Keep a written list of your teammembers’ “bad boss” behaviors.
Refer to it often and consider things you may be doing that are similar. Do whatever you can to minimize or eliminate those demotivating behaviors in the future.
As Ken Blanchard, author of “The One Minute Manager says, “Catch people doing something right.” Take time to recognize the contributions of the people who are there every day, doing a great job. Don’t take them for granted by missing opportunities to let them know how important they are to you and your organization.
Involve your best people in hiring decisions.
Ask team members to participate in interviewing new-hire candidates, when appropriate. This gives your producer a say in how the team works – a significant involvement in something that truly matters. Make sure you provide pre-training on effective interviewing. Such preparation not only gives team members a new skill, but also helps them to help you choose the right candidates for the team.
Build a team culture.
Demonstrate respect for your team members – and confidence in their abilities – by having them sit in on your important organizational meetings. You might even consider having them represent you when you’re unable to attend. Besides sending an “I trust you” message, this gives them yet another opportunity to learn and grow.
Increase the job responsibilities for those who have proven their ability to handle more.
Once someone has mastered a job, look for ways to increase their responsibilities and the depth of their tasks. Involve them in that process. If the job is not expanded, or if there is no challenge to stretch, individuals are likely to become bored and less motivated over time.
Encourage team members to enhance their own job descriptions.
Make it clear that the descriptions must be in line with the goals of the organization, but give people the freedom to add a personal touch.
Turn failures into teaching lessons.
A failure is a failure only when we don’t learn from it. When people make mistakes, encourage them to share their experiences in order to help others avoid similar problems. This can be a great motivational tool because you focus on learning rather than assigning blame. Just remember that it takes guts to admit mistakes – especially in front of others. So be certain to thank each person for his or her courage.
Leadership is easy when your stock price is high. Be tough during tough times. As Vince Lombardi said: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up again.” To keep your team motivated, you need to show resilience, recovery, and “contagious enthusiasm” for the mission of your team – especially when your job challenges are significant.
Help others on your team develop by delegating the lead on certain activities and projects. Most of us like “being in charge” – at least some of the time.
Get in the habit of inviting team members to challenge your ideas.
Encourage them to constructively (and positively) criticize your plans. Make it okay for people to disagree with you. This lets people know you value their input, and ensures that implemented ideas will be well thought out. By giving your people permission to disagree encourages teamwork, which, in turn, helps motivate everyone on the team. Do remember, however, when someone disagrees with you he/she should raise the issue with you in private, instead of blurting it out during a team meeting.
Solicit candid feedback.
Every once in a while, ask people for their feelings about the culture and the motivational climate of your team. Pay attention to team members’ perceptions, act on the feedback you receive, and let the team know what you have done (or will do) in response.
This is the 2nd blog post in our 5 part series focusing on motivating your team through sales management training.