Have you ever been involved in organization changes which resulted in your team acquiring more work without obtaining additional resources?
I certainly have! Our team experienced several staffing changes resulting in us taking on new responsibilities. I would love to say everyone was happy about the changes, but that would not be a true statement.
During our first meeting after the changes, everyone spent the first 20 minutes venting about their frustrations. As I was listening to them, my first thought was to “tell them to stop whining!”
However, I was reminded of a quote from Henry Ford who said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
More on that later…
Do you need to motivate your team and get them to work better and faster? Then you should just offer them bonuses for working harder and faster right? Or introduce the threat of punishment for those who take too long?
When you introduce penalties and rewards, you encourage faster, sloppier work that is more likely to lead to mistakes. Also, you encourage people to step on each other to get to the top. Additionally, you stifle creativity.
So, what do you do instead?
The problem is that both solutions involve extrinsic motivation. That means that the motivation is coming from elsewhere; that the activity is not rewarding in itself. This means that the team will simply want to finish fast and go home.
Conversely though, if you can make it so that the activity itself is rewarding, then you’ll find they naturally work harder of their own volition.
So how do you create this change?
One solution is to give your team some degree of ownership over what they are doing and to give them credit for their efforts. So, what’s a good way to do that? Put their name on what they create!
There is a big reason behind why this works and that is that it gives them a sense of pride in their work. That in turn makes the work rewarding – this is their work. If it goes well, then they can brag about it. And if they can brag about it, then it will benefit them.
Secondly, it’s very important to give your team some degree of control over what they are doing. That means making sure that they can make decisions if they need to and take the necessary responsibility that comes with that. Once again, this makes the work feel more like it is really ‘theirs’ and as a result it makes them much happier to work longer hours.
Introducing additional breaks, changing the working environment and even gamifying certain aspects can make an enormous difference to the way that your team work and behave.
But the third and biggest tip of all? Make sure you have the right people on your team in the first place. Some people just won’t find what you’re doing exciting. And they’re the wrong people for your organization.
And now, the rest of the story…
The success of our organization was contingent upon our ability to see the big picture and embrace the changes. After privately meeting with each team member, we were able to address their concerns and move forward.
Are you inspiring your team to succeed?
Dr. Kim Moore, guiding you to lead with confidence!
Dr. Kim Moore
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