Motivate your team

Written by Karen Kelly

How are your team players doing these days: humming along or dragging their heels? You can take credit for either scenario. Good business leaders are also good coaches and vice versa.

If you don’t motivate your team, don’t expect innovative ideas or stellar performance, says business coach Ellen Samiec, owner of Toronto-based Breakthrough Coaching. “When [staff] are motivated, they’ll you give more of themselves, and that increases their effectiveness and improves the end result,” says Samiec. On the flip side, an uninspired worker will do just enough to get by.

Increasing motivation is more than offering gifts and compensation, according to Samiec. Here are five easy ways to pump up your staff:

  1. Get staff onboard. “One of the biggest mistakes CEOs make is that they come up with their objective without including the team in the process,” says Samiec. The more you involve your employees in decision making, she says, the more apt they’ll be to give it their all. If you’ve already identified the objective on your own, then ask employees how to achieve it.
  2. Find out what drives them. “Treat each member as an individual and determine what motivates them,” advises Samiec. And it’s not always money. “There have been all sorts of studies that show if you throw more money at the situation, then all they’ll do is come to expect it,” says Samiec. A good way to determine an employees’ motivation is to simply sit down with them one-on-one and ask them directly what gets them going. Personal recognition? Job security? Giving back to the community? You may be surprised by the answers.
  3. Offer positive feedback. Team members get a charge from stepping into the spotlight. “It’s important when you’re working in a team to acknowledge people in a public way,” says Samiec. Hold recognition sessions frequently to keep everyone enthusiastic and on track.
  4. Celebrate wins. Don’t wait until you’ve achieved your company’s yearly objectives; break it up into smaller but significant successes. “Celebrating the milestones along the way sustains enthusiasm for the road ahead,” says Samiec. Cash flow a little tight? No need to hold lavish parties or expensive outings. Says Samiec: “Thoughtful is more important than glitzy.”
  5. Listen up. Nothing will deflate your employee’s bubble than not being heard. “Sometimes leaders do all the talking and no one likes one-sided meetings,” says Samiec. Learn to sit back and listen.

Read other pointers on How To contribute to your business success!

© 2003 Karen Kelly

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com