The magic answer to motivating your team

There are many different motivational theories out there and many businesses coming out of a difficult economic down turn looking for ways in which they can increase morale and motivation.

Are Maslow and Herzberg really going offer the magic answer to increasing levels of motivation? Both models can certainly help raise awareness about the fundamental wants and needs of employees but what else can businesses and managers do to keep employees motivated and engaged?

What about if we just simplified the concept of motivating people? Doing the little things well and often? What if we……..

  • Offered praise and recognition for a job well done?
  • Spoke to staff on a regular basis?
  • Adapted our communication style to get the best out of others?
  • Took an interest in the challenges that they currently face?
  • Offered a supportive ear when problems are raised?
  • Got to know a little bit more about them as person? The football team they support or their other interests outside of work.
  • Gave clear direction & instruction on daily tasks / activities?
  • Provided constructive and developmental feedback when required?

I think we would all agree, if managers were able to do just half of the things on the list above you would see a shift in the motivation and engagement of staff.

Future Proof Training have developed a range of different workshops and programmes that focus on getting the best out the individuals within a team.


Investing in new managers a must!

For many years technical competence, experience in the role or time served in a business have been the criteria for promoting employees to a people manager position. A natural assumption is made that with experience and expertise comes an ability to successfully manage a team of people.

There is no doubting that having experience and technical know how can command the respect of others however, when managing people for the first time so many other skills come under scrutiny. Just raising awareness around different personality preferences (both your own and those within your team) will provide a great foundation for when looking at the best ways to communicate and engage with your team.

Building on this foundation, new managers can be introduced to different management / leadership styles that looks at the importance of flexibility and adaptability in their approach. Situational leadership would be an excellent model to explore especially when looking at team dynamics, delegation, objective setting, giving feedback and supporting the development of individuals.

Future Proof have developed a highly effective new managers programme that will successfully support the transition from colleague to managing a team. We are aware that ‘one size does not fit all’ therefore our programmes can be fully tailored to ensure they meet the specific requirements of your business and your people managers.

Why do we persist with performance appraisals?

In many organisations the administration, chasing and collation of information from the annual / biannual performance appraisal is not necessarily the most enjoyable task HR / L&D professionals are asked to carry out. Many appraisals are not completed on time and those that do come back do not always articulate good performance and development objectives that will help individuals and the business progress.

Based on the above, it has got to be worth asking the question, “what would happen if we just stopped doing them?”

Over recent years many organisations have done just that. Instead of looking for a replacement, businesses are looking for their managers and leaders to take more responsibility for the performance and development of their teams by employing a more fluid and regular approach.

‘Quality Conversations’ is one businesses shift in thinking. Encouraging managers to be proactive in engaging with their teams across a whole range of daily operational tasks. They are encouraging managers to get close to their people by….

  • Providing clear direction
  • Putting in place effective communication channels
  • Setting measurable objectives
  • Giving constructive feedback on poor / good performance
  • Offering support & additional guidance when required
  • Identifying development & progression opportunities

And, the good thing about this approach is its responsive nature. They want managers to act in a timely fashion and determined by the needs of the individual / team not wait until the six or twelve month process takes please.

Future Proof can support your managers go through a change in approach or we can work within your current performance review process to ensure that they understand the importance of a proactive and people centre approach to managing performance and progression. The formal part of the review then simply becomes and overview / summary of what we know is happening already.

Taking a proactive approach to managing performance

Over the last twenty years whenever I’ve been asked if we deliver anything on performance management the conversation very quickly turns to helping managers deal with difficult people / situations. This is a subject that we can certainly help with, however on many occasions when we start to dig a little deeper the scenarios presented to us have developed due to managers shying away from taking action a lot sooner.

At Future Proof we believe in taking a proactive approach to managing performance and the ideal would be to start performance management the day an employee joins the business. The ability of a manager to set clear and measurable objectives even on your first day will provide direction and guidelines regarding the quality of work required.

The information gathered from an effective method of monitoring performance can then be used for identifying and giving feedback on both good and poor performance. A constructive and objective approach to giving feedback on poor performance allows a manager (in a timely fashion) to work with an employee to implement supportive actions that are focused on improving levels of performance. On-going monitoring is important to observe the progress being made and if any further action need to be taken.

Just as important as offering feedback on poor performance, we must also recognise and reward (if appropriate) those who do a good job. Even if they have successfully completed the job they are paid to do, why shouldn’t we say ‘well done’ or ‘thank you’? Employee engagement is a key trend across UK businesses and making employees feel valued and having a sense of belonging can only increase levels of employee engagement.