We’ve all been there – that awkward downtime that comes immediately after you’ve finished a major project or met a key deadline. Now that the rush is over and the goal has been completed, work can start to feel like simply watching the clock on the wall. The question that always follows for both leaders and employees after a major project has been completed is “what now?”
How do you continue to motivate your team immediately after wrapping up a project that involved a great deal of effort? How do you reduce the risk of your employees becoming burnt out or complacent?
These questions are exactly what we’re going to discuss in this article: how to receive the maximum amount of effort from your employees, without spending any additional business dollars.
Understanding what motivates your employees is key.
The first thing you need to recognize is that each team member is going to have different triggers, meaning that you will have to already know what’s important to each individual. When you have the ability to understand what it is your employee values, it gives you the upper hand on providing motivation rather than incentive.
Now, you may be thinking, “I already know all of this; I already do all of these things; I already know how to motivate my employees.” If that’s the case, then great! You’re one step ahead of the game.
Maximizing effort really boils down to one thing: being authentic in your approach. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty details below:
1. Acknowledge a job well done.
Personal or team acknowledgment after a job well done is an important experience for employee. Whether this is a one-on-one conversation or done within a team setting, make sure to take the time to commend the effort that was given.
When possible, it’s best to make these acknowledgments in person rather than via email or phone. This small detail can help demonstrate the authenticity of your praises to your employees.
2. Reward efforts, not just results.
Always reward great efforts (even if they weren’t successful in the end). When you reward effort—rather than just results—you encourage risk-taking and set a precedent that it’s okay to make a mistake, or to be told no.
The employee takes away the motivation to take chances, while being able to weigh opportunities and make good decisions.
3. Offer flexible working hours.
When everyone’s been working hard, you can show you care about your team by incorporating flexible hours. Simply being allowed to arrive a bit later in the morning or work shorter hours on Fridays can drastically boost morale.
In fact, flexible hours may be just the thing an employee needs to keep from getting burnt out after spending long hours meeting a major project deadline.
4. Provide meaningful work opportunities.
Offer your employees work that is interesting and that appeals to their skillsets and passions. Be a leader that creates special projects and presents opportunities that allow employees to excel and utilize their unique talents.
When you provide an employee a project that is meaningful and valuable to them, you may start seeing signs of increased interest and effort.
5. Build a culture you (and your employees) can be proud of.
Make the culture of your company one built on trust and other core values. Focus on communication, and always be genuine. Show a sincere interest in employees by providing a plan or roadmap for their success. After completing a project or meeting a deadline, utilize the time period immediately following to discuss plans and next steps for each employee. This not only builds trust in your relationship, but also demonstrates that you care about their future in the business.
These 5 basic principles can strengthen your relationship with your employees and boost their efforts to new levels.
The best part? It doesn’t take much extra time or cost the company millions of dollars to implement these simple practices. Additionally, practicing these principles will not only grow your employees, but also help you to become a better leader.
At The Poirier Group, we build relationships, not only with our employees, but with our clients. We work to build partnerships within our team and within every project that we work on! Contact us today to learn more.