Forget Motivation: Provide Inspiration

Teamwork seems like an overused word these days. But you don’t have to own or manage a business for very long to appreciate its importance. You quickly learn that to maximize productivity, you need everyone working to the best of his or her abilities. But how can you make sure that happens? Even if you’ve hired great people, how can you motivate them to excel day in and day out?

The answer is, you can’t. At least according to an interesting article I saw recently on Forbes. The author points out that while companies may use financial incentives like raises and bonuses o encourage top performance, true motivation must come from within the worker. The best a manager can really do is inspire those workers to understand and take ownership of the final results themselves. That means they are fully engaged with the mission, and act accordingly.

I’ve done quite a bit of reading and thinking on the subject, and I’ve collected what I think are some pretty good suggestions about how to help your team feel that inspiration and deliver results that everyone can be proud of. Today we will talk about 5 ways your behavior can inspire your team to succeed.

Inspire Them With the Way You Work

My five suggestions aren’t about what you do; they deal more with how you do it. The kind of standard you set can help convince employees that you do, in fact, all belong to the same team, and succeed by working together.

  1. Accept Blame When Appropriate

I’m not talking about being the hero that takes one for the team. I simply mean you need to be accountable. Things don’t always happen the way you’d like to for your business. When they don’t, there’s a good chance that it is your fault, at least in part. Own up to that. You have the title, the paycheck and the responsibility. So when others see you step up, they will like you more and trust you more. That will make them want to do even more for the company.

  1. Be Fair in the Salary Department

Personnel costs are a big chunk of the expenses for most companies. But it’s one of the poorest places to cut corners. You may temporarily help the bottom line by being tight with reasonable raises, or getting a new hire “cheaper” than you were willing to pay. But people talk, to one another and to peers in other organizations and post their experiences online. So resentment can surface quickly. “Inspired” isn’t how I’d feel if I felt my company was asking me to as much as possible while trying to pay me as little as possible.

  1. Share the Money and the Vision

There is a tendency, especially in large corporations, for management to serve as keeper of “the big picture” while expecting employees to have tunnel vision and focus only on their jobs. This is more insulting than inspiring. In addition, it adds confusion about what the company’s longer-term goals are, and what success will look like. Bosses are fond of the “rowing in the same direction” metaphor, but it falls apart pretty quickly when the people doing most of the rowing don’t know the destination.

  1. Macro-manage Your People

It’s probably among the very top complaints employees have about a current boss: “I’m being micro-managed.” Even at its most basic level, it makes no sense to hire talented people then ride such close herd on them that their own abilities seldom reach the surface. At best, you are duplicating effort. At worst, you are harming the company by spending your valuable time doing something a talented employee could be doing, and perhaps doing better. When you trust employees and allow them to show their abilities, they are inspired to use those abilities to achieve great things for the company.

  1. Surprise: A Team-building Exercise Will Build Your Team

Team-building exercises get a bad rap by some today. (Perhaps they’ve seen too many “trust fall” scenes in movies or binge-watched “The Office.”) But it’s a tool that really works. You can choose from any number of interesting activities that can take up as little as a few hours and even take place at your facility if you like. But what they all have in common is the opportunity to get to know other employees (and bosses) better. When you see and respect associates as people, you naturally feel more connection to the entire enterprise and are willing to work harder to ensure its success for all.

One More Inspired Thought: Promotional Items

When your employees are inspired, they will motivate themselves to achieve the success you predicted when you hired them. They become proud of themselves and of your company. That’s a great opportunity to reward them with customized promotional items and apparel. (By the way, it’s an excellent way to inspire your customers and prospects, as well.)

You won’t find a better partner for promotional items and apparel than Superior Business Solutions. Our second consecutive Best of Print and Digital award along with our ISO certification are your assurances that our procedures and systems are designed to provide relentless customer service. Hopefully that will inspire you to contact us today to see how our promotional product services can simplify things and improve results for you.

Check back on Thursday, when I will share 5 activities to inspire your team to greatness!

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