02/04/2013 - 23:38

Get your staff on the team bus

02/04/2013 - 23:38

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Get your staff on the team bus

THE word ‘team’ is used in business all the time - team meetings, team planning and, of course, team building. But is it a catch cry or something that truly adds value to the organisation?

A motivated team is the essence of good business, and when it comes to motivation the buck stops with senior management - the owners, and the boss.

Here are ideas I have used to motivate my teams over the past 28 years to ensure we are all on the same bus going in the same direction.

Speak to your team in person

I accept that, in larger organisations, speaking in front of all staff on a regular basis can be a logistical nightmare. However, you should make the effort as their leader to communicate face to face as many times as possible. Regular emails are good, but don’t underestimate the power of the team being able to eyeball the boss. It can also be very enlightening for you to understand how they are feeling and the ‘mood’ in the team!

Share with employees how the business works

If you want your team to be truly motivated then you should share with them what the business really does, how it ticks and how it is performing financially. I continue to be amazed at the increased effort put in by my team when they are made aware of the need.

I understand that certain information is confidential but there will always be data that can be shared to signpost the journey of the business. Remember, we must share the good times with the team as well as the bad, and hopefully in equal measure.

Discuss the competition

If you are in a competitive market then your team can be your most powerful weapon. Discuss with them the existence of competitors, explain the differences and have them be your eyes and ears out there in the world. This will often excite them to come up with alternative strategies to deal with competitive pressures and they often come up with some amazing ideas to thwart the competition.

Be a ‘positive wizard’

Too often we will take the opportunity to criticise a team member in regard to some silly mistake or oversight that they were responsible for. It can take a few seconds to make an employee feel insignificant and small, but we could so easily make them feel 10 feet tall.

Take the time to personally thank staff or congratulate them for doing something well. There doesn’t need to always be a fanfare; a simple ‘well done’, or ‘great customer service’ or ‘thanks for that idea’ will do amazing things for that person’s morale and that of the group.

Share your passion with the team

Nothing motivates a team more than the passion of their leader shared with them on a regular basis. For many who have difficulty speaking in public or sharing their feelings this can be difficult. But speaking from the heart on matters that you are passionate about is a fantastic way to excite staff.

If they see how motivated and excited you are about the business then there is a far greater likelihood they will be excited too. But remember, emotion can be a double-edged sword and if you are concerned or demotivated then it is important that you present a strong exterior otherwise this will spread concern like wildfire.

With responsibility give authority

A classic mistake in business is to think that by giving responsibility you are in some way empowering your staff. It can in fact demotivate them, as they have no authority to make changes that they may feel are positive.

If you are going to give a team member responsibility then allocate a level of authority, and with this you will truly empower your staff. They will feel that you trust them and that they can truly make a difference. This doesn’t mean that you don’t monitor their progress; simply that you will allow the occasional decision that may not be exactly what you want - it’s called growth!

So there you have it, motivating staff isn’t just a catch cry it is a way of generating positive energy, maximising productivity and ensuring that not only are you heading in the same direction - you are actually on the same bus.

Paul Rowe is chief executive of Razor Business Solutions, which works with business to develop strategies to improve performance, create opportunities, maximise returns and minimise risk.
Contact Paul on 0406 800 928 | prowe@razorbs.com.au

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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