Step 2 – Motivate Professionally and with respect
To motivate you need to be positive, honest, encouraging and
direct. To be honest, motivation starts
at home. If you are truly motivated, it
is easier to spread that enthusiasm to others.
Share your vision and mission with confidence. Your attitude, the way you handle yourself around others, and the
way you talk to each individual will subconsciously build morale. Do not come to work stressed out and
miserable, and yet expect your department to be happy and enthusiastic.
Some people work hard and do good work for pay and
recognition. It is your job to give
them monetary increases and praise a job well done. Some are lazy and do bad work, yet still expect to get paid. It is your job to get them motivated and
show where they need improvement.
Motivating a team uses a “one for all and all for one”
approach. Motivating an individual is
more of a one-on-one approach to get your point across and to inspire. The people you are trying to motivate must
be truly motivated themselves. They are
motivated in different ways:
- By the
actual work they perform
helpful manager when needed
micromanaged when all is under control
Whatever you do, don’t patronize your staff with silly
gimmicks such as balloons, bells, and whistles for ordinary work done. This just makes it look like you are
treating them like children in a kindergarten class. Motivate professionally with maturity and respect.
Although monetary increases, rewards, praise and recognition
are big motivators, we will first look at 23 other ways in which to motivate
professionally and with respect:
a solid leader. Be the person
who can make decisions, solve problems, has an open door policy, knows how
to delegate, and provides regular feedback. People are motivated when they trust their leader.
clear instructions. A person
and team are more motivated to do a good job when they know exactly what is
expected of them. No one likes to
be given daily tasks or a project with little to no direction. People are more motivated when they
know the exact goals to reach, both individually and as a team.
how much you value everyone in your department. This especially holds true for the good
workers. Quite often you should
take them aside and truly communicate to them your appreciation. When they know you know how hard they
work and how valuable they are, it makes them feel great and continue to
be motivated. A simple pat on the
back, shake of the hand, or a simple thank you goes a long way, much more
than you would know. It is so
simple to say kind and encouraging words.
This simple people skill will get you more than just about any
other motivational technique.
people grow. Always try to
help people grow their skills and develop their careers through training,
providing opportunities, and spreading the word through upper
management. This will make you be
the person people want to work for and be in your department. When employees feel they are learning
and growing, they work harder and more efficiently. Don’t let them become board and
stagnant or else they will become sluggish, both personally and
professionally. Challenge and
empower your employees with tasks, projects, and assignments. You will both win. Coaching and mentoring your employees
by focusing on the needed strengths for them to learn and grow is one of
the best things you can do as manager and leader. Build their confidence when they are
unsure about themselves, bring them out of their shell when they are shy,
and help with reporting and process skills when they are not program
experts. By helping your employees
learn and grow, you will have more people in which you can delegate
tasks. This in turn gives you more
time to focus on other aspects of improving your department, which is a
your employees to recognize each other for great work. Whenever a co-employee does great work,
goes the extra effort by helping out one another, or inspiring extra
teamwork, try to get them to pat each other on the back. When employees respect and help one
another, you have a highly motivated department. There are reward programs like “power points” that you can
set up for just this type of scenario.
Rewarding ideas will be covered later in this lesson.
by building their confidence.
This should be done both individually and as a team. When people feel good about themselves,
they work better as a team. They
need to clearly understand the big picture and believe that working as a
team produces better results. This
will get the slower performers working faster, and the faster performers
continuing to work hard.
the already confident by listening and discussing triumphs. The more you show these “self starter”
type of employees that you really care about their expert skills, the more
they will be motivated to keep you impressed. You would also really try to make sure you get these
employees whatever they request.
For example, if they ask for a software package, get it for them
without asking too many questions.
You want to especially build respect with these key employees.
the team you truly care.
Showing concern and understanding for your employees are signs of
management strength, not weakness.
Let them feed off of your positive and caring approach. Strong leaders show they care by getting
the team what they need to succeed, even if they have to work across
department lines. Ask about their
interests, family, hobbies, and genuinely be curious about their
lives. Know the little things like
how their kids did in the game.
You can do this in a group atmosphere as well. Many employees who feel you are
uncaring or unfair are more willing to cheat on their expected workload
and think they can get away with it.
