As the team lead, it can be disheartening when your team is not hitting their goals. Whether it is a deadline that is getting tight, obstacles that seem impossible to tackle, or too many things to juggle, it still does not feel good to miss your goal and has the potential to deflate your team’s spirit.
Our leadership clients often ask us how they should respond when things are not going as planned, especially when they are discouraged as well. When faced with such challenges, it is essential that you keep your team motivated to keep moving forward – but how?
There are three important steps to keep in mind while trying to keep your team motivated when times are difficult: Be realistic, be hopeful, and provide clarity.
#1 Be Realistic
When it comes to leading your team to success, being realistic about your team’s current situation, abilities, and limitations is crucial in determining what your next move should be. Being realistic also shows your team that you are in touch with reality and that you understand how they currently feel. It is difficult to motivate a team if they feel the leader does not understand the challenges they are facing.
For example, if your team is projected to come up short on a production goal and you come in all rainbows and butterflies about how they are going to make their plan, your team is likely to ignore your positive notions because they feel you do not get what they are going through.
However, if you acknowledge that they are off track and that there is a challenging road ahead, they can see that you are aware of the situation and will be open to hearing your proposed solutions.
To assure you truly have a realistic perspective, promote open communication and encourage your team to speak up to share their perspective as well It is always better to know what obstacles they are facing so you can help navigate through these challenges, rather than going in blindly.
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#2 Be Hopeful
Another key concept for motivating your team is to instill a sense of hope, especially when things are not going as planned. Hope is your glimmer of light when challenges and obstacles dim the path to success.
When your team feels that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, they are more likely to remain motivated and focused. One way to do this is to celebrate small wins along the way and acknowledge the progress made, even if it is not yet the final goal. By acknowledging progress, you can help your team realize they are capable of achieving success and that they are indeed making progress towards the main goal.
To inspire hope within your team, it is important the team understands why hitting the goals is important to them and the entire team. Communicate the purpose and significance of the project clearly, emphasizing how its successful completion aligns with their role and collectively as an organization. To help solidify the purpose of the project, encourage open dialogue and active participation, allowing team members to share their thoughts and feelings about the project. During these discussions, have team members take responsibility for different steps or stages of the project that you believe they’ll succeed at. This will help foster a sense of ownership, commitment, and your team will feel valued for their contribution to the project. By fostering a culture of hope and belief in the team’s potential, you empower them to rise above challenges and setbacks, ultimately achieving your goals.
#3 Provide Clarity and Accountability
Now that your team can see you understand the situation and that you still believe there is a way toward the finish line, it is crucial to provide your team with clear expectations and directions on what to do next and who is accountable for each step in the plan. When your team has a clear understanding of what is expected of them, they can focus on the right things to achieve those goals. Clear communication is key to providing clarity and accountability.
Providing clarity in the beginning is not enough, you have to provide clear feedback on their performance throughout their progress. Constructive feedback can help your team identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to achieve their goals. By providing clarity, you can help your team stay focused and motivated toward the end goal.
Motivating your team when facing setbacks can be a challenging task. However, by focusing on setting realistic goals, inspiring hope, and providing clarity and accountability, you can help your team remain motivated and focused.
How Can Benchmark Training Help Your Team Stay Motivated?
By investing in developing leaders within your organization, you can help create a culture of improvement and learning, which can lead to increased productivity, increased employee satisfaction and retention, and a team motivated to go the extra mile.