As a manager, making sure that your team is operating at their maximum productivity level is one of your most important tasks. In theory this sounds great, but in the real world it is not always the easiest feat to accomplish. Increasing productivity can have a profound effect on your company’s bottom line, but how can you help encourage your team to work more effectively?

Here are five ways to motivate your people and increase productivity:

1. Reaffirm With Positive Reinforcement – Employees like to know that they’re appreciated. Many managers still operate with the “no news is good news” mindset, and a lack of feedback should be considered a good thing. Regretfully, this oftentimes leads to confusion among workers, especially the younger generation. Make sure that you’re letting your employees know when they’ve done well. A “good job” or a “thank you” can go a long ways when it comes to motivating your team.

2. Utilize Employees’ Strengths – Make sure that you’re accurately utilizing each employee’s knowledge and skillset. Not only will taking advantage of your workers’ uniqueness increases your team’s level of contentment on the job, but it will also have positive effects on your company’s bottom line.

3. Criticize In Private – Just as employees enjoy being complimented, they often don’t like being criticized. As a manager though, correcting issues with your team is a necessary part of the job description. When you need to speak with an employee about their shortcomings, do so in private. Refraining from providing negative feedback in public allows the employee to “save face” and concentrate more on your feedback than on the opinions of their peers.

4. Delegate Important Tasks – It is human nature to desire to feel needed. In the workplace, this is no different. Your team likes to know that their contributions are having a positive effect on the direction of your business. Consider delegating some critical tasks to your team. Not only will you be encouraging growth in your employees, but you will also be providing a sense of importance to them as well.

5. Make Sure You’re Communicating Your Expectations - Often, the number one time-waster in the office is not the fault of the employees, but instead of the manager. If you expect your team to reach the goals you’ve set, make sure they’re clearly communicated to them. Too frequently, businesses fall short of their projections because the manager didn’t fulfill their main objective – communicating what is needed out of their employees and following up to ensure performance. Make sure that you’re proving your team with all of the instructions, knowledge and guidance that they need to maximize performance.

Motivating your team’s performance can be summed up into one statement – you have to make sure to remember that your team members are people, not robots, and that they have emotional needs and wants. Even in the workplace, appealing to the emotional side of your employees can have a positive effect on productivity. A simple “thank you” can go a long way, and making your team feel important to the company will increase their personal investment in your organization. In the end, it’s important to make sure that you’ve accurately informed your team of your goals, and that their efforts are pointed in the right directions.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey Fieber helps business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. She believes in the power of hiring the right people, and helps her clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they're passionate. By nurturing business owners' strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey's leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward.