Is Your Team Motivated?
By Terri L. Norvell, Business Coach & Consultant

"Treat people as though they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being." Goethe, 1800

In this time of business mergers, acquisitions and dynamic growth, a continuous focus is the need to retain, hire and "motivate" your teams. Opportunities are everywhere for those with talent, the right attitude and the necessary skills. The question is, "How will you motivate and keep long term, dedicated team players?"

Effective Encouragment
Reinforcement, acknowledgment and the opportunity to grow are key factors in encouraging motivation. Today, training has become a powerful incentive and a tool to guarantee results are achieved. Your employees increase their knowledge while you get a higher level of performance. This is a winning combination! Also, taking the time to celebrate the small successes that comprise each goal helps ensure enjoyment and fun. Is monetary recognition important? Sure, it’s a part of the package, but people work for more than money.

Action Application
Do your employees have the necessary skills to excel in today’s high tech, "customer comes first" world? If not, you are holding them back and they are holding you back. Make certain all employees have written career paths with appropriate steps along the way. Once determined, training programs and seminars for specific skills are readily available. By supporting learning and growth, you are communicating the desire to be a world-class organization that values its most important asset - its employees.

Shared Expectations
Motivation is driven by communicating exactly what you expect, your willingness to discuss how to get it done and why it’s important. Clarity and direction, along with providing the necessary resources to accomplish the results, is fundamental. Your employees can produce better results and targeted recommendations when they know their objectives. Taking on additional responsibilities, realigning the work processes, or outsourcing, are all possibilities that can contribute to a more supportive and cost effective work environment.

Action Application
Talk with each of your team members and ask them if they know your specific expectations. Then listen to what they tell you, and take appropriate action. Ask them if they want to take on more responsibilities or appoint them to a highly visible project team. Often employees have underutilized potential. A renewed enthusiasm comes with added responsibility when the employee feels a greater contribution to the company.

Shared Ownership
Communicating your key business targets and corresponding results enables your team to know where their organization is going, how it’s doing and to feel a part of the accomplishments. Openness and sharing of information encourages a feeling of joint ownership and loyalty…loyalty to the team, to an idea, to a work challenge, to themselves. Think about why Microsoft employees are passionate about their company, its service and product. It is often because they know and have embraced what the company stands for.

Action Application
Post important information in highly visible locations. Communicate via your office walls, your virtual internet walls, promotional reminders, etc… Then update your employees weekly or monthly through your communication exchange systems - by E-mail, by fax, by mail and the internet. Keep the communication flow simple and easy, but keep it open and visible. Also, use your company chat room, newsletter and regular meetings to share the achievement of each company target.

High performance is accomplished through empowering your staff to do the job, providing appropriate training, and ongoing support. The motivation to excel comes from within. It’s your responsibility to create an environment that encourages teamwork and superior performance.

Terri Norvell is a national business coach and consultant
for fast growing and entrepreneurial businesses.

More information about Terri Norvell - including an article list!

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