Entrepreneurs and business leaders know that the attitude they project at the office will trickle down to the staff — whether positive or negative. If you want to motivate your staff to high levels of excellence, you need to begin that by projecting a positive attitude.
As the business owner, your staff looks up to you and takes its clues from the way you embrace the day and the tasks at hand. If you’re grumbling, you can bet they will be as well. You need to lead by example; if you’re not having a good day, that will be reflected on your staff and will filter down to their interactions with your clients.
What can you do to foster that good feeling at work? Here are three things to try: A
- Be excited about what you do and share that excitement. If you start the day with enthusiastic vigor your actions will be contagious! When you’re talking to clients or staff, make sure your enthusiasm shows through in your words, be animated.
- Make sure your staff knows and understands the company vision and mission and how what they do on a daily basis helps to achieve them. Inspire your staff by marking off milestones that they have helped to achieve in the mission and vision by sharing the successes with them.
- Say thank you and I appreciate you to those staff members who are truly excelling. Say please and thank you when you ask an employee to take on a new project — sure they’re getting paid for the work, but a please and a thank you go a long way in fostering a positive work attitude.
Bottom line? Being a positive leader will help your team reach its goals and can also foster a more positive workplace atmosphere. What can you do today to inspire through your attitude?
If you have on-site or off-site employees there will come a time when you will want to show them how much you appreciate what they do for you. If, however, your business is a bit cash strapped — and what business isn’t today! — there are ways to compensate your rising stars without it impacting the bottom line.
Here are three ways to motivate and honor stellar employees without money:
- If you have an employee who goes above and beyond, make that known to the rest of the team. “Wow, did you see the amazing job that Sue did with XYZ client?! Keep up the great work!” Recognition honors the person receiving it, but motivates the rest of the team who may want the same acknowledgement for a job well done.
- You may not have a budget for training, but consider delegating responsibility to a talented worker by providing access to free sessions being held by a local Chamber of Commerce or other networking group. Give the employee the time off to attend and then ask them to report back to the team on what she’s learned – this is a great way to offer the training to the entire team while making the attendee feel important for being able to provide the information.
- You may have designated hours in which your clients expect to be responded to, but does that allow for flexibility for your employees in case they need to take a child to school, walk the dog or run an errand? Can you offer a more flexible schedule as a way to motivate your staff? Consider that providing autonomy can boost morale!
What can you do to motivate your employees in non-monetary ways?
As an entrepreneur it’s go-go-go from morning until night and even when you fall, exhausted, into bed you still have a to-do list that is a mile long, right? As a business owners you’re not punching a time clock and getting paid for simply showing up. As a business owner you reap what you sow — work hard get rewarded, don’t work hard and your bottom line suffers.
If you’re burning the candle at both ends here are three stress-reducing steps you can consider:
- Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat a healthy diet. Get up and move around. Get in the habit of standing and walking around when you’re taking a phone call. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Take a walk. Step away from work and enjoy a healthy lunch. Self-care can help you deal with the stress.
- Attitude matters. If you pop out of bed in the morning thinking, “This is going to be a fantastic day” chances are it will! If you find yourself getting burdened with stressful situations, step away, take a deep breath and start over.
- Take a break. If there are days when it all seems too much you may need to step completely away for an hour or so. Call a friend. Take a walk. Meditate. Pick up a book and read five or ten pages.
What do you when you the stress of running your business gets to be overwhelming?
There are managers and then there are micro-managers. There are leaders that push their teams toward excellence and then there are leaders that have their staff dreading walking through the door in the morning. What kind of leader/manager are you? If you’re carrying the entire weight of your business, even though you have hired professionals to help you, you may need to revamp your style!
In our working with business owners we have uncovered three distinct management styles, which one are you?
- Do you need to know it all and be involved in every aspect of everything? If so, you are stifling your staff’s ability to take the lead and solve their own problems. Also, if you have hired individuals to perform specific tasks because of their unique talents, then let them do what you hired them for. You don’t need to know, or do, it all.
- Do you feel the need to micro-manage every step of every project? Do you make your staff feel as though they cannot make a decision without first clearing it through you? If so, again, you are standing in the way of progress for your staff and not allowing them to take the lead nor are you empowering them to take risks.
- Do you have no contact with your staff or project managers? Do you simply toss a task their way and say “have at it?” If so, you’re the opposite spectrum of the micro-manager; you’re so hands off that your staff doesn’t hear from you until a problem arises — when it could be too late to salvage a project.
A good leader is a mix of all these leadership styles. He knows how to get in the trenches and when to step away and let the individuals he hired for the project take it and run with it. If you’re not sure of your style or want to change the style you’re currently operating with, contact our office.