7 Ways To Keep Your Team Motivated

Many managers mistakenly think that money is the
prime motivator for their employees. However,
according to surveys by several different
companies, money is consistently ranked five or
lower by most employees. So if money is not the
best way to motivate your team, what is?

Employees’ three most important issues according to employees are:

  • Respect
  • A sense of accomplishment
  • Recognition.Yes, money is important but it is not as critical
    as these other components. Taking these into
    consideration, let’s explore seven ways to keep
    your team motivated:

    1. Involve them. Many employees want to be
    involved in the ongoing development and progress
    of their company. Plus, they often have
    insightful ideas that can make a significant
    difference in the company. And when they are
    involved, they buy-in faster and resist less.
    This means you can implement the change(s) more
    quickly and easily.

    2. Communicate. Very few businesses can be
    accused of over-communicating. A frequent axiom
    in business is, “No news is good news.” However,
    employees want regular updates on the progress of
    the business and their personal performance. Use
    memos, email, telephone, and one-on-one and group
    meetings to keep your team apprised. Talk to your
    team members regularly, have lunch or coffee with
    them, Let them know if the business is on track.

    Tell them what challenges are currently being
    faced (they may have suggestions). It is also
    important that you give them feedback on their
    performance. If you have a concern with a
    specific component, tell them and give them the
    opportunity to correct their behavior. When I
    worked in the corporate world I was always
    surprised how many employees did not receive
    feedback of any kind pertaining to their

    3. Celebrate individual and team
    performance. Catch people doing something right
    and focus on recognizing excellent performance.

    On an individual basis you can provide positive
    reinforcement, issue awards, use a corporate
    newsletter to highlight specific achievements. Send thank-you, birthday, and anniversary cards
    as well as congratulatory notes. Make personal
    phone calls, and send emails. Better yet, if you
    work in a large organization, have a senior
    executive send the email or make the call.

    To recognize team efforts, post performance
    charts on the wall or throw an impromptu
    get-together., Treat them to lunch or a pizza
    party, post team pictures on your Intranet and in
    their work environment or give them plaques,
    certificates, coffee mugs, etc.

    Ultimately, the more of these approaches you
    incorporate into your motivation strategy, the
    more energized your team will become. Make it a
    point to recognize someone everyday.

    4. Set challenging goals. My experience has
    taught me that people strive to achieve what is
    expected of them. If you set challenging goals
    your team will work hard to accomplish them,
    providing of course, they are realistically
    attainable. It is amazing what people can
    accomplish when they are given the opportunity to
    perform. Communicate these goals and keep your
    team informed on the company’s progress.

    5. Give them the tools to succeed. No team
    will stay motivated if they do not have the
    necessary tools required to do their job. This
    includes; equipment, internal support, inventory,
    marketing materials, training, etc. Simple things
    annoy people. Many years ago I worked in a
    restaurant where the owner refused to give the
    servers trays to carry drinks because he thought
    it was an unnecessary expense. Frustration ran
    high when servers had to make more trips to and
    from the bar.

    6. Manage poor performance. Your team
    expects you to manage individuals who do not
    perform to standard or contribute fully to the
    efforts of the team. However, many managers
    ignore poor performance because they are afraid
    of the potential conflict. Instead, they hope
    that the situation will resolve itself. It never
    does and this “blind” approach affects
    profitability, causes higher turnover, and
    contributes to low morale in the workplace. While
    poor performance and conflict are seldom
    enjoyable to deal with, you have a responsibility
    to your team and the company to manage it. Here
    is the B.E.S.T. method of dealing with these

    Begin with the situation. “Pat, when we receive a
    shipment and you expect the others to put it

    Express the result. “…it causes friction because
    everyone is expected to pitch in.”

    State the desired change. “In the future I expect
    you to cooperate with the rest of the group to
    ensure that the shipment is stored quickly. This
    means I want you to stop whatever you are working
    on and help put away the stock.”

    Tell them the consequence. “If you don’t
    contribute to this task I may be forced to take
    additional action.”

    7. Lead by example. If you want your team to
    treat each other with and dignity, you need to
    set the tone. If you expect them to be motivated
    and enthusiastic it is critical that you behave
    in this manner. As an owner, manager or business
    leader, your team looks to you for direction and

    Kelley Robertson is a professional speaker and trainer on sales, sales management, negotiating,
    and employee motivation. For information on his programs, visit his website at
    www.KelleyRobertson.com. He is also the author of “Stop, Ask & Listen – Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers.” Receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to
    Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his 59-Second Tip, a free weekly e-zine at his website. You can also contact Kelley at 905-633-7750.