The Most Effective Way to Motivate Your Team

Photograph by Jamie Grill via Getty Images

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you keep your team motivated? is written by Gary Matuszak, chair of technology, media and telecommunications at KPMG.

A great deal has been written about the challenges of motivating today’s workforce. Yes, the traditional drivers remain as important as ever, including attractive compensation and benefits, great training and development programs, and opportunities for professional advancement. But it takes much more than that to inspire people to take their jobs to a higher level.

One thing that motivates today’s professionals is speaking to leaders who are passionate about what they do. There is no replacement for face-to-face meetings where leaders take time to tell stories about experiences in their business and personal lives. To share anecdotes about challenges they’ve faced, and lessons they’ve learned from failures. Or simply listen to their team members, celebrate achievements and, in essence, become “human.” Too many leaders seem unwilling to peel back the layers. Here’s how to become a more transparent leader and motivate your team:

Share your passion
I can’t think of another industry that could possibly be as exciting as technology. The tech industry changes people’s lives; the services we use, and the way we shop among other things. It’s a passion I share with my team every day, and one that resonates with our clients as well. Clients want to know you care about their industry and their business beyond it being your job.

See also: This Is the Worst Way to Motivate Your Employees

Embrace new opportunities
Inspiration and passion can be sparked in many ways. Very early in my career, I had the opportunity to transfer to the Silicon Valley office. It was in the 1980s, and Silicon Valley was still quite dependent on the semiconductor industry. There were a lot of new companies and IPOs. It was at a time when Silicon Valley was taking shape. As the Valley and the industry grew so did my passion for technology.

Provide the tools necessary for success
My objective is to make sure my tech employees can accurately inform and assist their clients. It’s the knowledge they need to be successful. This inspires confidence in individuals and enables them to focus on the bigger picture. You may be surprised at the depth of the passion.

Celebrate the big picture
It is important for your storytelling to be part of the larger organizational picture. At KPMG, we asked our people to share a story about what they see as the higher purpose in their work, and how it impacts people beyond our immediate audit, tax or consulting services. KPMG’s Bruce Pfau highlighted this initiative in significant detail in the Harvard Business Review. The goal was 10,000 stories in five months, with an incentive of two extra days off.

KPMG surpassed the goal in three weeks, and received more than 42,000 stories by the end of the campaign. Morale surged to record levels. Among employees who told us that their leaders discuss their higher purpose, 94% said KPMG is a great place to work, and 94% said they are proud to work for KPMG. You don’t necessarily need to create a major campaign to inspire your teams. Leaders can start by speaking more frequently and passionately about their own higher purpose — it will rub off.

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