Do your team members feel like they’re drowning under the weight of the workload that keeps getting tossed their way? In high-stress situations, your people can start to burn out. They may start showing up late or turning out sloppy work.
Dominik Pogorzelski faced a similar situation when he moved into a role that required him to manage engineers. To keep his team motivated, he penned a few rules to manage by. You might find his advice helpful if you sense your team members are losing motivation.
It’s not particularly exciting to work on a project that has been handed down from senior management, especially when team members can see the flaws in the design. Try to set up projects that solicit feedback and design suggestions from your employees. Once you decide on the mandatory features to be included in the upgraded product, let your employees determine how they want to implement them.
If your employees sit in back rooms or far flung offices and work on products while management emphasizes cost savings or technical wizardry, they, and you, could be missing a key point – customer feedback. You can increase motivation and improve product design by setting up a customer focus group to discuss details with your employees. When your people see how customers use a product and what they like and don’t like about it, they’ll be inspired to work harder.
It can be challenging for people to keep their attention focused on finishing a project with a tight deadline. After your team achieves the goal, reward them – especially by thanking them. You should also give them a heads-up about what’s coming next. If you have a tentative schedule for the next product rollout, share the details with them. That way, they’ll feel like they have more control over their future and be able to plan their time off.
The bottom line is that your employees want to feel that what they do matters. Treat them respectfully and professionally, and you can expect them to respond the same way.