5 min read

Susan is an experienced business manager who has recently started her own fashion brand. She has selected the candidates carefully and finally has her dream team in place. Her team members are young, energetic, and professional.  Susan is happy to come to work and believes everyone is the right fit for each role to take her business to the next level.

Susan’s team starts strong and aims high. They work hard, they are focused, and they come up with fresh ideas. To adapt to the pandemic, Susan has overcome the first hurdles of moving her team to work remotely: setting up the tech tools, offering training and workshops to upskill staff, and regularly having video conferences.

But lately, Susan smells something wrong in the air. She senses the team morale is a bit low, the project falls flat, and even her star performer has recently produced her work with surface-level analysis and a lack of creativity. It is frustrating that the spark in the team is fading.

Have you ever felt like Susan? Are you noticing that your team is lacking motivation?

Let’s hone in on how to motivate your team to work more collaboratively and productively.

1. Maintain a healthy organisational culture

In a healthy organisation, everyone feels respected, valued, and treated fairly. The workplace is open to diverse ideas, where people feel psychologically safe to speak up and communicate ideas. People feel recognised and fulfilled for their individual contributions and have time for their personal lives. In other words, employees are able to keep a good work-life balance. Hubstaff CEO Dave Nevogt states that work-life balance is key to having a sustainable and happy life.

A healthy organisational culture provides a sense of belonging among staff members. This creates a positive impact on employers and employees and produces a more loyal and productive team.

2. Establish your team’s purpose

As a leader, you should give your team members a reason – beyond their salary – to get excited about their work and show up to perform the best. This sense of purpose is the key to motivate your team to produce better outcomes and progress towards common goals. To build the sense of purpose in your team, you should help identify the WHY behind every action your team takes, define your team’s goals, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Simon Sinek points out in his famous TED speech that a great leader starts with why. Securing the why is hard – and it makes all the difference. Clarify the why behind your directions and help your teammates fully understand the impact of their everyday work on your business and the impact this has in the world.

3. Promote honest and open communication

For teams and organisations, Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, demonstrates that the key to continual business growth is to create psychological safety in the workplace. The sense of safety enables employees to speak their minds without concerns about being punished or humiliated. It is essential to maintain quality talent, inspire more creative sparks, and achieve your success.

AboutLeaders shares a similar concept by establishing a judgement-free culture. It is your job to create the space to promote honest and open communication. In this way, everyone can feel that they are being heard and their voices matter.

4. Lead by example

Research by Harvard Business Review found that the perceived behaviour of senior managers has a significant influence on team collaboration. A senior executive from HubSpot also shares, as a leader, you should exhibit collaborative behaviours yourself.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

Your team can see you are shouldering your responsibilities and supporting the whole team. In this way, you can further build authority and trust among your staff members. Your teammates also get to understand the expectations of their behaviours to foster cooperation.

5. Keep a regular performance review

Reviewing team performance monthly or quarterly not only increases team engagement but strengthens positive relationships. A regular review helps you to understand your teammates’ strengths, personalities, contributions. More importantly, it also creates opportunities for you to ask for feedback and actively listen to any questions, concerns, or needs from your employees. This in turn helps improve communication and allows you to make adjustments to your behaviours and goals. Your teammates feel that their insights are being valued, leading to higher team morale and collaboration.

6. Recognise contributions and provide fair rewards

One of the key factors to increase team motivation is to recognise your team’s hard work and distribute rewards fairly. Hector Quintanilla, an experienced business manager, shares that his success secret to double his company’s sales in 30 days is to pay his team better. His story shows that increasing employee income to reward their contributions is the simplest but most effective way to motivate your team and grow your business.

For implementing an employee rewards program, talkdesk shares its 20 tips and the key message is to ensure fairness and transparency within your team.

7. Offer support to enhance personal growth

Personal growth involves many aspects, including professional skills, industry knowledge, physical and mental wellbeing. To maximise team motivation, investing in personal development within your team is essential to ongoing business success. You can share knowledge and useful resources by offering workshops, regular meetings, or training programs.

During these challenging times, emotional support for your team is extremely important. For emotional support, one of the key strategies is to promote empathy. Empathy is found to be a vital element to establish trust in a Harvard Business study. By practising empathy within your team, team members feel safe and comfortable to share their insights and feelings. Furthermore, you gain more trust from your team and they are more driven to accomplish the common goals.

8. Build an open space to encourage creativity

Research has discovered that employees who are given the opportunity to experiment are more motivated and innovative.  Give your team autonomy and space for creativity and let them take initiative. Your team will feel a greater sense of ownership and trust. This will help to facilitate team collaboration and productivity. It’s a virtuous circle. Additionally, creativity plays a key role in growing business continually and preventing stagnation.

9. Foster a sense of belonging

Deloitte’s 2020 Global Human Capital Trends Survey found that creating a sense of belonging in the workplace motivates employees to perform better and contribute more meaningful outcomes. This sense of belonging helps individuals feel respected, fulfilled and connected to a larger community. Team building activities can reinforce the sense of community and improve team cooperation. For instance, every Friday, you can create a Happy Hour session to invite your team to have a coffee or drinks catch-up to share together outside of work. Some workplaces organise for their staff to go hiking or play sports together to build relationships based on mutual interests.

10. Use team collaboration tools

In the digital age, creating a shared digital workspace is significant and necessary to promote effective team collaboration. The McKinsey Global Survey shows that around 80% of businesses are using social collaboration tools to improve team communication and cooperation. One of the effective tools is Year Glance, to help you ensure collaboration and productivity. From communication, planning, knowledge sharing, to project management, Year Glance helps you keep things running smoothly in your team. With Year Glance, you can visualise a bigger picture and create your unique and customised year calendar. You can sync your Google/Outlook calendars and even Plutio management system to Year Glance to better visualise your planning and goals, and boost motivation and collaboration within your team.

Year Glance integration

Start motivating your team to boost collaboration

Keeping your team motivated is one of the biggest challenges leaders always face. We hope you find the above 10 strategies helpful to motivate your team and help them to thrive.

To help you build long-term collaboration, why not give Year Glance a try today? Start your free 14-day trial with full customisation here and keep your free plan forever. We would love to hear how these strategies work for you and share your secret weapons to motivate your team with us.