Second to our home, our workplace is probably where we spend most of our days. Because of this, we interact with our colleagues a lot. And, whether we like it or not, our relationships with them matter because after all, the people that surround us do have an affect on us. I am sure that you can agree that being surrounded with cheerful people who motivate co-workers makes Mondays (and all other days for that matter) that much better.
In the same way, it’s hard to be happy with what you do when irritable, unmotivated people who become disgruntled by simple work tasks surround you. It’s a domino effect, and the truth is, as much as they can affect you, YOU can affect them too. So it’s up to you to influence them positively. And with that, here are 10 highly effective ways to motivate co-workers:
1. Motivate Co-Workers By Passing On The Credit
Did you recently receive some good words for a successful project? While it is totally acceptable and rewarding to step on that pedestal for everyone to hail, it would be better to be humble and pass on the credit to your team. Although you might be the leader of your project, remember that you are not a one-man team and you didn’t do it alone. You were with your co-workers who helped you, so pass on the credits. Success is sweeter when shared. In this way, your co-workers will be more eager and motivated to help you the next time.
2. Let Your Co-Workers Know That You Trust Them
In the workplace, there is probably nothing more tiring than feeling useless. When your boss doesn’t trust you with decisions and critical projects, you feel like you’re not being useful to the team and you begin to question your worth.
According to managing principal Princeton MCG, Robert Bruce Shaw, “A high-trust environment fosters what some call psychological safety, resulting in a more open and collaborative work culture. Research suggests that psychology safety is a key to success particularly at a team level.”
So the next time you are to delegate important tasks, let your co-workers know that you trust them. More importantly, trust them for real. It might be sometimes difficult to do so especially when something is critical, but accept that you can’t do it alone. Your co-workers’ true potentials will come out when the chance is theirs to seize.
3. Praise Your Co-Workers For A Job Well Done
This is, without a doubt, the oldest trick in the book. A person becomes motivated the most when they know that what they are doing is making a difference. Good progress is always addictive. Let your co-worker know that they are doing great and watch them gain confidence. Inspiring someone and motivating them can be as easy as appreciating the work that they does and letting them know that it matters.
4. Motivate Co-Workers By Celebrating Little Wins!
Dissect your project into little milestones and celebrate each time you reach one. True enough, the project may be far from over. But look at it as a step closer to your end goal. By celebrating these little stones, you and your co-workers will feel renewed and thus ready to resume the project with untarnished enthusiasm. Do not wait for all of you to finish the project and feel too exhausted. Celebrate little wins and look forward to the bigger ones!
5. Motivate Co-Workers By Finding That Silver Lining.
The workplace is not exempted in any form from failure. In fact, failures both big and small happen in the four (or more!) corners of your office each day. The key is finding the silver lining of every failure because there always is one. What you need to let your co-workers know is that it’s never too late to correct mistakes when they happen. Don’t let them be disheartened. Lighten up the atmosphere, help them to realize that tomorrow is brand new, and that they can start again.
6. Suggest Team-Building.
You need and (most importantly) deserve a break after working hard! Perhaps you may require a stroll on the beach, a fantastic dessert, or time out at a restaurant where you may talk with co-workers. Whatever it is, take a break from the keyboard and mouse! Take a day off from all the emails, meetings, goals and deadlines! It will be a fun way to catch up on your co-workers’ personal lives sans the work talk. Not only will this relax all of you, but it will also create bonds within your team. Remember, no work talk! After you all get back to work on Monday (hopefully with a sun kissed glow), you will feel that fresh energy that will make you ready for anything again!
7. Support Your Team.
Your co-workers might be carrying burdens on their shoulders, which are heavier than they seem. Inevitably, they will tell you things that are going well and also things that are not necessarily going well, and what is your objective? To let them know that you are there to support them through it all. Cheer for your team! Let them know that you are rooting for them and that they have your vote of confidence.
8. Motivate Co-Workers By Small Gestures.
You will be surprised at how small gestures can actually go a long way. When someone goes out of their way to do something for you, finishes something earlier than anticipated, or in any way demonstrates their devotion, do not feel that it is too hard to acknowledge what they have done, and find out ways that you can thank them. By paying attention to the small things, and being there for others, you’ll be surprised at how these seemingly small gestures become some people’s greatest source of inspiration.
9. Build Friendships Within Your Team.
An employee gets sick of a company when he doesn’t like the people there. In the same way, when employees are friends with each other, they look forward to going to work because it’s also a chance to catch up with friends. Work doesn’t feel like work at all when the people you work with are your friends. Everything just becomes lighter, meetings become more fun, laughter is genuine, lunch becomes a bonding time, and deadlines become squad goals!
According to assistant professor at Tel Aviv University, Hilla Dotan, “If we learn to manage [workplace friendships] and understand them and bring them to be a strategic part of decision-making, we can use them to everyone’s benefit; both employees’ and organizations’.”
It’s difficult though, to force friendships – I know! But you can begin with looking for something in common within your team and build from there. Look at your similarities rather than your differences. Even you will be surprised with how Mondays are made better when you build friendships at your workplace.
10. Set An Example For Your Team.
The last item in our list and arguably the best way to motivate your co-workers is to set an example. Even if you support your team and praise your co-workers and make the team-building happen, they won’t be motivated when you yourself are not practicing what you preach. Remember that words without actions are empty. Before you can motivate others, you have to be motivated yourself. It’s as simple as this – you cannot give what you do not have.
According to Washington Post, “The leader has to serve as a role model. He or she has to be seen as credible (i.e., doing what he/she says they will do, keeping commitments, keeping confidential information private and not talking badly about employees in front of others).”
In other words, your co-workers can see through you when you tell them to stay positive, but your gloom is apparent. In order to motivate your co-workers, you must be able to stay cheerful amidst the deadlines and possible failures. Before you believe in your team, you must believe in yourself; you must keep pushing when others are surrendering.
Remember, the best form of influence is admiration. When your co-workers see that you are doing the best effort that you can in everything that you do, you will earn their admiration. And when they admire you, you will have the power and gift to be able to influence them. Lead not by empty words and brute force, lead by example.
What do you think an effective leader looks like? In what ways do you motivate your team?