They will feel like they are just a number so why should it matter
what they do. So make sure you are
there for them and show that you care.
This really helps build harmony and teamwork and thus more
their importance to the company.
Let them know that what they do is a vital part of the company’s
success. Even an operator who just
answers a phone is vital as they are the first customer touch point. If the operator comes across as a
positive happy person, the tone will then be set to the person who
receives the transferred call.
Another example would be a support technician who not only fixed
the problem, but also asked if there is anything else they can do and go
the extra mile. This can result in
future sales just based on the support the customer received.
more interesting and admirable job titles. For example, add the word “Specialist” after a normal
mundane title. “Technical Support
Specialist” sounds a little more important than “Technical Support
Representative,” yet has the same job responsibility. This also looks better in the
customer’s eyes. Some employees
might find this a bit suspect.
They will think a better title with no monetary increase is a bit
dubious. It is up to you to judge
whether or not this idea would work for your department. This should also be considered when
writing a job description as described in lesson 4.
not rule by intimidation. Only
short-term gain is usually achieved with this approach and a higher rate
of attrition usually occurs. It is
good for a little healthy fear associated with the natural approach to
hierarchy and respect for the position, but that is as far as it should
go. Intimidation is a morale
raise your voice. Show people
their errors and mistakes in a calm and professional way, even if you want
to scream. Calmly show them how to
do it right. Morale goes down when
your temper goes up. A sergeant in
the army has a need to yell, as it could be a matter of life and
death. A manager of a business
department luckily does not have that responsibility.
penalize them for doing their best.
If you do not hit a goal or complete a task, don’t take it out on
your staff. It is your job to set
a truly achievable goal, provide the right training and materials, and
hire the right people. If they are
doing their best but their best is not good enough, you need to
re-evaluate how to achieve the goals or complete the tasks. See lesson 2 for ways to set up your
department to its optimal.
on their strengths and try to work around their weaknesses. There will be times when a person is
better suited in another position or other duties. That is not to say that they should be
rewarded for poor performance, it is more about working with what you
got. Many times you will have
inherited someone who has some sharp skills but are not happy in their
work. For some reason, although
they are sharp, they are just not getting the job at hand. You may have tried to get them trained,
talked to them about the need to improve their performance and/or
attitude, and you still have someone who is not performing up to
speed. You can go through the
discipline and firing processes as described in lesson 5, but if there is
a chance to truly utilize this person, do all you can to keep them. You might first need to post the job
for others to apply before you can move this person into the other
position. That might be up to HR. If it works out and you keep this
person after you moved them to another position, you would want to talk to
them about your high expectations.
This could really be a win/win situation for both of you.
really motivate your favorites.
This goes against conventional “all for one” thinking but lets face
it, you want to keep the employees who enjoy doing the difficult tasks,
who never complain about the work given, work after hours to complete the
task, and is willing to do what it takes to make the company succeed,
fully motivated with extra perks and pats on the back. Try hard to accommodate any of their
requests. These are the people who can help you, help the rest of the
team, to understand what is going on.
train and keep your department up to speed. Whenever there is something new on the horizon such as a
product launch, software release, or any new projects ahead, make sure you
train them to fully understand the new entity. It is really important to make sure the supervisors of the
department are always involved in the latest training opportunities. This is where daily meetings come into
play as discussed in lesson 7. It
is important to show the department that you want to make sure they have
all the training they need. They
might also have some training ideas or requests. This is one thing that can really earn you a great deal of
respect, and show great leadership skills. Constant training builds and motivates both the team, and
the environment for the employees as nice as possible. The environment in which your employees
are expected to work should be clean and ethically pleasing. You should also make sure they have all
the materials they need, no matter how trivial, to perform to their
optimum level. An unorganized department,
dirty bathrooms, or not having basic supplies are fairly easy to amend and
at little cost. If possible, get
the best chairs and replace the old broken equipment. These small changes can enhance
employee morale, and improve productivity. Give them what they need to produce, and they will
produce. Even a $5.00 item can make
a big difference to someone. Try
not to nickel and dime everything unless absolutely necessary. Also, make sure that your team knows
and sees that you are doing everything you can to improve their working
environment. Even if you are
unsuccessful, they will appreciate the fact that you tried. Just make sure you don’t have the
attitude of “this is what you get, so get use to it.”
the good workers by disciplining the bad. Another way to keep the good workers motivated is to
discipline the bad workers when it is truly time to do so. Putting your head in the sand when
there are problem employees is a de-motivator for the good workers. You also want the poor performing
people to feel a little uncomfortable so that they know they need to improve.
your positive attitude seen.
