How to Get Your Team Motivated

John Krautzel
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The holy grail of business managers is to motivate their team to be the most dynamic, productive and unstoppable force on planet Earth. Employee teamwork that leads to better sales, more profits and happy people elevates and improves the bottom line of companies in a very competitive global economy. How do some of the best managers create team motivation? Read on for some ideas regarding a successful business unit.

Pam Lyra, vice president of customer satisfaction at Axcient, believes six concepts can take the raw materials in a group of human beings and turn them into a team willing to go the extra mile for a manager. Overall, a boss must balance individual needs with the goals of the group. Employee teamwork is an amalgamation of a manager's attitude towards every work situation along with his ability to take responsibility for the team's success and failure.

Lyra's first point to improve employee teamwork is to delineate clear, achievable goals for everyone to focus on while at work. A team without an objective becomes a listless boat without a motor at sea, adrift on the waves.

Second, managers must celebrate hard work and success, even in little increments. Nothing improves team motivation like someone getting noticed for doing a good job. Positive reinforcement, whether public or private, goes a long way. Mark milestones with food every Friday, or notes in people's inboxes that say "Great job!" Encouragement does not have to come from skywriting and elaborate fireworks displays.

Have a little fun every so often. Buy the team breakfast once a month before the workday. Have a casual day that is not Friday. Play laser tag at the company picnic. A little fun can lighten the load in the office and enhance employee teamwork.

Lead by example, and show the team that you are willing to do everything yourself that you ask your employees to do. Attitudes reflect leadership. Do not expect your employees to run a mile if you are not willing to do that yourself.

Listen actively to your employees' needs and expectations. Change things if you need to, because the status quo may not be what your team requires to get the job done. Employee teamwork gets better when everyone overcomes obstacles. Maintain enthusiasm, even in tough times.

Push your team a little farther each day to keep things moving forward. While it is good to celebrate past accomplishments, the next goal is even bigger. Even start a friendly competition among the staff to see who does the best on specific tasks.

There is no magic wand to wave that makes great employee teamwork happen. Managers have a fine line to walk, and the buck starts and stops with the boss. The trick is to let each teammate express his personality while keeping your personnel focused on why everyone works for you and for the company.


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