- Monday Morning Motivation
- Regular Vision Reminder
- Team Building Exercises
- Regular Appraisals Conversations
- Training Sessions
As a leader, you should be striving for greatness. The last thing a great leader wants to have is an unmotivated employee or, worse yet, an entire team of employees who are failing to find the motivation to push for high performance.
That’s why I’m sharing with you 5 motivational sessions for employees that work. Once you’ve read them, you’ll be able to implement these sessions and watch employee motivation skyrocket.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel either. I’ll show you how to take meetings and sessions that you’re already implementing and transform them into a tool for increasing employee motivation… fast! Here are the motivational sessions and how you can implement them...
1. Monday Morning Motivation
Whether you’re new to business or a seasoned pro, I’m sure you’re familiar with this scene
Your employees stumble into the first meeting on a Monday morning, rubbing their eyes with one hand and covering their yawns with the other. Then they sit down and stare blankly for the entire meeting.
Every leader wants their team firing on all cylinders straight away, so Monday morning is a great opportunity to motivate them and set them up for the week to come. So, don’t assume there’s nothing you can do about Monday morning apathy. Challenge yourself to motivate your employees from the off and get them fist-pumping in the first 30 minutes.
Don’t make it easy for your employees to sit back and passively absorb the information - get them to participate in whatever way you can. One way to liven up these Monday morning meetings is to turn them into activities. Challenge your employees to chair the meeting or make every member contribute some form of input, however small.
This is especially important if you have team members who are shy or nervous about speaking up in meetings. Giving them a little push to come out of their shell could result in a bounty of new ideas. Remember though, this technique is about improving motivation, so be careful not to judge people’s inputs too harshly. Even a bad idea has a lot of value if it gets your team talking and motivated for the week to come.
If you’re successful in creating a supportive environment where employees are challenged to have an active participation in Monday mornings, you’ll soon see your employees becoming more engaged and motivated.
Alongside challenging your team to be more active or chair meetings, try to think of creative ways to start your meetings. Team building games may seem a little cliche, but something as simple as a quick game of charades could be enough to break the ice and give your team a fun start to the week.
Whatever you choose to do, the key is to not let your meetings become something that your team can take part in passively. Start the week creatively you’ll be on the way to improving motivation and innovation.
Turn those lethargic yawns into barbaric roars!
2. Regular Vision Reminder
Do your employees understand your vision? If your answer is “yes” then great! But, I have a follow-up question - when were they last made aware of it?
In many instances, when an employee joins a team, they are made aware of the organisation’s vision and goals. The problem lies in the fact that this is never repeated.
Your business’s vision should be at the heart of everything you and your team do. Whether coming up with a new strategy or deciding on tasks, the question should always be:
How will this bring the business closer to achieving its vision?
If your team isn’t aware of what the vision or goals they’re trying to achieve are, they’ll very quickly start questioning the point of the work they’re completing, and that can’t be good for motivation.
For more information on why it is important to make your employees aware of why you do what you do, take a look at The Golden Circle.
If your employees are regularly reminded about why they are doing what they’re doing, they’ll be more engaged with their roles and more motivated to succeed. One way to ensure they understand your vision is to adapt your meetings to ensure you regularly highlight how your team’s work will help move the company towards that vision.
It might seem unnecessary if you’ve already explained your vision to them once already but, when working on a task, our minds focus on that project and it can be easy to forget the wider vision that’s at stake, especially when tight deadlines force you to focus on short-term goals without considering the long-term ones. Don’t give your employees the chance to forget. Keep the goal at the front of their minds and you'll have a team that's consistently motivated and engaged.
3. Team Building Exercises
You should be building your motivational sessions around teamwork. Employees that get along with one another make for a motivated team that is driven to succeed.
A team building activity doesn’t have to look like a weekend away, binding barrels and logs into a crude, misshapen raft only for it to fall to pieces at the first attempt - as fun as that might sound.
Team building activities can take the form of small activities in your workplace. The sessions can last all day or 5 short minutes, the only stipulation is that they get your team working together.
Challenge your employees to find solutions to complex problems where they must work as a team. These problem-solving sessions could be carried out individually but, by getting your team to work together, you create a culture of teamwork where employees are more likely to be motivated for the other members of the team.
Even better you may discover new talents in your team that you were never aware of. The person who usually keeps themselves to themselves could show a flair for leadership or demonstrate an ability to work under pressure.
Set aside some time each week for team building exercises and you’ll be surprised how quickly it can raise morale and build a team that’s motivated to work for each other to achieve the organisation’s goals.
4. Regular Appraisals conversations
What thoughts does the word 'appraisal' conjure up in your mind? Potentially not positive ones. Appraisals should perhaps be renamed 'development conversations'. Regular chats at a human level can prove to be the most motivational sessions you can have with your employees and are a great opportunity to assess motivation levels and to increase motivation on an individual basis. Don't forget that this should not be a 6 or 12 monthly thing - it happens on a daily basis.
This type of session is a great chance for you to inquire about your employees’ concerns and questions, including how motivated they feel daily. Remember, this is a two-sided conversation so you should get as much information from them as they get from you. Ask them if there’s any aspect of their role that could be changed to improve their motivation.
This is especially important as without regular meetings, leaders can be left blissfully unaware of the struggles team members are facing, only to learn of them when they hand in their notice. If you have a great team, you need to be having regular reviews with them.
Setting aside time for each member of your team to ask for their input shows that you value the opinions of your employees and gives them more control over their work which helps to improve motivation.
As this session is carried out on an individual basis for your employees, it can be implemented in conjunction with team building activities, which is a motivator for the team as a collective. Try to schedule in individual conversations after team building activities to gauge their feelings about the activity. This will give you a great insight into what motivates your employees and what doesn’t.
5. Training Sessions
If you were thinking the sole purpose of training is to teach and that motivation shouldn’t be a part of this type of session, you’d be mistaken. Why would you want to take the time to train your employees if they are simply going to leave the session having learned the information but having gained no motivation to implement it?
A great way to make training more engaging and motivational is to organise group sessions. Much like the team building activities, group training sessions are a great opportunity for your team to come together and learn as a collective.
According to Jane E. Dutton and Emily Heaphy of the Harvard Business Review, “We rarely grow alone. In fact, some psychologists have made a compelling case that we only grow in connection with others... We can have more control over our learning at work if we make building high-quality connections a priority.”
Make your training sessions inclusive and enjoyable. If you do that, your employees will be more engaged and motivated to put their new found knowledge into action and work as a team towards the business’s goals.
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” - Richard Branson
When organising your next meeting or training session, ask yourself, “would I leave this session motivated to succeed?”. If the answer is “no” then you should question the validity of the session.
Every meeting is an opportunity to refresh your company’s vision in the minds of your employees and every development chat is a chance to boost motivation by listening to your employees.
Why would you want to run a session that doesn’t motivate your employees and make them work better as a team? So, during your next session, be it a morning meeting or training exercise, look around at the faces of your team and ask yourself, “am I doing enough to motivate my employees?”