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Smells Like Team Spirit: Essential Advice for Managers Part Two

In our previous post, we discussed two key strategies that enable managers to perform their roles more effectively. This time round, we’re going to explore the best ways that managers can motivate their team members to succeed (and remember, we’d love to hear your stories for inclusion in our final March post). Once again, we’re taking a PEP less-is-more approach: four key strategies are all that’s required for you to engage, support and motivate each member of your team.

1. Ensure everyone in your team has clarity regarding their role and their contribution to the organisation.

Heard this before? We may be becoming a little predictable, but the truth is we cannot emphasise the importance of clarity enough. When you ask your team if they are absolutely clear on what they should be working on, don’t just accept a “yes”: ask them to tell you what they believe to be their top three priorities. Do these priorities match what you as their manager believe they should be? “You’d be surprised at how often a team member’s priorities don’t match yours,” says PEPworldwide:nz managing director Kathryn Anda. Remember, too, that it’s important that your employees understand how achieving their goals influences the wider objectives of your organisation.

2. Encourage each one of your people to plan how they will achieve their goals.

Once you and your team member have agreed on three key priorities, encourage them to show you a plan, complete with a timeline, of how they intend to achieve their goals. This provides you with the opportunity to check that they are clear on their objectives and that they’re approaching their work in the right way. “The job is half done once the planning is done,” says Anda. “Implementation is the easy part.”

3. Encourage each team member to batch information for your regular one-on-one meetings.

Following the advice in our previous post, you have hopefully already set up regular one-on-one meetings with each member of your team. Now encourage them to batch the information they intend to review during these meetings: this will minimise interruptions for you and provide them with more time to focus on the important aspects of their roles.

4. Lead by example.

Act as a role model: practise what you preach! Show your employees that it’s possible for them to achieve their goals by achieving your own. And remember: enthusiasm is infectious. A clear demonstration of your support for your company’s vision will act as powerful motivation for your people.

Ultimately, says Anda, “Staff who know what they need to be doing, who have planned to achieve it, and who are implementing their plans are happy, engaged, motivated staff who leave work each day feeling like they are making a difference to their business. And if they are happy, you’ll be happy.” Job done.

Don’t forget to tell us about any challenges you’ve faced as a manager so that we can share your experiences with our subscribers in our final March post.