When it comes to motivation, you must cease viewing this as a task to check off a list, and embrace it as a vital component of your leadership style. Simply put, when it comes to motivating your IT employees, less is so very much more.
Incentive programs that are used to motivate employees mask an underlying problem that cannot be fixed with a Starbucks gift card; they disguise the fact that they are being put in place to ramp up intrinsic motivation that may not even be present. A good preemptive step in preventing a lack of intrinsic motivation is to hire with precision. If you have been successful in your hiring choices, you will notice that your staff is inherently motivated.
To motivate existing staff members, however, one must be a highly-visible and accessible example of goal-setting. Create short-term goals with the input from your staff, and share the progress on those goals often (think about taking time to update during a weekly staff meeting.) Celebrate the achievements of the individuals on your team and stress the importance of their contributions to the project as a whole. Feeling integral to a project can be highly motivating.
Independence is a huge motivator for most individuals. Motivate your staff by trusting them. Micromanaging is, at its core, an act of distrust; when you demand that a task must be carried out on your terms, you are creating an unnecessary power struggle, and communicating that you do not trust your employees to “get it right.” Shifting your focus to results will free up your managerial time for actual leadership–not just nitpicking. Allow your employees to complete their tasks their way, on their time, so long as the result and deadline achieved. If you do not trust your employees to complete their jobs, you have not recruited suitable individuals for your team.
How might your office environment change if you met with your staff each Monday morning and outlined goals for the week, agreeing to reconvene on Friday to update, follow up and reassess? If you indicated that you have little interest in how, where, or when work was completed–so long as it is within the parameters you provided–what changes might you see in your office? Would the tone change? The answer is probably, “Absolutely.” Your mentors may have taught you about “tightening the reins,” but the way of the future is ROWE (Results-Only Work Environments.) According to Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson’s new book Why Managing Sucks, ROWEs increase employee retention and loyalty as well as customer satisfaction.
Treating your employees like the adults they are seems like a no-brainer, but when it comes down to it, many managers have the confidence and trust in their teams and in themselves to properly motivate and lead. But when the right manager, the right staff, and the right goals align, all parties involved are happier and more productive.
If you are looking for assistance in landing top IT talent, contact the Phoenix staffing experts at AZ Tech Finders today!
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