What are the best ways to motivate a team? Are there best practices that managers can use to lead?
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I’m always asking people these questions, trying to improve my understanding of team motivation. Entrepreneur, speaker, and CEO of MyEmployees, David Long, is an expert on motivation and rewards. His company specializes in helping managers link rewards and recognition to the desired goals of the company. The firm he founded has been working at this for twenty five years. His new book, Built to Lead: 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager, is David’s view of what it takes to become a Top 10% manager.
I asked David: what are three ways to best motivate a team? His answer:
1: Show your employees you value their opinions.
Anytime we seek to improve something in a particular department or process within our company, we always tell the employees what we want to happen. Then we ask them, “In an ideal world, what changes can we make to improve the process and make your job easier?” Why do we ask them instead of just telling them what to do? It’s quite simple really. We want buy-in to the needed changes being made, and we insure that by involving them and their input.
Note: Your front-line employees should always be involved in the process when developing the system in which they are expected to produce and perform. If they help create the system, it greatly increases the likelihood of them adopting any changes that may be created as a result. Without that happening, there will definitely be unnecessary resistance.
“No man will make a great leader who wants to get all the credit for doing it.” -Andrew Carnegie
Recognize Excellent Work
2: Recognize excellence at every opportunity.
Someone once said, “What gets recognized gets repeated.” You want more innovation within your company, then recognize it. You want more employees to take ownership of their responsibilities and care about the success of the company as if it were their own, then recognize it! You want to improve any quantifiable metric of success within your company, such as sales, increased profits, higher dollar per client, then recognize it.