1. Make the Purpose of your company clear.
Your Mission, your Vision, your Purpose – you may call it whatever you like, but your company needs one, and it must be meaningful. Make it clear to yourself first, then share with your team.
If you find this “touchy-feely stuff” below your leadership greatness – do not bother reading further.
2. Make sure you know who your real team is.
We all are members of at least two teams, and those teams have goals and values that must be aligned. If you happen to be the one on the top, communicate the Purpose to your team. But most likely you do have an “upper team” to align with first.
Next, make it clear to each team members what exactly is their role and how that role impacts the Purpose. You may not have the luxury to select your team, especially if you are the newest team member.
Chances are that not all the Stars in your team are aligned.
You may decide to run a Q7 team assessment that will indicate how converged your team is and how well it is aligned with the company Purpose.
3. Your No.1 Mission is to get people engaged and motivated.
Regardless of the company Purpose, the No.1 Mission – Purpose – Goal of every manager is to engage and motivate their teams.
Engaging and motivating players is not an HR role. No Olympic team has an HR function.
But they always have coaches though.
HRs are primed to secure supply of “human assets” at the lowest cost. They do not know what “Better before cheaper” rule means and shrug at the weird statement “Excellence is a state of mind” (Who’s Tom Peters?!). Even if HRs declare that “our human assets” are “the most valuable,” their role is not much different from Purchasing.
Purchasing will never motivate even the most valuable assets.
4. Start with yourself.
Motivating the team is the No.1 Purpose of every manager, so
if you can’t motivate your own team, how do you expect them to motivate theirs?
Communicate, meet with your team – and one-on-one with each player – regularly and encourage them to do the same.
If they say that there’s never enough time, (a) remind them of their No.1 Purpose; (b) help to make their meetings meaningful (up to 50% time-saving); and, if that does not help, (c) emphasize the fifth point (below).
5. Make sure that your Stars and Slackers are recognized.
Make sure that your Stars are recognized and properly rewarded.
make sure that your Slackers are not rewarded but recognized by everybody.
Recognition and rewards matter a lot, both ways. Although making individual bonuses public is not a good idea in most situations, making sure that the top performers are rewarded royally is a must. In general, it should correspond to the actual contribution to the business results, and sometimes it is much more than 100%, so be it. Any reward that is less than 10-15% will not motivate the top performer but will definitely frustrate the next guy.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Slackers should not get ANY bonus at all, not even the annual salary increase. Most important is to make the entire team aware of that, thus encouraging the Slackers to take the only right move: leave the team.
Now, the HR will jump in and say that you can’t do just that.
Yes, you can, if you follow the above five points –
basically do what you are supposed to do as Manager.