Team Motivation Starts with You

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International   11-18-2012

Takeaways: Team motivation starts with the manager who must demonstrate self accountability, and modelling the right behavior. He she should also share the big picture, and provide timely feedback, among other things.

From an article by Steve Tobak / MoneyWatch / November 12, 2012

While all business leaders and executives have their own methods for inspiring staff, most would probably agree that there are common ways to ensure employees are challenged, inspired and motivated to do their best work. Here are Steve’s top 10 ways to motivate your team:

Exhibit flawless work ethic. Lead by example. If you work your tail off to get the job done and exceed customer expectations, employees will emulate that behavior. Likewise, if you screw around, they’ll follow that example, too.

Indoctrinate them with the big picture. Everybody wants to be part of something big. They want to know why their work matters. Make it important to your people by telling them why it’s important to customers.

Hold yourself accountable. Goal-setting in most companies is ineffective — executives make big bucks no matter what, or there’s little or no follow-up. When management holds itself accountable, it’s a lot easier to do the same with employees.

Provide genuine, real-time feedback, good and bad. This is one of the hardest things for any manager to do, especially the negative stuff, but it’s also one of the most critical and effective management tools.

Promote their accomplishments and take the heat for their failures. Period.

Give them what they need to do the job. Provide the tools, training and support they need to be effective; keep management off their backs; then get out of the way.

Challenge them with as much responsibility as they can reasonably handle. It’s human nature to want to achieve things. Show you have confidence in them by setting a reasonably high bar and allowing them to succeed or fail on their own.

Communicate. Tell them what’s going on as openly as you can within reason and without unduly burdening them with confidential information they shouldn’t or don’t need to know.

Be as flexible as possible without impeding team effectiveness. If the priority is to get the job done as a team, that doesn’t mean everyone has to operate exactly the same way. People are individuals. They need some freedom to do their best.

Be human. Show some empathy, humility and a sense of humor. It will go a long way.