10 Ways to Move People to Action
February 13, 2012 Leave a comment
It’s hard to go a day and not witness people taking action – employees signing a petition for a new vending machine, celebrities posing for PETA ads, anti-Putin protesters braving minus 10 temperatures in Russia, and Occupy camps in what seems like every city in the world. No matter how big or how small the effort, regardless of whether you agree or disagree, there is one common driver behind these actions – emotion. One very real challenge in the workplace is taking that emotion and energy and using it to drive action or change.
Here are ten quick tips you can use in your organization to move people to take action:
Clearly define the goal. Top tier leadership is responsible for laying out clearly defined goals for its organization. With clearly defined goals team members know what they’re working towards and can consequently figure out exactly what tasks they need to complete so they can ultimately begin working towards immediately achieving those goals.
Involve everybody. Engaging team members early on gives everyone a feeling of ownership. Get cross-functional teams on a conference call. Brainstorm together. Discuss possibilities. Bounce ideas off of each other. Get on a web conference. Create knowledge maps. Draw graphic organizers together. Lay out the plan. The more ownership everyone feels, the more inspired they will be to contribute.
Tell them why. Having team members know the reason behind the goal gives them a firm understanding of exactly why the goal is important. When everyone knows why they’re doing what they’re doing, they’re inspired, they feel they’re part of a bigger purpose. Knowing why things need to be done is a strong motivational factor.
Incentivize. Creating an incentive for achievement of the goal motivates team members to move quickly and work harder to achieve the goal. Team trips, department getaways, company celebrations, hosting your next sales kick-off in an exotic location, American Express gift cards…you know the deal, get creative!
Provide support. Strong leadership is there to answer questions and help develop solutions to the problem at hand. Being there for your team shows your concern and desire, and motivates your team to be as involved as the leadership team. People don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Deliver a motivational speech. There are few things more inspiring than a strong motivational speech from leaders that defines the goal and inspires others with the zest and energy to bring it to fruition. Remind everyone how each of them is integral to making the company dream a reality. Tell them they matter. Be sure you mean it. Take it a step further and record the speech in a webcast to allow the people within your organization to review it and get reenergized at any time.
Explain possible outcomes. Explaining the outcomes of success and failure to your team goes beyond simply motivating your team to achieve – it prepares them for possible pitfalls and empowers them to be ready in case things don’t go as planned. It’s important for everyone to have a clear understanding of how new endeavors will affect them on a personal and organizational level in the future.
Involve them in developing the solution. Engaging the team in developing a solution stimulates and encourages people to think deeply about the issue at hand and be creative in developing a solution. Get everyone in the conference room and let them know about any complications or unexpected change of events. Discuss it with them and see what they can come up with to figure out a way around the new obstacles. Can’t fit everyone in a room? Get everyone on an audio and web conference and communicate remotely. Distance and time zones shouldn’t hold anyone back. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Provide tools and support. Arming your team with adequate verbiage and support will give them the confidence to follow through with achieving the goal. Find out what they need and make it available to them. Documents, presentations, business intelligence – all should be easily accessible. Online trainings are extremely effective – train your teams on what they need to know, record and save the trainings, and give everyone access. What else do they need? Find out, asses how they impact budgets, get creative, and make it happen. Do they need individual dual screens to move faster? Better data storage? More than just bagel Monday’s? Make it bagel everyday’s. Whatever it is, let them know you support them.
Create positive energy surrounding the issue. Creating positive energy with simple acts like designing posters, sending out encouraging emails and speaking to and engaging team members builds office camaraderie and inspires action. What could be better than inspiring everyone within an organization to be just as pumped as top execs in reaching company goals?