Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to motivate your team members

When it comes to construction management jobs, it may seem like the best way to ensure success is to adopt a tough, target-driven approach. After all, most of the time, your objective is clear – complete a project. You figure, focus on your end product and everything will be alright. The problem with this is that it ignores your most important resource: your team. You may have a clear vision but your employees may not have the same goals those of the business. And managers can’t succeed on their own.

To move your company forward, you need to engage your team. You will get the most out of your staff if they feel like there is a shared vision between them and management.

Are you a people person?

The Work Foundation surveyed energy company EDF Energy and public services company Serco, as well as four other large businesses, and found that the most successful business leaders adopted a highly people-centred approach.

“Outstanding leaders focus on people, attitudes and engagement, co-creating vision and strategy”, says Penny Tamkin, whose team conducted 250 interviews over two years for the January 2010 report. “They manage performance holistically, attending to the mood and behaviour of their people as well as organisational objectives. And instead of seeing people as one of many priorities, they put the emphasis on people issues first.”

Some things you can do to make sure your team is as important as your profits statement:
Craft company objectives people can relate to. Being the most profitable company in the industry is fine for shareholders. Being a company that works together with a community is something employees can be proud of.
Understand what motivates people. Some people perform better when challenged, others when they feel like they are supported.
Converse with your employees. While you don’t want to forgo work for conversation, talking to your employees about things that may not be work-related is an important part of creating a positive and trusting relationship that will make things easier when the work stacks up.
Give people space and time. Crowding your employees will likely raise their anxiety level and that may lead to a decrease in work quality.
Set communal long-term objectives. If you want your employees to embrace long-term goals, make them part of the decision process.

“At the end of the day, leadership is all about attracting, retaining and motivating people to actually perform for you, and to deliver against goals”, as one respondent puts it.

“It’s almost about giving people something that they want to believe in, and to make them feel that what they’re doing is worthwhile. It’s also about ensuring that people enjoy what they do and have a sense of fun in what they’re doing.”

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