As I was reading Alison Perkel’s post about building loyalty in the team I recalled a communication training I got recently. One of tasks for the group was to point areas we suck at and/or would like to work on.
Almost everyone pointed listening and motivating.
As Alison writes
“This means that one of the most important skills a manager needs is the ability to listen. Find out what your employees want, what motivates them and ensure that they feel enabled to reach their goals. Figure out how to make these goals happen.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it? I guess vast majority of managers would second it.
And then I hear how people can’t be motivated because a couple of money-related mechanisms were frozen. Or how people are lost because they keep hearing mixed messages about the situation around and managers can’t give them straight answers.
If we talk about motivating people let’s just stop thinking about money and money alone. Look at the big picture. Do you even know what is important for your people? Do you even talk with them, let alone listening to them?
I don’t organize meetings with my team. But the only reason why I can do this is because I sit with every one of them in a single room (which is great by the way). If I had a fancy isolated office I would have scheduled time for team meeting every week. That’s one of sure-shot methods to get people speaking. And if they don’t speak you won’t hear them, no matter how hard you try.
Once you know what is important for whom it would be easier to build team motivation. Even when money is an issue for someone, in vast majority of cases it is neither the only nor the most important problem. And almost always a manager can easily deal with it.
Stop complaining about lack of tools to motivate people and start using those you have at hand.
Now I’m just going to read the post. After all it is addressed to me too.