As a senior project manager in an ever-growing digital agency and the main go-to communication person when landing clients and/ or pitching projects I have had the pleasure to take
How to keep your team motivated
One of the perks working with a modern software development team is the ability to work remotely from anywhere around the planet. You’ll expect that such flexibility naturally accounts for a dramatic increase in performance and quality results. But a demotivated team member could go unnoticed until it starts affecting the team as a whole.
At Netcore, we prefer our developers to spend their time constructively rather than get stressed out commuting to work. However, we also understand the importance of having everyone on the same page and stay motivated. Here are some useful tips that could help to rejuvenate your tired team.
1. Stop Micromanaging
Are you getting over the shoulder of your team members every second of the day? Micromanagement can happen in a remote team when the team leader starts checking the tiny details of members’ activities regularly. This is arguably one of the most common reasons that employees quit their team.
If you’re used to popping an email or message every fifteen minutes, you need to stop. Instead, learn how to empower your team members with trust and responsibilities. By allowing your team flexibility to exercise their creativity within an agreed framework, you stand the chance of getting better results.
2. Assign Challenging Tasks
A high performing team in the IT industry thrives when they are driven by challenges. On the other hand, you’ll see the motivation draining away when they are assigned with mundane tasks over and over again. To keep your team motivated, you need to keep challenging them constructively.
Assign tasks that stretch their current capability, and they will be pushed to grow rapidly. Top teams shine when given such opportunities to test themselves. It also keeps the team environment from getting dull.
3. Learn New Skills
Individual growth is another aspect that helps in boosting the team spirit. Do not assume that the team is contented to be in a comfortable position. A high performing team consists of individuals who are keen to learn new skills that can contribute to their profession.
For instance, your backend web-developer may take an interest in exploring UI/UX or SEO. Rather than limiting their potential, you should encourage your team to pick up additional skills. It shows that you value your team as unique individuals and this keeps the morale up.
The hunger for learning is an indicator of excellent leadership quality in your team. John F. Kennedy once put it as “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”
4. Set Clear Goals
A team can get disengaged if members are not aware of any distinct goals that they should be working towards. Goal settings remain one of the top skills required by a project manager. It is more than just jotting down a list of tasks to be completed by the team.
Proper goal setting techniques can be practiced by following the SMART goals principle. Each goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. In short, the goals can be tracked in quantifiable terms by both managers and team members alike. Having goals keep the team engaged, especially when they are working remotely.
5. Celebrate Small Wins With Rewards
Did you shrug off achievements by mere congratulatory words or a simple nod? If so, you leave your team feeling unappreciated for all the effort that they have put in. Every single milestone deserves to be celebrated. There’s no need to wait for a huge breakthrough to start popping the champagne.
Celebrating small successes along the way is an effective way of raising the motivation of your team. It made every member feel that they are valuable team players and the company appreciates their role in the team. A celebration does not need to be an extravaganza party by the pool. Sometimes, a small team dinner with thank you notes will work wonder.
6. Keep Communication Channel Open
Communication, or rather the lack of, is a major destructive force in any team. You’ve noticed how sports team crumbles when players are not talking with each other in the game, and the same happens in companies. And when you are leading a remote team, communication is vital to ensure a cohesive growth of the team.
There’s no need to have a daily meeting to ensure your team communicates. Instead, it is an initiative by the team leader and members to remain accessible within working hours. With tools like Skype and Slack, a team could make use of voice and text communications to ensure their opinions are heard and in the loop of any discussions.
7. Use Tools To Stay Organized
No employees love working in a mess, especially IT professionals who are used to systems and orders. Imagine the frustrations of not getting the information that you need while being pressured to meet project deadlines. Or keep having hundreds of emails between team members to communicate a new idea.
For technology-driven team, it is a crime not to use organizational tools to make work more efficient. Tools like Asana and Trello brings project management chaos to an end. It helps every team members to stay on the same page on the entire progress. Using these tools also makes team members accountable and increase their sense of ownership.
8. Avoid Lengthy Meetings
Unless you’re a narcissist and in love with your voice, there are no reasons for meetings that last for hours and rehashing itself pointlessly. Not even on a group chat with lines of text scrolling at a rapid pace. Lengthy meetings can be draining, especially if they are not sticking to the agendas.
To avoid turning off your team with lengthy meetings, always inform them before the meeting on the agenda and the target duration. It helps you to stay on track and ensure that everyone’s time is respected. At Netcore, long-winded meetings are a strict no-no.
9. Develop Team Spirits
Working with a remote team means it’s difficult to have a lunch break with the members, but that doesn’t mean you should stop fostering the team spirits. A team that is bonded by strong team spirit easily outperforms their disengaged counterparts.
Occasional team bonding activities helped in getting a team to gel and made everyone feels that they belong. But physical activities are not the only way to foster team spirits. What’s equally important is the company culture and vision that are exposed to a new member during the onboarding process.
10. Career Growth Opportunities
You’ll need to get this right for every single member in your team. A high performing team is made of ambitious and talented individuals. Besides short-term goals and rewards, your team members need to be assured that there are possibilities for growth in the company. Denying them that invites disastrous consequences.
The team’s performance should eventually translate into the growth of the company. Each member needs to be assured of a clear career path that may involve promotions and their deserved remunerations. Having a defined future keeps a team motivated and strived for the best.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, a team is made of individuals capable of experiencing varying emotions. It depends on the team leader to keep the team motivated at times to ensure optimal productivity. Rather than treating team motivation as a one-time program, we believe it should be a continuous effort embedded in the culture of the company.
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