Is morale and productivity down with your team? Do team
members have difficulty seeing the horizon because their
gaze is fixed on the ground? Unlocking the door to team
member motivation can seem a complex issue but leaders
should never underestimate the power of a “thank you.”
It articulates the value of each member’s contribution to
the team and says that he or she matters as a person. To
open the doors and release the potential that each team
member possesses, try these different keys:
Key #1: Reward People Differently. Just as performance
differs between team members, so should the rewards you use.
Reward the behavior you want to see! A smile, a “thank you”
or a well-deserved “Great Job!” go a long way in keeping
Key #2: Ignoring It Doesn’t Make It Go Away. Dealing with a
carrier? That person that “carries” their negativity around
like a disease and tries to infect the entire workplace?
Emotions are contagious and that negativity can quickly
spread through an entire department. Don’t ignore it,
address it – talk with your team member about what is going
on and what you can do to help. Always remember to seek
first to understand, then to be understood.
Key #3: Be Concise on What Warrants Rewards. Let’s face it,
clarity motivates! Team member empowerment and freedom come
from knowing what needs to be done and what they get as a
result. Don’t keep rewards a secret and let people know the
WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).
Key #4: Be a Coach, Not a Critic. No team member finds the
act of failing rewarding. Walk along side team members –
help them along. Team loyalty and mutual respect emerge from
a collective effort. Root for the home team and WIN!
Key #5: Build Them Up Publicly. Work to find people doing
things right and let everyone know about it! Yell it from
the rooftops! You’ll be surprised how it motivates the whole
team! Conversely, negative “publicity” should never be given
in front of ANYONE – it impacts the overall work atmosphere
and all team members end up getting punished.
Key #6: Be Fair. No team member should ever feel like doing
a good job on your team is like peeing his or her pants in a
dark suit (it gives them a warm feeling but no one notices).
Keep the balance of rewards in check with open communication
and an atmosphere of collaboration.
Key #7: Have Fun! Enjoying what you do is a reward that goes
far beyond the bottom line. 85% of Fortune 100 companies
concern themselves with making sure that employees have fun
and enjoy what they do. Play a game, have a contest or just
share funny stories. You will find that it will boost
loyalty, retention, and productivity!
Don’t be fooled, it takes time and effort to match the right
key to the right door but it is worth the effort. When
opened, you will not only have a team member that has higher
morale and productivity, you will also have one that knows
that you care. As a leader, isn’t that the thanks we need?
Make a positive impact today!
by Chip Lutz