularly either through one-on-one check-ins or team meetings. This helps to ensure that everyone is aware of the project’s purpose and knows what needs to be done to contribute to its success.
It is important during these meetings to sell your vision and to get the team excited about the project to maintain their engagement. If you’re able to successfully do this, it will lead to a more productive and cohesive team.
If you’re not sure where to start, try brainstorming with your team or breaking the goal down into smaller, manageable pieces.
Whatever you do, make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows what needs to be done. With a clear vision and some hard work, your team can achieve anything!
Encourage Open Communication Across Your Team Departments
How can you encourage open communication across your team departments? One way is to inspire and motivate your team by setting the example yourself.
Be an active listener and ensure that everyone on your team feels heard. Encourage dialogue and debate, but also be respectful of differing opinions.
Promote a culture of transparency and openness, where information is shared freely and openly without fear of judgment or retribution. Encourage your team to ask questions, share ideas, and give feedback.
To do any of this, you’ll need to create a space for it. You can create regular team meetings where you brainstorm and problem-solve together. You can also create an open-door policy, where team members feel comfortable coming to you with questions or concerns.
By creating an environment where open communication is valued, you can help create a more cohesive, productive, and motivated team.
Promote Teamwork and Collaboration
You never want your employees to feel like they are in it alone. Not only does it put a lot of pressure on them, but it can also lead to low morale and a feeling of disconnection from the company.
Promoting teamwork and collaboration shows them that you are willing to work together towards a common goal and that you value their input.
There are a few things you can do to promote teamwork and collaboration in your workplace:
- Encourage open communication: Make sure your employees feel comfortable communicating with each other. Encourage them to share ideas and give feedback freely.
- Foster a sense of ownership: Help your team members feel invested in their work by giving them opportunities to take on leadership roles and make decisions.
- Encourage social interactions: Create an environment where employees feel comfortable socializing with each other. This could include organizing after-work activities or company-sponsored social events.
- Promote healthy conflict: Encourage employees to openly discuss disagreements and different points of view. Help them resolve conflicts in a constructive way.
- Celebrate successes: Recognize and celebrate your team’s accomplishments together. This will help create a strong sense of unity and purpose.
Promote Work/Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is important for both our physical and mental health. When we’re out of balance, it can lead to burnout, which can have serious consequences on our well-being.
That’s why it’s so important to promote work/life balance within your team. A healthy balance will not only help your team members avoid burnout, but will also make them more motivated.
There are a few simple things you can do to promote work/life balance within your team:
- Encourage your team members to take breaks during the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Provide flexibility when it comes to your employees’ working hours and location.
- Encourage them to use their vacation days, and don’t penalize them for doing so.
- Make sure that work doesn’t always come first — schedule time for team bonding and fun activities.
When you implement these policies, you’ll create a more positive and productive work environment for your team. This will actively boost retention and motivation levels, as your employees will feel like they’ve been taken care of.
Give Positive Feedback
Commonly, positive feedback is undervalued in many work environments. If a team member is consistently receiving critiques without hearing anything positive as well, it can easily lead to a feeling of self-doubt and de-motivation.
That’s why it is crucial that along with more constructive, critical feedback, you also take the time to give positive feedback when warranted.
This will motivate your team because it sets a precedent that hard work and meeting goals will be celebrated, and that there is an actual purpose in putting in their best efforts.
Some tips for giving positive feedback:
- Be specific about what the person did that you want to recognize.
- Try to avoid general comments like “good job.”
- Make sure that your praise is honest and sincere.
- Be timely with your feedback – ideally, you should give it as close to the event as possible.
- Avoid comparisons when possible, and focus on the individual’s accomplishments.
- If possible, tie the feedback to the person’s goals or objectives.
Giving positive feedback can be a great way to motivate your team and show them that their hard work is appreciated. Follow these tips to make sure that your feedback is effective and sincere.
Reward Your Team
Rewarding your team is a great way to boost motivation. It shows your employees that you appreciate their hard work and that you are willing to invest in their continued success.
But how do you know which rewards will work best for your team? Here are some tips to help you choose the right rewards for your team:
- Think about what motivates your team. What do they want? What would make them feel appreciated?
- Choose rewards that fit with your company culture. If you have a casual workplace, then don’t give out formal awards like plaques or trophies. Instead, opt for something more fun and informal, like gift cards or tickets to a concert or game.
- Make sure the rewards are meaningful. A gift card to a coffee shop might not mean much to someone who doesn’t drink coffee. Choose rewards that your team will actually use and appreciate.
- Avoid giving out too many awards. If you give out an award for everything, then they’ll lose their meaning and value. Only give out awards for exceptional performance or achievements.
Create Opportunities for Advancement
If your employees feel like there is no room to grow in your company, then it is likely that they will start looking for new opportunities elsewhere.
Keep your team motivated by creating opportunities for advancement. This could involve promoting employees to positions of greater responsibility, offering raises or bonuses, or providing training and development opportunities.
This will not only give your employees an incentive to stay but also attracts top talent to your company when they can envision a clear path to career growth.
By giving your employees a chance to advance their careers, you can show them that you are invested in their future and that you value their contributions to your business.
Provide the Necessary Support
It is essential to provide the necessary support to motivate your team members, and there are multiple layers of support that need to be provided.
The most important is ensuring that team members feel like valued members of the team, and this can be done by ensuring that their voices are heard, that they feel like they are a part of the team’s decision-making process, and that their individual contributions are recognized.
Another way you can support your team is by providing the resources and information that team members need to be successful in their roles. This includes things like access to training and development opportunities, clear expectations for their role, and the adequate tools needed to do their job.
Finally, it is also important to provide emotional support to team members, especially during times of stress or adversity. This can involve simply being there to listen to them, promoting team encouragement, or providing any other forms of support as needed.
It can be hard to change a company’s culture, but it sure is worth it. And it doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes time for employees to get used to a new way of working and for management to assess the company and how they can improve things.
However, if you are patient and put your workers first, you will see an increase in productivity, motivation, and overall satisfaction.
At Wizard of Sales®, we want to help you do just that.
We offer complete onboarding and training so that you can empower your employees with the skills they need to be successful.
Contact us today for a demo and let us help you start your business revolution!