The ability to motivate employees is one of the greatest skills an entrepreneur can possess. A lack of cash doesn't have to make it difficult to improve the company morale. With the help of great team leaders, build a culture and create a passionate, hard-working team that is as committed to growing and improving the company as its founders. Here's how:
Be Generous with Praise. Everyone wants it and it’s one of the easiest things to give. Plus, praise from the CEO goes a lot farther than you might think. Praise every improvement that you see your team members make.
Get Rid of Managers. Projects without project managers? That doesn’t seem right, but try it! Removing the project lead or supervisor and empowering your staff to work together as a team rather then everyone reporting to one individual can do wonders. Think about it. What’s worse than letting your supervisor down? Letting your team down! Allowing people to work together as a team, on an equal level with their co-workers, will often produce better projects faster. People will come in early, stay late, and devote more of their energy to solving problems.
Make Your Ideas Theirs. People hate being told what to do. Instead of telling people what you want done; ask them in a way that will make them feel like they came up with the idea. “I’d like you to do it this way” turns into “Do you think it’s a good idea if we do it this way?”
Never Criticize or Correct. Try an indirect approach to get people to improve, learn from their mistakes, and fix them. Ask, “Was that the best way to approach the problem? Why not? Have any ideas on what you could have done differently?” Then you’re having a conversation and talking through solutions, not pointing a finger.
Take an employee to lunch once a week. Surprise them. Don’t make an announcement that you’re establishing a new policy. Literally walk up to one of your employees, and invite them to lunch with you. It’s an easy way to remind them that you notice and appreciate their work.
Share the rewards—and the pain. When your company does well, celebrate. This is the best time to let everyone know that you’re thankful for their hard work. Go out of your way to show how far you will go when people help your company succeed. If there are disappointments, share those too. If you expect high performance, your team deserves to know where the company stands. Be honest and transparent.
Source: Ilya Pozin Photo: Teak Sato