8 tips to keep your team motivated in the long term. Francisco Javier Díez Servant


    One of the essentials of a high-performance leader at the beginning of each year is the study of new actions or the maintenance of those already carried out to keep the motivation of his team for another year. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain a high level of team performance sustained over time; causing cohesive and effective teams; Over the years, let the lack of motivation and mediocrity enter your bosom due to poor management of expectations and moods. The existence of conflicts not closed in due time and the succession of financial years with perspectives similar to those of previous years may instill in the leader the uncertainty of whether he will be able to maintain the level of cohesion, efficiency and motivation for another year.

    Keeping the energy in your team (and yourself) can be uphill; But here I offer you some maxims to keep each and every one of them at their maximum development for another year:

    Regular meetings for active listening and one-to-one feedback allow individual expectations to be channeled towards the success of the group.

  1. Prioritize the time each employee needs with you. You are probably thinking: “But, Javier, I don't have time for this. Also, I don't think it's important. " I would refute that argument by saying that both thoughts are wrong. My proposal is to hold a meeting, every so often, with each member of your direct team alone. My recommendation is to allocate an hour for each meeting. The ideal would be to arrange it at the time when you usually stop to rest throughout the day; But, if it is not possible, place these meetings at times when you know, a priori, that you will be low on energy or those free in your agenda. Another good option is that the conversation takes place eating together. My favorite option is to have a drink in a cafeteria outside the office or take the opportunity to talk while we take a walk through Barcelona. The purpose of these meetings will be to engage in conversations where you can learn about your concerns, needs, concerns, and expectations. In this way, we will have the knowledge of the situation necessary to be able to channel their motivations towards the success of the group. A fundamental pillar of the credibility of a leader is in generating a climate of security in the team; so it will be convenient to identify, in this conversation, where they may need help and how they can be more productive. The result of this meeting is that an environment is created where each individual can feel heard, important, understood and bear in mind the expectations of their boss and their organization regarding their job. Similarly, don't forget to reserve a moment for yourself. Set aside some time, from time to time, to stop and reflect on what you have achieved and how you will improve it in the new year that begins. A clear successful example of "Gamification" in the Stockholm metro to encourage the use of stairs.
  2. Practice gamification of the most important tasks of your team. Gabe Zichermann, one of the fathers of gamification, in his book “Gamification by design”, defines gamification as “the process of motivating people and changing their behavior with game design, loyalty and behavioral economics. It's about applying that feeling and that flow to employee motivation. " There are certain tedious and important day-to-day tasks that, if we manage to gamify, will allow them to rediscover them with a much more achievement-oriented look. This new vision of them will guarantee a greater effort by the entire team to comply with them, will generate a better work environment and greater employee engagement. An example of gamification that I have applied successfully in my organization, was first implemented by the North American chain Hyatt Hotels Corp. Hyatt is one of the largest hotel chains in the world and looked for the best alternative to reward people beyond the scope professional for the achievement of its objectives. The company sought to motivate customer service representatives, rewarding their results against the number of calls made. To do this, they gave them virtual tokens that allowed them to open chests or launch darts to find out what type of prizes they were going to receive (vacations, gift cards or restaurant meals).  Tokens of gratitude to employees for Christmas due to the effort made during the year is a very positive action to unite the worker with the manager, by feeling recognized.
  3. Show them your gratitude. I often see managers looking for clever and innovative motivational techniques; when, throughout my years of experience, the most effective has proven to be the simplest. If you want to improve the well-being of your team, maintain their loyalty, their motivation and their loyalty, you will not be able to achieve it without showing gratitude for their work well done. Take advantage of any occasion throughout the year to make a handwritten note that provides them with recognition feedback; Close the year with a meeting that shows all the achievements made and allows you to thank each and every one of them and, most importantly, celebrate each achievement that they have achieved together in style.  Providing a global vision to the team gives meaning to the daily work and helps to be aware of the achievements made towards the objective.
  4. Helps keep track of the big picture. Typically, our employees are enduring a heavy workload that makes them feel too busy and even unproductive. Many times, the daily routine puts them in a situation that does not allow them to obtain a global vision and see that they are moving. The saying “the trees don't let us see the forest” perfectly sums up an evil that our team and even ourselves can fall into; It will make them lose focus on the direction set and, over time, reduce their level of engagement. A monthly results meeting that keeps them goal-oriented and provides feedback is motivating; as well as allowing us to keep in mind where we are heading as a group and the progress made.
  5. Introduce news to the team, from time to time. A team is like a lagoon; when no movement is detected, it stalls; the frogs begin to breed and, in the end, its blue and crystalline waters are transformed into a green swamp. When we go a long time without leaving our comfort zone, we lose pressure and become stagnant as a group. Encourage them to work on new projects or assign new responsibilities: this will help each member get out of their comfort zone; with very positive results in their performance and motivation.  The “extra-work” activities help to unite the team, increase the feeling of belonging and strengthen the trust in the rest of the team.
  6. Go beyond the workplace. This does not mean that you delve into their personal life. After all, there must be a clear separation and balance between work and home. But there are some alternatives that allow your team to find this balance.
  7. Use setbacks and learning opportunities. Don't be angry when someone makes a mistake. I know that it will generate stress and injury; But that will not solve the problem and it will not help create a collaborative and positive environment. However, use mistakes and setbacks as learning opportunities. Instead of tormenting your employees, ask them what went wrong and how we can improve it next time. Try to see how you can help them get out of the situation successfully. To do this, you will have to develop extensive communication skills. This fact will not make them feel more energetic, but it will give them confidence to communicate mistakes with courage, it will improve the work environment and it will position you as a benchmark in the team.  Time management is one of the greatest keys to the success of the leader and each member of the team.
  8. Help your team protect their time. If we take a look at the time that we will have to invest in animating, developing and training our team; The first conclusion that will come to mind is that we do not have enough time to carry out, successfully, all the initiatives that a true leader must carry out. I'm sorry to tell you that every leader is guilty of his own lack of time. If we analyze where we spend our time, we will discover that a large part is dedicated to tasks that we should have delegated. Like us, our employees face a time management problem in which we have to help them. Sit down with them and share some rules with them on how to prioritize. Rethink the meetings they attend and assess whether they are already at full capacity before assigning new tasks. Finally, break the habit of bothering them outside of their work hours and fight every day not to exceed their working hours.
Francisco Javier Diez Servant


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