A close-knit team is associated with high-quality problem solving, cool atmosphere, quick adaptation of newcomers. The secret of such a team is not only in hiring people who love their profession, but also in creating the right motivation for the smooth execution of tasks.
Do you want to build a business with such a team? In this article, we’ll show you how to motivate people to create a dream team.
How to choose the best employee
There are two ways to reward employees.
- Motivate the team through mass events, gifts or bonus systems.
- Publicly encourage the best employees, set them up as an example.
In the first case, everything is quite simple – you organize some cool event and invite employees to visit it.
The second option is more difficult. Management should strive to get the most positive effect in the team from rewarding the employee. The ideal chosen one will tell his friends and colleagues about the event (make a post on social networks), start working with renewed vigor and try to increase the popularity of the company’s products.
In order not to be mistaken, we recommend using two main criteria for selecting the best subordinates:
- Achievement of the set goals.
- Time tracking.
Consider your goals
The principles by which it is worth setting goals are formed in the abbreviation SMART.
S – specific. Each goal set must be specific.
M – measurable. Each goal must be measurable. This will allow you to evaluate its implementation.
A – achievable. Every goal must be achievable. Difficult or almost unattainable goals are not taken into account by employees, since the reward for achieving them is not worth the effort.
R – relevant. Each tactical goal should contribute to the advancement of the company’s mission.
T – timely. The date for solving each problem should be determined in advance. This will allow employees to distribute their forces and find the best ways to achieve the goal.
All employee goals must be consistent with SMART in order to compete fairly with colleagues in the fight for the title of “best employee”.
You should also update your progress data on a weekly basis and never change it after installation. This will allow each subordinate to distribute forces when completing tasks.
Each functional department of the company has its own specifics of work. In this regard, it is necessary to choose the best employee from each department. For example, from HR – the one who hired the most in-demand specialists, from the programmers – the one who performed the most complex tasks, from the testers – who tested the applications most of all and found bugs.
Use time tracking
Time tracking has nothing to do with corporate slavery and Big Brother. It is now the practice of companies looking to improve employee productivity.
Such a system helps not only firms. Employees and freelancers procrastinate less, strive to achieve goals faster than increase their value in the labor market.
In addition, such programs make it much easier to find the best employees. The fact is that modern time trackers form a lot of information about the team’s work in reports.
Time and attendance systems usually have the following capabilities:
- collect screenshots of the screen;
- sort the spent working time according to different tasks;
- track employees’ devices via GPS;
- integrate various applications and project management systems – Basecamp, Asana, Jira, Podio, Freshdesk and others;
- identify the sites and applications most popular among employees;
- remind you to work during a long break;
- monitor mouse and keyboard activity.
Some functions may seem redundant when choosing the best employee, but this is only at first glance.
For example, we have a logistics company. It seems to be easy to determine the most effective forwarder or courier – by the number of delivered parcels. However, if you add to this the time worked and the mileage traveled, the result will change dramatically.
Another example is an IT product company. By far the best employee will be Team Lead, whose team has created the most profitable project.
But how do you track the most productive proger with the lower skill? It is worth looking at how much time beginners spend on self-study, and compare it with the number of tasks completed. It’s not that hard – the program will collect screenshots of the screen. The best Junior and Trainee must be awarded.
How to reward the selected employee and influence the team
The first rule of good reward is to create an example.
To some, this advice will seem trivial. Soviet collective farms appear before our eyes, rewarding the best milkmaids with labor banners or signs “worker of the month” at McDonald’s. However, from a psychological point of view, it really works.
There should be a leader among the staff who will help solve any problem. The company often owes this employee an increase in profits, general qualifications of the team and timely implementation of plans. Employees will consider it fair to award this employee, because it is on him that the whole team rests.
Reward the best people
Make the employee feel that the company cares about him. Overwork, strict deadlines that were met, a creative approach to solving problems, successfully launched projects and more or less decent behavior at corporate events – the employee will be pleased that all this was noticed. It will be even more pleasant when the employee’s efforts are assessed with a bonus in the form of a paid trip to a Polish ski resort, a hike along the Lycian Trail or a relaxing vacation in Italy.
In this case, the manager achieves several goals at once:
- the best subordinate, who is probably overworking, gets a well-deserved rest;
- upon arrival, this worker starts his duties with a fresh head and interesting ideas;
- and most importantly, such an example motivates the team to compete for the title of the best employee and to improve overall productivity.
By the way, about the competitions. The second rule of proper encouragement is to use playful methods to increase interest in the work and speed up the implementation of a specific project. This approach presupposes the creation of intra-corporate competition, which, as we indicated above, increases productivity.
For gamification to work, it must have the following traits:
- the presence of obstacles and challenges;
- instant feedback and FAQ;
- the presence of a scoring system and a leaderboard;
- special badges for participants;
- interaction and competition between participants (that is, interaction within an individual team and competition with others).
