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The 3 Secrets of Team Motivation


Are workers telling the truth when they say they are ill?This question was posed on the Money Programme on BBCTelevision in December 2004. British Bosses are reportingthat more and more of their staff appear to be skiving offwith faked illnesses and many firms are taking new steps tocrack down on malingerers. Research by the Confederation ofBritish Industry suggests that workplace absence is on therise for the first time in five years. Last year we were offsick on average for 7.2 days up from 6.8 the previous year.It costs UK businesses 11.75bn a year, the CBI says. TheCBI also estimates that 15% of all illness is due to peopletaking days off when they are not really ill.

Now while I accept that there will always people who taketime off work for no good reason, I believe managers need totake a long hard look at how they manage their people in thefirst place. Perhaps if they made the workplace a far betterplace to be then a lot less people would take a "sickie."

If you want a highly motivated team who don't take time offwork, don't keep looking for other jobs and make a positivecontribution to your business there are three things youneed to do.

#1 Spend some quality time

I didn't say "quantity time" I said "quality time." One ortwo minutes of quality time on a regular basis are far moreproductive than a one hour review every year. You need to get to know your team better and they need toget to know you. It will help you build a relationship withthe individual. You'll gain a much better understanding ofthem and how they're handling the job. It will also give theimpression that you care about the individual and show thatyou're there to help with problems both personal andbusiness.

Spending quality time will encourage opinions and ideas toflow from them and allows you to explain the company'smission. It gives them a feeling of being in on things whichis a big motivator. It will also help you build an "earlywarning system" of any problems both business and personal.Finally, it builds team spirit and morale.

#2 Give feedback and coach

You need to regularly tell each member of your team whenthey're doing well and when not so well. I read some recentresearch that suggested 65% of employees in the US receivedno recognition at work in the past year. My experience tellsme that it's much the same throughout the world and muchworse in some countries.

Some managers still believe - "why should I praise peoplewhen they're only doing what they're paid to do."It's also important to tell people when they're notperforming. There are too many managers who either ignorepoor behaviour or come down on the person like a ton ofbricks. There are particular ways to give feedback and coachand they're described in detail in the book - How to getMore Sales by Motivating Your Team.

#3 Be a believer

We're now getting into the area of "Empowerment" which wasfirst introduced in the 1080's and became a bit of amanagement buzzword. However, I believe that it's one of themost promising but least understood concepts in managementtoday.

I'm a fairly down to earth practical sort of person(probably comes from my engineering background). I'm not biginto management theories unless I can see the benefits forme - I see a great deal of benefit for managers and teamleaders in Empowerment.

Empowerment is about utilising the knowledge, skill,experience and motivational power that's already within yourpeople. The majority of people in teams and organisationsthroughout the world are severely underutilised. Your teamhave probably more to offer in terms of skill, knowledge andexperience and if you utilize that, you will achieve yourbusiness goals and you'll motivate them.

Alan Fairweather is the author of four ebooks in the "Howto get More Sales" series. Lots of practical actions youcan take to build your business and motivate your team.-http://www.howtogetmoresales.com


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