Make it a point to at least once or twice a day, depending on the
size of the department you manage, to walk around the department and say
hello with a positive, feel good smile on your face. Ask how things are going or if there is
anything you can do for them. Even
asking them if they would like a Coke or something trivial like that helps
build morale. You also want to
really motivate your supervisor staff.
They are your front line to all complaints and getting your point
across in a daily if not hourly fashion to the team. They are the ones in the trenches with
the rest of the department. This
is why it is so important to meet daily, or at the least weekly, with your
supervisors. In meetings, you are
sharing the goals and discussing improvements all the while motivating due
to the time you give each day.
There will be more information regarding meetings in lesson 7.
let them burn out. When you
start seeing that the challenge is getting to be too much, people feel
more like a number than part of the company family, are easily
disappointed, stressed over changes, too much anxiety trying to obtain the
goals, or just basically losing interest, you need to remedy the situation
as soon as possible. Provide a
bright outlook for the future, listen to their worries and concerns, let
them know you care, let them know how valuable they are, provide more
interesting yet related training, and rejuvenate by reducing the
de-moralizing tasks and increasing the interesting work. Signs of burn out can lead to employee
some fun. Depending on the
type of department you have, certain external team building events like
bowling, paint ball, golfing, and picnics are a good idea at least one
time a year. You can also have
some internal fun such as a pizza lunch, have a potluck lunch, or a jersey
day in which you wear your favorite teams jersey. Some people are not into after work
activities, and that’s fine, as long as it’s a majority decision.
Cokes, donuts, bagels, pizza, etc for the team periodically. For a few bucks, you will have happier
employees. You may be able to
expense this as well for morale purposes.
Even while you are walking around the department, just ask if you can
get them anything such as a bottle of cold water. Write down the order on a notepad and
maybe ask one of your supervisors to help personally pass them out. These little gestures go a long
way. Don’t make it a corny event,
just a nice simple gesture.
Management team cooks a barbeque for all the staff. This is both motivational and rewarding
for a job well done. Employees
will appreciate the fact that their manager is barbequing for them.
Point to keep in mind:
you hit a plateau… There will be times when your department does great
for so long that the challenge is no longer there. When you get to this point, try to
motivate by looking at beating your competitor’s goals. For example, if you are at a 95% customer
satisfaction rating, try to make it to 98% by focusing on every little bit
of detail. Another way to motivate
is by finding new training courses with certification. You can also try cross training your
employees by having team members sit with other team members in different
groups or even departments. Also
let your boss or upper management know you are willing and capable of
taking on new projects and additional responsibilities if applicable.
a few of your most trusted employees what truly motivates the team. There is nothing wrong with
this. You shouldn’t keep on
throwing darts at the board hoping one of them hits the bulls-eye. Not only is it ineffective, it can make
you look bad and silly trying some obscure motivational techniques. By
understanding what truly provides the motivation the team needs to
succeed, the quicker you are to obtaining your goals. Pep talks and fun games might be ok for
short-term goals, but in the long run they have no effect. Communication again is key.
nothing but the best people.
New employees who have the right aptitude and attitude tend to
motivate and build morale with existing team members. There will be more about hiring the
right people in Lesson 4.
forget the people out of sight.
If you work in a 24/7 type of company or providing after hours
support, you will not see the swing and graveyard shift personnel as much
as you would like. They need to be
motivated as well.
do not micromanage. If you
plan, organize, train, communicate, direct and lead correctly as described
throughout this course, you should not have to micromanage your
staff. Continually over shadowing
or controlling excessively and not letting them have a chance to prove
themselves is very demoralizing. Looking
over someone’s back is very uncomfortable unless they ask for the
help. This does not mean that you
shouldn’t monitor the work going on in your department. It means to trust that your staff is
capable of doing the work expected of them. If there are any problems or training issues, you handle it
by meeting with the supervisor or with the individuals themselves to
discuss ways in which to improve.