One of the challenges of any business, no matter the size, is finding a way to create a cohesive unit that feels motivated and inspired to work together in a meaningful way. Negotiating different personalities, heading off conflicts before they become major problems, and finding ways to give feedback that can truly make a difference can all be difficult and time-consuming. However, the pay off for finding ways to connect team members to one another and the company as a whole is well worth the effort.
Let’s explore why motivation and inspiration are worth the work and how to implement steps that foster these important elements.
Why do you need a motivated, inspired team?
There are many reasons that your team’s inspiration and motivation should be important to the overall concerns of the business. After all, human resources are the most valuable asset for any business that deals with information or innovation. Finding, hiring, and training good employees is a very costly and prolonged endeavor, and once you have those people in place, you want to make sure that you are giving them the tools and the environment to meet their full potential.
• Motivated teams solve problems . . . before you know you have them. Perhaps the biggest drive for motivating and inspiring the people who work for you is that they can bring different perspectives to your business and solve problems, sometimes before you even know that the problem exists. Problem-solving is a complex cognitive process. The first step of the problem-solving cycle requires identifying the problem, but that often takes time. Team members who feel valued and have a long-term investment in the company as a whole are much more likely to feel empowered to spend time on this process, identifying the problems in their direct area and working to solve them.
• Inspired teams are committed teams. The cost of turnover is incredibly high, and the more specialized a team member’s skills are, the higher the costs become. The average cost of recruiting and training a replacement for a mid-tier position is 20% of the position’s annual salary. For more specialized positions, the cost of replacement can reach over 200% of the annual salary for the position. On top of that, frequent turnover results in disrupted projects, gaps in channels of communication, and a loss of overall morale for the company as a whole, all outcomes that are hard to measure with a dollar amount but that take a toll on productivity. People are much less likely to leave a position if they feel inspired and motivated. Giving people a reason to commit to the long-term success of the company helps ensure that they’ll stick around, improving outcomes for everyone.
• Inspired and motivated teams create a contagious culture. Once you have established a culture of motivation and inspiration, it has the benefit of becoming a self-sustaining ecosystem. People who are primed for innovation and excitement bring that energy with them every day, and it spreads to the people they interact with, creating an overall culture of innovation. New hires will be brought into this culture from day one, giving them the maximum opportunity to feel connected and invested in the business.
Engaging and motivating your team is well worth the effort, and it starts with truly believing in your team. Remember that people want to do well, and they will naturally become invested in a group identity that makes them feel supported and heard. If you create opportunities for these kinds of interactions in your business, you’ll see the rewards now and for many years to come.