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How to Keep your Team Feeling Inspired

SME leaders may spend sleepless nights thinking about how to motivate their team. When you have figured this out, you will need strategies to keep your team motivated.

Being someone or finding something that gives your staff ideas for doing things that contribute to your business is your challenge to make your team feel inspired.

Both kinds of Motivation

Everyone, including your staff, is driven by intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Finding the balance between these two should be your primary HR management goal as an SME leader. This can become even more challenging in fast growing markets that you might find yourself in, for example, in technology in Asia. So you will need to keep this going through periods of change.

Intrinsic motivations come from within the person. Their personal development and aspirations will be key factors that you need to address as an SME leader in order to push the right buttons. Get to know your staff. But don’t be intrusive. People can often feel threatened and prying will get you nowhere. Here are some aspects of intrinsic motivation for you to set goals for your staff;

  • Acceptance:Your staff need to feel that they are accepted by their colleagues
  • Curiosity:This drives innovation and inter-personal communication
  • Independence:Making your staff competent builds self-respect
  • Order:We all need to be organized
  • Power:A good employee will have power within your company that can influence
  • Social contact:Personal interactions breed positive emotions and happiness
  • Social Status:This may depend on culture and aspirations

How you get your staff to their goals in each aspect is your emotional challenge as an SME leader.

Extrinsic motivations are factors such as pay and recognition that will cause your staff to be motivated. In developing countries, as in the rest of the world, everyone would like to be well-paid. In some cultures your employees will move to a competitor for 100 USD per month pay increase. You can’t stop this and you shouldn’t try. Here are some aspects of extrinsic motivation for you to set goals for your staff;

  • Employee of the month award: Key for recognition
  • Benefits package: A tool for balancing overall rewards
  • Bonuses: A carrot and stick for performance
  • Group activities: Training and company holiday trips

Set goals for each of these that are aligned with the current external market that your SME is facing.

Sources of Inspiration

Inspiring people is a highly emotional task. Giving your staff fresh and good ideas on a regular basis will help them with their personal development journey. It should also then help your business to flourish. What inspires people is highly diverse and complex. For some it can be reading a book for others it can be following a cause. You are unlikely to get it right each time for each employee so have in your hands a variety of diverse tools and strategies for inspiring your staff.

First, start with yourself. Are you an inspiring person? If you are then get going and spread your inspiration to others. If you are not so sure then find strategies that inspire your team; sharing a great movie or a great book, a great rock concert or a fabulous restaurant where you personally experienced something new that was inspiring. Find role models who are inspiring and share these people’s messages and experiences with your staff. You can use a variety of strategies; inviting speakers, team building trips or company events.

Inspiring and Perspiring

At the end of the day work motivation is ‘10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration’. So, put your inspiring, motivational strategies in context. How can you make your team more productive with a bit of inspiration and some hard work? Finding the balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation then driving this with a mix of inspiration and perspiration should enable your team to deliver your business goals without burnout.

Motivated employees will be more loyal and deliver more value-addition to your business. Even if they leave for a competitor the positive emotions they will take with them should reflect well on their time in your organisation. This will create a positive image for you as a leader and your business too.

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