The Middle Manager

Surviving & Thriving as a Leader


When it comes to motivation, there are two aspects of management. The first is how we manage a team. As managers, we provide direction to our teams to work towards specific business goals, and it is important that everyone works together as a cohesive unit towards that target. It is important that we understand how to motivate our staff as a group.

Probably the most important component of motivating a team is communication. In order to be successful, they should know not just what the goal is, but why that goal is important. Help them understand how a successful completion contributes to the overall success of the business. Help them see that they are part of a greater organization, and are a vital link the the chain of success.

Next, be clear about what is expected. Build a clear plan and encourage everyone to speak up if they have questions. Establish a timeline and lay out the tasks that are associated with it to provide a clear progression towards the ulitmate finale.

As each of the tasks are complete, be sure to have a mechanism in place for recognizing the successes along the way. Point them out, publish them, and celebrate the small things as you move towards the goal.

Measuring the success of team and motivating them to excel is very goal-oriented. Have a clear business goal and a well-documented plan to reach it.

canstockphoto2205447_smMotivation at the individual level is very different. Individuals tend to see things through the lens of their own experience and desires. As a manager, it is important to get to know our staff well enough to understand what is important to them. We can then tailor the individuals performance goals towards the things that most effectively motivates them.

Money is most often used as a motivator. And it’s very true that people will rarely say no to a raise in pay; however, as they get that raise it may not be having the motivational impact we’d like if the person is unhappy in what they are doing. For some, money is not as important as other factors. For example, if someone enjoys or has a need to spend time with family, the availability of flex time or additional time off may be a much greater motivator than a larger paycheck. Others may desire an intellectual challenge over additional pay, so they may be looking for the opportunity to do a wider variety of work, to expand the horizons of their knowledge.

The point is that as managers we’ll be doing ourselves a favor if we take the time to speak with our staff individual and get to know them. if we gain understanding into who they are beyond simply a member of our team, we can do a much better job of motivating them both singly and in a group.


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