Video Series: Managing a Remote Marketing Team

Day 7 - Motivation


Motivating your team is important, now more than ever, and motivation is something that needs to be continually renewed.

So today, I want to share with you seven ways that you can motivate your team to boost morale and improve productivity. So let’s get started.

Dan Pink, the author of the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, has pulled a lot of the research from MIT and other universities and has created the AMP Model, A-M-P. So I want to start this video by sharing with you the AMP Model and some thoughts on how you can use that with your team.

First, the A stands for autonomy.

People crave a desire to feel like they’re in control. One of the most notable and famous examples of this is Google. Google had, what they call, the 20% time rule, where 20% of your time could be spent on a personal project.

Now, this sounds counterproductive, giving away this precious time, but it actually frees people up to be creative and innovative. In fact, many of the products of Google, like Gmail and Google Maps came as a result of employees utilizing the 20% time to work on those side projects, which then grew to become the main products of Google today.

So giving people this time, while it sounds counterproductive, can actually fuel creativity and innovation for your organization, and also motivates people to work on things that are interesting to them that also can bring fresh ideas and value to your organization.

You don’t have to give people 20% time, but you could pick one day a quarter or half a day a month, et cetera, and give people that free time to just work on whatever they want. It could be work-related, fixing something or testing something new, or it could be a personal project, but just make sure they have to share that with the team so they can get credit for it and recognition, but also see what ideas you can learn from that. So in the AMP Model from Dan Pink, A stands for autonomy.

Next is the M, which stands for mastery.

People like to become masters at something and continually improve. You see this with musicians and athletes, et cetera. Most people have this kind of drive.

In your team, letting people have the freedom to continually improve their skills and improve the results they’re getting is a really positive thing for them and for you. So this could involve setting benchmarks for people or setting stretch goals for them. Over time, they can see the progress they’re making and the improvements that they’re having in their abilities to either estimate or deliver, et cetera.

Finally, the P in the AMP Model stands for purpose.

Dan Pink’s research talks about how, if you look beyond profits and to purpose, a lot of people are often drawn passionately to things that have a purpose for greater good, a value and a mission statement, for example.

So if you can find a way to remind your team of the mission that they’re on and the purpose that their work is having, that can be really powerful.

Not only reminding them, but giving them clear examples of the impact their work is having could be transformative.

A good way to do this, it’s very simple, is to collect feedback from customers, praise, et cetera, from your support team or on social media, and share that with the team so they can see the positive impact they’re having whenever people give praise for the product or service that you offer.

Praise and recognition, as we’ll see later, is a great way to motivate people and this reminds them of the purpose that they have and the impact that their work is having at your organization.

Now, let me share a few more pragmatic ways that can help motivate your team.

These are some that I’ve found really effective from my work with some of my best clients.

The first, as I mentioned in another video, is expectations. So people often become frozen and become demotivated when there’s a lack of clear expectations, when they don’t know what’s expected of them.

Obviously it’s easy to fix this by setting proper expectations, but the opposite is also true. Sometimes people expect more of themselves and is reasonable and they shoot for the moon, and by doing that, when they fall short, they become demotivated or disappointed or discouraged.

So setting expectations is really important fundamentally, but it’s also a great way to motivate people because often we think that our manager expects more from us or we try too hard, or sometimes the opposite is true. But in any case, making sure that people have the right expectation is critical to making sure they have the right motivation.

The next is empowerment. This means equipping people with the tools, support, training and resources that they need to be successful and to feel like they can succeed.

Again, just like with expectations, in empowerment people can feel demotivated or not motivated if they don’t have the support behind them or if they don’t have the knowledge or skills that they need to succeed at their job.

So if you have access to free resources or even paid resources in your organization, giving your team those resources can be helpful so they can learn new skills, improve their skills, and then feel motivated as a result of that to apply that learning and knowledge to their work. This can motivate people tremendously.

A lot of people are driven, as we’ve heard from the mastery element, by improving their skills. That when they’re given the right tools and resources to do that, they eagerly take those on and then they want to apply that to their work. So make sure your people have the knowledge that you support them fully and that you will provide them any tools or training that they need to excel at their job.

Next, we have working in pairs.

In the programming world, this is called pair programming, and it sounds really counterintuitive at first because the idea is that instead of each individual working on their own tasks, you have two people at a time work on one task. So you pair up.

Again, this sounds counterintuitive because you’re having two people do one job, but what ends up happening is there’s an aspect of camaraderie and also a discussion that happens when two people are working on one task, and there’s an increase in the level of attention to detail that’s given to the task. So fewer mistakes are made, but also there’s a cross-training and cross-pollination of learning that happens, so your whole team becomes more aware of the other team members, the work they’re doing, how they’re doing it, et cetera.

Not only does the work get done quicker, more efficiently, more correctly, but also your team as a whole is improving. This can also improve motivation and morale because the team gets to work with each other, learn from each other, and bounce ideas off of each other.

Often in our work, especially now being remote, it’s easy to become isolated and to feel that isolation. But by working in pairs you can get that camaraderie and that help that you need, and so it can make your work more interesting.

Again, this is something kind of like the 20% time rule. You don’t have to do this all the time. It could be once a week, it could be once a month, but just try it out and see how it works in your team because it can be extremely beneficial.

Finally, we have recognition, which I mentioned earlier, but recognition is a really key part.

So many people feel as if they don’t get the recognition or the credit for the work that they’re doing.

Just giving people that recognition, which is such a simple task, can give them huge boost to their motivation and their morale.

In another video I mentioned the idea of weekly wins, which is once a week choosing two or three successes that the team has had and sharing those with the team and giving them recognition for those things, big or small. But this is a great way to give your team recognition because when you recognize the hard work that your team is doing, they’re much more apt to continue doing that hard work and to work even harder.

These have been just a few ways to motivate your team. Your action item for today is to pick just one of these and create a plan or a schedule to implement it with your team as early as next week. If you do this, you will be able to boost your team’s morale, improve their motivation, and increase productivity.