The success of your company is dependent upon the success of your employees. The employee needs three things to be successful, a system to follow (including all the tools required to perform the job), accountability from their supervisor and motivation to keep on going. It’s this last factor – motivation – that can seem so elusive to some company owners.
Let us be clear, it is 100% the job of the company owner to keep the team motivated. Need a little help in this area? This might help:
1. Set expectations
Employees love to know what is expected from them. We prescribe to the well documented idea of having each employee list their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the quarter using SMART goals. Once approved by their manager, the employee now has an objective way to keep their boss happy.
2. Have a daily huddle
Communication is key. If I walked into your office right now, how much communication is going on (verbally, or online)? A simple, 5-minute standup daily huddle keeps the communication flowing and everyone on point. Daily huddles act as a natural caffeine boost to the morning. And if, like so many teams today, you’re not in the same location – do it virtually by web conference. We love Join Me, for the simplicity, but take your pick from the multiple technology options. The key to business owners – don’t miss even one – wherever you are.
3. Surprise the schedule
You’re the boss, so put a surprise in the schedule. Maybe it was a long weekend, so let the team start late the first day back in the office. Maybe it’s the first beach day of the season – so close early at the end of the week. Hump day getting people down – then grab a drink for the team early.
4. Why are you in business?
Your team need to know why you’re in business, beyond the financial reason. Pretty much every company owner I have worked with started their business for the good of something else, for the passion, for the challenge… so share that.
You may be able to also communicate your core values or guiding principles – providing you have them – this will work in the same fashion.
5. Say “thank you” and smile when you say it
Everyone loves to hear “thank you” – so say it often and say it like you mean it. That’s all.
6. Listen. Lots.
When someone is angry, you learn to let them talk it out. It’s the same for team members – sometimes they just need to get it off their chest. So, let them do that.
Remember Men are for Mars, Women are from Venus? Not every comment needs to be acted upon – they are not necessarily complaints. At least half of the population like to talk it out, so let that happen.
7. Frame the environment.
Scientific study example… the landing page of a sofa company was changed in one way only – the background image. The visitors that saw the image of money (specifically pennies) were more inclined to buy on price. The visitors that saw the image of fluffy clouds were more inclined to buy on comfort (costing more). How do you want your employees to act when they are at work? What can you do about the work environment to support this?
8. Organize something out of the ordinary.
There are hundreds of things that you could do to reward an employee – and they don’t need to cost a fortune. Offer flexible hours, send a thank you note, throw a pizza party, offer primo parking, have a flip flop day /casual Friday, a day off pass, rent them a cool car for a weekend/week/month, start a wall of fame, get a car detailer to come to the office, name an office room after them, have a masseuse visit the office, arrange an adult education class of their choosing, give them a magazine subscription, get a catered lunch, offer a gas card (or public transportation passes) to cover a month’s worth of travel expenses, movies on the company, support their kids interest (sports or girl scouts), concert tickets, send flowers to the family home, give them a new office chair, email everyone in the office, lottery tickets, have their home cleaned, bring the dog to the office, arrange for a singing telegram (what’s that gorilla doing in the office?), send fruit or cookies arrange for their own personal assistant, an ice cream party, let them choose the background music for the office for a day/week, offer a taxi/Uber service, thank the entire family…
As a business owner, you want to motivate and keep the best team possible – really, little else is more important. So, act now, act today, and not only will your team appreciate it, the word will get out and you’ll start attracting higher caliber potential employees.