How to Motivate Pt. 2: Coworkers

7K0A0879Let’s pick up where we left off, shall we? This week I’d like to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve found to help motivate your coworkers (to get more content, or otherwise).

This blog post of my “How to Motivate” series isn’t just for the supervisors, bosses and executives out there: If you work on or with a team, it’s in your best interest to keep your team members motivated. If you’re working under a project deadline, for example, you’ll need your coworkers to submit a timely contribution. And, no matter what, you don’t want your coworkers to lose steam when the sum of your work adds up to the whole.

As a content manager, I’m constantly having to gently coerce and cajole articles from our subject matter experts. That task becomes even more burdensome when I’m having to manage up to executives with busy schedules and limited interest in writing content.

How do I do it? Here are just a few tactics that have worked:

  • Make your initial ask ‘colorful’: It’s easy for your email to get lost in the sea of other emails, just an annoying reminder for your coworkers that yet another thing is being added to their “to-do” list. Keep your email short, and capture attention by injecting a bit of humor. Or, add visuals to draw people into the email. Who said that you couldn’t get creative with work emails?
  • Provide motivating statistics: Businesses often fall short when it comes to celebrating success. Stats that show progress can be incredibly motivating, and remind your coworkers of the importance of your projects. For example, when sending article assignments, I commonly include click-through stats to writers from our last publication. Or, I’ll share positive feedback from reader emails and surveys.
  • Offer incentives: Maybe the idea of pleasing you isn’t incentive enough for your coworkers (try not to take it personally). Consider a motivating incentive for those who contribute quality work on time, such as a prize, trophy or donuts. It doesn’t necessarily need to cost a lot, or actually anything at all—any prize is better than receiving none at all. Because I work for a nonprofit with a limited budget, I invented a “First Prize” graphic for our publication to be awarded each quarter.
  • Hold people accountable: Continue to motivate by publicly recognizing coworkers (whether for good or bad). For example, I show some tough love by letting all writers know who has submitted items and who’s lagging behind (and I also commend great content). Having others witness shortcomings may be motivation enough for coworkers to do better next time.
  • Follow up, and then follow up again: Sometimes all a coworker needs to be motivated is a reminder. Follow up with your team mates and/or writers on a regular basis to remind them of deadlines and allow them plenty of time to craft good content. While you may end up feeling like a nag, most times the reminder is much appreciated.

What are some of your ideas for motivating coworkers? What’s worked for you? I’d love to hear!

-SM

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