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8 Employee Motivation Strategies You Can Use This Week. Mondays, right? If you’re a living, breathing human, then there’s a chance at some point that you too-deeply identified with that orange cartoon cat who wasn’t a big fan of the start to the work week either.
There’s even the good chance that this past weekend you caught a case of the “Sunday Scaries,” that near universal pit-in-your-stomach reminder that the weekend fantasy has ended and it’s time to face the real world again.
So if you’re feeling that way, you have to imagine there are a few people on your team who feel it too, right? And that probably means that not everybody is walking into work with the sort of can-do gusto that you need to crush those big numbers this week.
But that’s OK, because we’ve got a tailor-made list of employee motivation strategies that you can really, truly, effectively motivate your employees this week. Check them out, try some on for size, and see how you can turn that team-wide case of the Mondays into a workweek win that everyone’s excited about.
The cynical take is that Garfield always hated Mondays because he’s some sort of mascot for our collective corporate despair. But there’s a sweeter take that’s made its way around the internet:
Garfield hated Mondays because he really missed John when he went to work. Now how much better do you feel about Garfield, Mondays, and maybe even the world itself? Sometimes the road to positivity is a lot smoother of a ride.
But positivity in the workplace means a lot more than just putting on a happy face and a cute quip about how not-terrible Mondays really can be. Positivity as an employee motivation strategy is about a shift in mindset—not just for sales leaders, but for every member of your team.
Building a positive culture means that employees become less focused on how they can survive, and more focused on how they can contribute to the collective success of the team. They say kindness begets kindness: try paying it forward for your employees and watch how infectious that attitude can become.
And sticking with this newfound positivity kick, you can immediately apply that practice to the way you communicate with your employees—namely, providing feedback. In fact, when we bridge these two topics the results are surprisingly effective.
One recent Gallup poll found that 67% of employees reported being engaged at work when they felt their managers honed in on strengths when giving feedback—as opposed to just about 30% of employees feeling engaged when their manager mostly focused on weaknesses.
When we communicate in constructive ways with our team, they’re going to more readily engage with the work at hand. Again, it’s about taking despair out of the equation, and injecting energy into every interaction.
And that sort of communication certainly isn’t just a one way street. As you already know well (even if you don’t always admit it), your team has a pretty darn good B.S. radar—and that means that if you can’t just be an endless bulldozer of positivity. You have to couple it with an honest, realistic plan of attack.
As Andre Lavoie points out contributing to Entrepreneur, “Transparent leadership results in employees who understand the company vision and how their efforts help achieve company-wide goals.” It’s not about real-time updates about every mood shift you have. Rather, transparency is about letting your team know where you’re all at, where you need to go, and what your vision is for how to get there. When you allow them to embrace the full-scope of the vision, they can be inspired to dream bigger for their role in achieving it.
But that doesn’t always have to be the big up-in-the-clouds dreams.
If you’re trying to find a way to get your employees bought into your long-term goals as a team, but they just don’t seem motivated, try giving them smaller goals that they can realize in a more immediate sense.
When you set small, achievable goals on the path towards your team’s overall mission, you give your employees a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Those small accomplishments then turn into rewards that you can highlight and even further motivate your team with.
Employee recognition is something you can do constantly. It can be as small as a passing call-out, or as big as a reward trip.
And as we’ve pointed out before here on the blog, it’s not just about telling your team how great one particular employee is. Rather, it’s about generating peer-to-peer recognition—which not only builds a sense of camaraderie, but establishes a sense of belonging for your team members, helping them to feel a deeper sense of purpose in their work.
But that’s not to say that you can’t generate some friendly competition amongst employees as well. As we’ve highlighted countless times here on the blog, friendly competition throughout an office can stir up some of those primal instincts that trigger reward centers in our brain and boost our overall performance.
Think of it this way: do you do your best yoga at home alone, or when you’re surrounded by other aspiring yogis who aren’t giving up on that final push?
If competition isn’t exactly doing it for you this week, there are still plenty of other ways to stir up those synapses. Sales gamification, while it may sound adolescent, is a surprisingly effective way to get your sales team off to the races. Some of the most effective programs, from Weight Watchers, to Fit Bits, gamify our everyday tasks, helping us to reframe some of the things in our life that might feel a little monotonous at the moment.
Finally, it’s simply about trust. More than ever, we are living in a time where people are acutely aware of the value of trust: our markets are driven by it, our news outlets live and die by it, and our employees are counting on it.
You can talk a big game about vision, about numbers, and about your noble list of goals, but if you don’t have a team you can trust—and they don’t have a leader they can trust in—it’s going to be pretty tough to make it through those inevitable dry spells.
Take the time to invest in your relationships within your team. Let them know they’ve got someone they can count on when life throws a curveball, and you’ll find that you’ve got a sister- or brother-in-arms who you can count on when you need them to step up. And when the next Monday comes around, you might even find your commute in a little easier to manage after all.
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