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Team motivation is an art. Commitment, accountability and common objectives shape a team. A leader who knows how to listen is a fundamental part of team triumph. Here are seven tips to keep your team motivated and moving forward:
1. Involve them. Many team members want to be involved in the on-going development and progress of their company. Plus, they often have insightful and creative ideas that can make a significant difference in the company.
2. Communicate. A frequent axiom in business is, “No news is good news.” No one likes negative surprises. However, team members 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 of changes, updates, new products, etc. Develop informal channels, have an open-door policy, give praise when it is due and be ready to listen.
3. Celebrate individual and team performance. Catch people doing something right and focus on recognizing excellent performance. Provide positive reinforcement, issue awards, use a corporate newsletter to highlight specific achievements. Send thank-you cards and congratulatory notes, make phone calls, and send emails. People love to be recognized and appreciated, especially when they are working hard.
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. Encourage members to understand their personal goals, and then their team targets, and then the organization’s objectives, so their work is aligned and meaningful.
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. You must empower your team to succeed. Make sure all the members clearly comprehend the team’s job, goals and priorities.
6. Manage poor performance.Your team expects you to manage individuals who do not perform to standard. However, many business owners ignore these situations because they are afraid to deal with them, hoping instead that the situation will resolve itself. It never does and this “blind” approach affects profitability, causes higher turnover, and generates low morale.
7. Believe in your people! The majority of people want to do well – very few individuals approach a job with the intent of screwing up. Yet, many business owners run their business thinking that team members must be treated with a “watchdog” mentality. They install hidden cameras, monitor email, and set up procedures that require team members to get multiple approval signatures for decisions. If you want to grow your company believe in the people you lead. Give them the opportunity to grow. No one likes to be micro managed. Give your team room to grow.
Not all groups are teams.