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Three Reasons Leaders Fail to Motivate Teams

You may be a great leader, but if you can’t motivate teams, you’re not going to get very far. And this is not a small problem. According to Gallup, only 15% of employees feel motivated at work. So what’s going on?

There are several reasons leaders fail to motivate teams. In this blog post, I’ll outline three of the most common ones and offer tips on how you can overcome them. So read on and learn how to unleash the power of motivation in your team!

Leaders Motivate Teams with Clear Communication

Leaders set the tone for the organization. And they do that by creating a compelling vision that is communicated clearly and often. And it turns out leaders don’t do a great job.

Over 91% of employees in one survey think their leaders lack communication skills. And as a result, only 40% said they know the company’s goals, strategies, and tactics.

The first step in improving communication is creating a business vision. And by vision, I mean painting the picture of how the business will look in three to five years. Determine what revenue, headcount, and client base will look like. Fill in as many details as you can. When employees understand your vision for the organization, they know how to align with it. And this increases engagement and helps them make better decisions every day.

Once that is in place, the next step is communication. We are not all going to be rock star Ted-X level speakers. But, we can make sure to do three things when communicating with our teams:

1)     Reinforce the critical points of the vision when presenting to new hires, all-employee meetings, and when reporting on monthly, quarterly, or annual reports.

2)     During one on one or small group interactions, tell the employees how their role helps the company achieve that future vision

3)     Curate and watch videos of leaders speaking to their teams. This will give you insights into effective communication and how to build your message.

The Power of Feedback

Feedback is another essential factor in motivating teams. Nearly 70% of employees said they would work harder if they were better appreciated. And that feedback is better with two-way communication. Employees are four times more likely to perform at their best when they feel heard.

Historically, organizations gave clear feedback once per year during annual reviews. And it was useless. Feedback is an ongoing process to help your team feel appreciated and grow. Too many think feedback is what you do when you see things going wrong. Feedback is most important to provide when you see employees doing something right. It motivates teams more when they know their manager appreciates their work and effort.

And don’t forget to take in feedback from your employees. Your team wants to be heard. And they are worth listening to. They are in the weeds of your business every day. They see the opportunities to improve and know intimately how you can do better. So make sure you listen. And take that feedback into account as you make decisions on the future. Make the changes that work and acknowledge the value of their input.

Set Goals that Inspire and Engage

We have all seen the burned-out employee. The one who has held the same job forever has fallen into a series of dull, repetitive tasks. How can we help them? The key is to create a series of goals aligned with the vision for your business that requires them to stretch a bit harder. To uncover new ways of doing the work to build efficiency and effectiveness. I’ve written before about the SMARTER goals framework, and it’s a great and exciting way to get your team re-engaged and motivated to achieve higher-level goals.

This is particularly effective in motivating your “A” players who may get bored enough to leave and grow elsewhere. It will also help develop your “B” players as they learn to stretch, take risks, and step up to a more significant challenge.

Leaders who want to motivate their teams need to start by understanding what drives employees. There are several reasons leaders fail in this, but with clear communication, the power of feedback, and setting goals that inspire and engage, any leader can create a motivated team. I hope this article has given you some ideas on how you can Motivate Teams.

If you’d like to be more effective at motivating your team, schedule a free leadership assessment and we will dive in!