Motivating Your Team Starts With A Simple Question

Business growth can be stunted by a lack of motivation among your team waiting on praise for a job well done that is not forthcoming. Removing these expectations will make all the difference, says Mike Irving of Advanced Business Abilities.

Too many people today are waiting to be recognised for their work by a boss or colleague and if they don’t get the accolades they crave, it creates resistance and upsets. This goes a long way in explaining why so many Australians are unhappy at work.

A recent survey of 4,800 Australian workers by Survey Sampling International found less than half were happy with their jobs.

Resentment can creep in if a team member has completed a project and the boss isn’t singing their praises around the office.

It can distract them from their next task because they feel as though the job is not complete even if it is, simply because they haven’t been acknowledged for their efforts.

The problem is they are seeking recognition and acknowledgement from the wrong source.

Let me break it down further for you. An acknowledgement ends a cycle. If we look at communication, I might ask a question – “Is water wet?” – which would get an answer – “Yes” – and the cycle is ended when the answer is acknowledged – “Thank you.” In this case, you’d automatically move on from the conversation and not think about the question again – the conversation is over.

If I asked you that question again, you responded “Yes” and I proceeded to look away from you and pretend the conversation never happened, you’d be left wondering and waiting until I acknowledged you.

The same goes for team members who haven’t learnt to recognise their own efforts.

People who feel the need to be acknowledged for their accomplishments by an external source, like a boss or colleague, leave themselves open to manipulation. The way they feel is totally determined by whether or not someone else acknowledges and recognises their efforts and results.

A manager or business owner can give and withdraw recognition, which may see their team become emotionally unstable and hinder their ability to perform their job.

This is why it is so important for everyone to recognise and acknowledge their own achievements themselves. You can help them to do this by asking your team one simple question once they have completed a project.

Have you acknowledged yourself?

This simple question encourages self-leadership and improves self-esteem leading to improved productivity. By asking ‘Have you acknowledged yourself?’ it supports your team to cross their own finish lines and manage the agreements they make and keep with themselves.

It’s a conversation that might last less than a minute and its impact is far-reaching. It ends the cycle of a project and makes a project feel complete enabling them to then focus on the next task at hand. It will also boost confidence and self-esteem and improve self-leadership as self-acknowledgement is fundamental to both.

Allow Self Leadership

Choosing not to micro-manage your team will support them to succeed as they learn to do the job and solve problems themselves. Even if mistakes are made, valuable lessons will be learnt. Give them the power to make decisions and create. People love to have ownership of projects and tasks and they grow with that ownership.

Succession Plans
People will perform best when they set their own finish lines. Get them involved in planning as much as possible and ensure they understand the impact they have on the business. Productivity levels increase as team members work towards their own goals. Encourage them to set their own goals and work together in developing their skills by giving them more responsibility.

Watch your team take ownership of their job and their own accomplishments while enjoying improved business growth.


About the Author
Mike Irving is a Performance Coach and Founder of Advanced Business Abilities. He has 20 years experience and results in Business Management, Leadership Performance Coaching and Team Building. For information on staff recruitment and improving workplace culture, visit advancedbusinessabilities.com

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