We all know that motivated people are able to accomplish great things. We ourselves want to be motivated but sometimes I find myself so busy managing the day-to-day operations that I forget that motivation in my business starts with me. I’ve even felt pressured to motivate staff but I don’t want to be cheesy or seen as trying too hard and just up pandering people.
There are some great books out there to help us on this journey from Daniel Pink’s “Drive” to even the classics of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.
Here are 5 Daily Habits I try to use to motivate, energize, and focus my team.
1. Make goals a game.
Imagine you’re playing hockey as a youth and your coach pulls you aside and says “you have to score 2 goals this game or you could be kicked off the team”. How are you going to perform? Determined but tense? Are you going to be a team player and pass the puck? What if that was the message before every game? You’re going to be looking for a new team fast or just quit hockey altogether. It’s important to ensure the company or department goals stay top of mind but make them fun and offer support and clear strategies on how to attain those together as a team.
2. Celebrate the Small Stuff.
When you see a good email from one of your staff or you hear them handling a routine customer interaction well – make sure they know you approve. Send them a quick email that says “good job in handling that customer today. I thought your communication was clear, professional and kind. Keep it up!” Constantly building up the small wins breeds confidence and opens your team up for feedback in the future when they need it.
Motivation needs a positive atmosphere to thrive. Smiling relaxes those around you and opens the door for better communication. I don’t care if you don’t FEEL like it – force a smile and see how it starts to change your emotions. Every time I wash my hands in the restroom I look in the mirror and smile.
4. Seek out “Coaching Moments”.
As a leader, you’re constantly meeting and communicating in order to make decisions but you also have a responsibility to build your team. I look for opportunities for a “Timeout” and literally say “this is a coaching moment”. I then explain the feedback and how they could improve and/or encourage them in the behaviour. It’s remarkable how this method focuses attention and motivates people in behaviour.
5. Keep the purpose top-of-mind.
Daniel Pink talks about “Purpose” as a key driver for positive behaviour as it’s intrinsically motivated. Knowing you’re working hard for a greater purpose or better outcome makes the short-term sacrifice worth it. You don’t have to be a non-profit saving the world to have a purpose in your company. Every For-Profit business exists because they add value to customer’s lives in some way. The key is understanding what this is and talk about it with your staff. Our company, CREW, exists to help organizations succeed. I’m always trying to help our staff see how their daily actions are making a difference for our clients. A food company can provide health and wellness, clothing companies can provide self-confidence, financial planners can provide peace-of-mind or freedom, and so on.
The techniques you use to motivate your team are not as important as the outcome that’s being achieved. Find the actions that are best for you and your organization but never forget that it’s a daily habit that needs to come from you as the leader.
Have a great day!