What gets people to really work hard, aside from a great paycheck? Those who go above and beyond see their role as one that contributes to the betterment of society, in big or small ways. One of the fundamental dynamics of a successful team is a unified belief that their work is making a difference. So, no matter how menial the task may seem, managers and CEOs have the ability to instill nobility through perspective. Here are three simple, evidence-based strategies you can use to help your team find meaning in their work, and allow them to be the most productive they’ve ever been.
1) Allow Opportunities for Them to Do the Best Work They’ve Ever Done
“People bring their best, and do their best, if they feel like you’ve given them the opportunity to do the best work they’ve ever done.” – Margaret Heffernen, CEO and Ted Speaker
If you want your employees to accomplish your most important business goals, you must speak to their personal goals. How do their own personal and professional motivations align with the goals of the organization? Identify what drives them and structure the approach to achievement through this lens. Management by Objectives (MBO) outlines a six-step process for this. Enabling them to do their best work is also allowing them the optimal work environment – are your employees operating within an environment of autonomy? Do they feel respected by their coworkers and supervisors? Are they learning something new? Develop an environment that encourages them to flourish so their best work comes out naturally.
2) Give Them Results They Can See
Nothing is more demotivating to workers than investing time and energy into projects that make no impact, or even worse, never even get seen. People tend to be more productive if they understand how their work affects the business as a whole and the customers they serve. Before and/or a project is submitted, craft a list of what the results are and the potential benefits it serves across all operations.
3) Develop Ways for Teams to Spend Quality Time Together
Social capital gives companies momentum, and compounds with time. According to a study conducted by MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory on high-performing teams, the best predictors of productivity are a team’s energy and engagement outside formal meetings. After the lab advised a major bank’s call center to have synchronized coffee breaks, the business saw a $15m increase in productivity and a 10% increase in employee satisfaction. Consider creating a way for your employees to socialize with their teammates, away from their normal workstations, and you’ll see that over time performance will transform.