10 Tips for Motivating Your Staff

If  you find your staff slacking or otherwise unmotivated, it’s time to kickstart your team back into action. Use these simple tips to encourage your team to work their hardest.

1. Have More Meetings

It might seem counter intuitive to motivating your staff, but holding more meetings could be the key to better communication, which helps everyone work smarter. Provide a focus for each meeting, and ask each team member what might be impeding him from getting his part of a project complete. Keep the meetings short: 5 minutes is ideal.

2. Provide Incentive

Dangling the proverbial carrot will have an effect, so if you want to increase sales or hit milestones, try offering incentive. Giving financial compensation or extra days off is a good place to start.

3. Create Contests

People tend to work harder if they’re competing against their coworkers. Set up contests, such as one to see which department can reduce its waste the most, and let the competition begin!

4. Talk to Them Individually

If there are one or two people who really seem to be dragging down the other team members, set up individual meetings with them to see what the issue is. It could be personal issues, or they might not even be aware that their behavior is affecting others. Set them back on course.

5. Make Sure They’re Happy

Consider the work environment. Are there measures you could take to make it more enjoyable? Are you overworking your staff? These clues could lead you to the reason your staff seems unexcited to come to work each day.

6. Stick to the Job Description

Sometimes employee dissatisfaction comes down to the simple fact that they’re doing too much. If your employees’ responsibility lists are bleeding off of the original job description you created, it’s time to reconsider your staff roles and perhaps add more talent to the team.

7. Give Them Buy-In

It’s important to make your staff feel like part of the company. While you don’t have to go so far as to make your business employee owned, make sure that you ask your staff for ideas on how to improve the company so that they feel like their input matters to you as the business owner.

8. Make Your Door (Truly) Open

We all hear about open door policies, but many managers don’t really adhere to them. Make sure you really are available to your staff for questions, comments and complaints. And when they come to you, truly listen and consider how you can help them. Taking action will show them that you stand behind the offer and will take action on their behalf.

9. Enable Them

No one likes having to go to the business owner or manager to ask permission to do anything. So enable your staff (within reason) to make decisions, such as giving a customer a special gift or refunding an order. They’ll feel more empowered as a result.

10. Know Them

If your staff is growing, it may be a challenge keeping up with their names, personalities and roles, but strive to know each of your staff. It’s important for you as the leader to be personable and know who works for you.

Want more tips on How to Recruit, Train and Motivate Employees? Attend our free webinar on December 13, 2012, at 1 pm Eastern.

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur TipsandInternet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as MashableSmall Business TrendsFutureSimple, BizLaunch and Lead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

Photo: beryl on Flickr

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