María Alcaraz

How to keep your team motivated

When we lead a team, we have a lot of responsibility to bear.

Because we’ll be the ones who will have to account for the goals that were (or were not) achieved, and because we are the human face of the team, the person who will get all the pats on the back after success (this is usually the case) but also the negatives consequences that arise from the mistakes that were made (this is always the case!).

The team is all that we have

In order to put up with all that, and do it with a great chance of success, we need our most powerful tool: the group; that’s it, our team.

It is not uncommon to see many group leaders who, when things go wrong, regard the team as an enemy, or as a hindrance that stands on their way to further advancement. Thinking this way is, of course, a recipe for disaster. Because, as we mentioned above, the team (when we are the leader) is all that we have.

And the secret, our greatest achievement, will lie in knowing how to manage it and get its performance to the top.

Because the more each of the members of the team achieves, and the team as a whole, the more successful we will be be as their leaders. This may sound like a truism, but it should always be taken into account.

Thus, it is a good idea to follow several guidelines that help keep your team motivated. However, you should always take into consideration that innovating and tailoring things to your own needs are two wonderful tools.

Here goes some advice:

Organization and control

Above all, our team should see us as somebody who never loses his cool, who keeps everything properly organized and under control; somebody who (regardless of the results) makes sure everything is taken care of. In this sense, planning is fundamental. If our team sees us in this light, we will have already generated a positive impression of leadership and security, as long as we don’t take such practices too far and become despotic.

Being open to dialogue

Our being the leaders doesn’t mean we are deaf. We should know how to listen to our team, always keep the door open (strictly speaking and in the figurative sense), keep their opinions and concerns into account... Being close, after all. They should know that, to us, their problems are our problems too, and that to the best of our abilities we will take them into account and do whatever we can to solve them.

Being a good motivator

Tthis is a fundamental pillar, the main goal of the post and the one it takes its title from. However, this is no easy task. In order to succeed, we need to take the previous point seriously and know all the members in our team so that we know what to do for each of them to make them feel motivated.

Several studies have shown that motivation is not only a matter of higher salaries, as we are all different human beings and every person reacts in their own way to a given stimulus. We will be in charge of trying to get the very best from each of them.

Setting rational goals

Goals are essential in life. They set us a target, an objective to reach, and this is one of the keys to motivation. But at this point we also need to know our team perfectly, so that we may set goals that, while being ambitious, are still rational and do not generate frustration or disappointment.

Besides, everybody performs at a different level. We shouldn’t ask for the impossible, we need to remain aware of the strengths and of the small difficulties every member of our team may have.

We should ask them exactly for what we know they may give us.

We will know that we are good team leaders, good motivators and besides, good colleagues (after all, we are the leaders but we are all in the same boat) when, besides reaching the goals we set, we also feel that our whole team really appreciates us.

 “The way to attract and motivate people determines the success of the leader” Warren Bennis

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