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Beyond fulfilment: How to keep teams motivated

When employees reach a peak of self-fulfilment and growth, how do you help them to stay motivated? Could there be more to fulfilment than simply achieving personal bests? More importantly for managers and leaders, how does keeping your employees impact your business?

Motivated employees are undeniably valuable. Findings from IML ANZ’s latest National Salary Survey (NSS), show that keeping engagement and motivation levels up is vital. NSS respondents revealed that the single most important human capital challenge they believe would add the most value to their organisation is motivating employees (53%).

Compound that with the fact that the NSS shows a slightly upward trend in voluntary staff turnover. Moreover, what’s the top reason for leaving a job? Employees are looking for a new challenge (72%). So, keeping your teams motivated is not just about getting them to be their best; it is also best for your business.

However, when an employee has achieved much on their own, is it still possible to keep them challenged, excited about the work and motivated to do their best?

Here are some ways to achieve this:


Maslow’s sixth level of motivation

Most of us are familiar with Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. At the apex of the five-stage peak is self-actualisation or the realisation of self-fulfilment and peak personal achievements. What is not as widely known is that later in his life, Maslow added a sixth level to his hierarchy of needs – intrinsic values. This involves supporting a cause beyond individual success.

How to harness it: Leaders must help all employees, including high-achievers, to understand how they play a part in the greater purpose of the organisation. Who does your organisation help? How does it contribute to society? Keep them focused beyond self-actualisation to help them stay motivated.


The value of teamwork

Staying motivated after achieving much as an individual doesn’t mean high-performing employees won’t appreciate team-led wins. Never underestimate the power of collaboration and great working relationships between colleagues. As social beings, humans always enjoy the sense of working together to overcome an obstacle, reach a goal or even assisting each other when times are tough.

How to harness it: Encourage open communication between teams and within teams. Use technology to open up lines of communication by starting a team chat group. Help your employees get to know each other not just as colleagues but as people – develop real connections by organising social activities. Celebrate successes as a team too.


Empowering others

A sense of motivation can be sapped if one feels that they are held back from making decisions. To help keep good performers engaged, display trust in their abilities.

How to harness it: Let your team members make the call on decisions that they know best. Avoid crushing their motivation by making them feel they are powerless when it comes to their own projects.

By emphasising how they contribute to the organisation’s purpose, fostering a healthy team environment and empowering your team members, you’ll keep even the highest achievers motivated to give their best.


IML ANZ Members can access these articles via Leadership Direct.


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