We conditionally divide gamification into:
- constant – a system of achievements;
- temporary – specially prepared games that are limited to a certain period.
Constant is used throughout the entire life cycle of the company. In such cases, the employee receives “achievements” – achievements for special services to the company.
Temporary gamification works great for improving seasonal sales, accelerating newbie learning, and building team spirit. In such cases, themed games show excellent results, which allow employees to plunge into the atmosphere of their favorite movie or game.
For example, in 2015, the telecommunications company Yota decided to launch a corporate Star Wars competition. The employees were divided into competing factions, each of which sought to dominate its conditional galaxy (region). To conduct the game, 14 coaches were involved who worked throughout the country.
To win the race, you had to maximize your team’s military potential. This required fulfilling sales plans, adhering to service standards and diligent training.
The result was not long in coming – seasonal sales increased, the motivation of employees changed, and the product knowledge of the staff significantly improved.
Most often, companies mix both types of gamification to achieve the best effect. However, do not forget that no matter what game methods of motivation you use, they will not shoot without worthy rewards.
If employees are not rewarded with worthy prizes, gamification will stop working, and this is a loss from its implementation.
Play sports together
The third rule of correct motivation is to play sports and actively spend leisure time with your subordinates. This is fraught with consequences:
- improving team cohesion;
- a more friendly and pleasant atmosphere;
- increasing labor productivity by improving the health of workers;
- removal of work stress and sublimation of negative energy, which leads to a decrease in the number of conflicts in the team.
The main question is which sport is most suitable. A low entry threshold is required to engage most employees. First of all, airsoft and laser tag are suitable. Easy-to-learn games where team tactics are important.
In increasing difficulty, the entry will go to classic football, volleyball, basketball. In addition to the skill of the game, cooperation, communication between players is also important here. And, of course, do not forget about extreme sports – hiking, bike rides, kayak races, bungee jumping, parachute jumping.
Improve the qualifications of your employees
Smarter employees perform their tasks faster and better. Thus, they generate more profit for the company than their less qualified counterparts. Therefore, educational courses and business trips are a great opportunity not only to improve relations with the team, but also to increase its productivity.
There are a couple of nuances that you need to know when motivating employees with educational programs:
- the employee’s interest in professional development;
- coordination with an employee of the choice of an educational course;
- in the presence of a permanent professional development program – partial payment for subordinate courses (for example, in a ratio of 20% – an employee, 80% – a company). This way, only really interested employees will complete the program.
Encourage the pursuit of education even when it is not directly related to the responsibilities of the subordinate. Broadening the horizons of an employee can bring the most unexpected results.
What kind of encouragement will go to the detriment of motivation
A well-developed motivation system does not always work as intended. In certain cases, the initiative of the management will be accepted by the staff with frank irony.
Such attempts to motivate are not only annoying, but also devalue the entire reward system. Therefore, it is important to avoid these pitfalls:
- assignment of titles or nicknames;
- focusing on the “pleasant little things” of the office;
- obligatory corporate parties;
- posting on message boards, mentioning in corporate chats or at meetings.
Let’s sort it out in order. Preparing this material, I had to shovel a lot of information. In many of the articles encountered, recruiters advised managers to assign titles or nicknames to subordinates. For example, one publication called for workers who are slow to solve problems “turtles” or “snails.”
This form of treatment not only humiliates human dignity, but also creates tension in the team. It is much more productive to talk to the employee and solve problems that prevent him from performing better.
The so-called “nice buns” (free biscuits, coffee machine, tea) are an obligatory attribute of a modern company. Therefore, when a manager or HR focuses attention on them, it immediately alarms experienced workers. Such actions look like inflating prices for themselves with no real benefits.
We would like to highlight the obligatory corporate parties. This authoritarian method of team building leads to sudden layoffs and poor motivation. After all, not a single employee who does not want to go to a corporate party will get pleasure from the event when attending it.
Another situation: imagine yourself as an ordinary worker. After your morning coffee, you find out that there is a general meeting today. On it, you are publicly awarded and applauded as the most productive employee in the quarter. In addition to the fact that for the next three months everyone will be able to contemplate your portrait on the honor board, a brand new cup flaunts on the table.
At first, such an event is very pleasing and inspires to work with renewed vigor for several days. Over time, however, objective analysis darkens the picture. You think that with this kind of performance, other companies are rewarding more meaningful gifts. Such rewards are cheap blurring of the eyes.
How to motivate the team
Each team has its own productivity reserve. To release it, employees should be encouraged.
In the right hands, motivation becomes the key to improving employee skills, improving the corporate atmosphere and increasing the company’s bottom line.
To select the employee you need to reward, use the information:
- by goals achieved / tasks completed;
- according to time trackers.
Once the best candidate has been found, motivate him with the entire team:
- set the best employee as an example with extraordinary rewards;
- gamify routine work moments;
- invite the team to a sports competition;
- improve your qualifications with educational courses.