21 Productivity Techniques to Motivate Your Team

kanbanize

An unhappy, uninspired team isn’t going to get you very far. Even your best employees can have times when they’re feeling less than motivated and as a leader, it’s your responsibility to help boost morale and guide your team.

Motivating your team and company doesn’t have to require expensive retreats or showy displays of affection however, often little actions, like these 20 productivity techniques, go a long way in making employees feel more appreciated, focused and driven.

A special thanks to our friends at Kanbanize, a visual management app which boosts your productivity by applying lean principles to your work, for sponsoring the following techniques.

1. Regularly give recognition

Everyone knows that giving recognition is important for awarding a job well done and highlighting successes… but do you do it enough?

Personally acknowledging team members’ work both privately and publicly shows you notice and appreciate their efforts.

2. Create a pleasant work environment

Sometimes superficial things can be some of the most important, and creating a workspace that people respect and are comfortable in, is often a key motivational factor in producing better work.

Your work environment should reflect the quality you expect to see from your employees.

3. Give immediate feedback

If someone does a good job, don’t hesitate to congratulate or recognize them in front of the group. Knowing that their work is valued and appreciated will make them more willing to continue putting in the extra effort.

Visualize Workflow and Limit Work in Progress

You may have not heard of Kanban, but you should definitely give it a try. With tools like Kanbanize you can visually map each state of your project, set work in progress limits (WIP Limits) and reduce the time you need to get things done by a factor of three or even more.

The great thing about it is that you can use it in both IT and non-IT teams.

5. Offer leadership roles

Employees want to feel like they’re working toward something, both for the company and for themselves. Be clear on what promotions, additional responsibilities and leadership roles are available to people within the company.

Additionally, even small roles and recognitions, like having someone lead a meeting or be responsible for a company activity can help instill a sense of purpose, recognition and accomplishment – all major motivational factors.

6. Schedule social activities

All work and no play will make your employees a dull group. Not only are regular breaks important for mental clarity and activity, but allowing your employees to connect on a more personal level will make them more understanding and appreciative of each other.

Inject a bit of fun into company activities to get people looking forward to their work instead of running from it.

7. Provide additional training

Show your employees that you’re invested in not only their work, but their career. Offering additional training, workshops or courses can improve workers’ skills and confidence while also helping them look at their work in a new light.

8. Lead by example

If you want your team to work hard, than you need to show you’re working hard as well. Lead by example and your employees will follow.

9. Give clear instructions

If an employee is unclear of the task at hand they’ll spend precious work time trying to figure it out or, worse, avoiding it. Giving crystal clear instructions will help make sure everyone stays on task and is secure in their role with the company.

10. Set clear goals

Additionally, setting clear, measurable goals that everyone is aware of not only serves as a roadmap for the company, but a stimulus and incentive for individuals to help contribute to the team.

11. Support independent thinking

Encouraging your team to think creatively, take initiative, make decisions and act on their own will help them be more invested and responsible for their work than simply taking orders on autopilot.

12. Focus on wellness

We are nothing without our health. Show employees you care about their health and happiness by putting their physical and mental wellbeing over profits.

This could be setting aside time during the week for rest and relaxation or simply encouraging employees to take advantage of their time off and benefits. If your employees aren’t happy, then no one will be happy.

13. Deliver little rewards

Rewards and recognition don’t have to be expensive or elaborate.

Make a habit of regularly acknowledging employee efforts through little rewards or practices such as acknowledging someone at a company meeting, taking the time to thank them privately or organizing an office treat.

14. Open up communication

With any relationship, communication is key to ensure you understand each other, respect each other and are working toward the same goals. Keep internal communication open to help build a tightknit team.

15. Ask for feedback

Allow your team to air concerns or criticisms and then work to address them. Make sure your employees know their input is valued and taken into consideration.

16. Treat employees to time off

What could be more motivating than being rewarded with some extra time off? This could be instituting a company-wide shorter day on Fridays or offering an extra day off as a prize for the first employee to reach a certain goal.

17. Create company traditions

Create an atmosphere where people want to come in to work everyday by establishing company traditions large and small.

Perhaps this means instituting a regular employee recognition award or cultivating team activities for a special holiday or event.

18. Prepare your team with the right tools

Set your team up for success by supplying them with the tools they need to get the job done.

This could mean investing in new technology or making sure they have easy access to information they need – whatever it is, arm them with the tools and support necessary for success.

19. Offering coaching and mentoring

No one likes feeling like they’re working in isolation or being looked over. Increase loyalty and motivation by showing your employees you care about their professional growth and accomplishments.

20. Be transparent

Being open and honest with your team will help you earn their trust and respect, which in turn will facilitate a deeper understanding, connection and loyalty to the company.

21. Say “Thank you”

These two common words go a long way and never get old. Whether a team member has closed a major sale or succeeded in a small victory, simply saying, “Thank you”, is always appreciated.

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