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3 Things Small Business Owners Can Do to Motivate Their Team

It appears that after a long, hard winter, we’re finally coming out of the Ice Age and into the welcoming embrace of spring.  I don’t know about you, but the never-ending cold did a real number on my day-to-day enthusiasm and motivation, and I bet at least some of your team is feeling the same way.   

To meet and exceed the goals of a new quarter, your team will need to be pumped up, and as the leader of your organization, it’s up to you to make that happen.  In my former managerial roles in retail, academia, and advertising, I’ve picked up a few helpful hints to get everybody under your authority on the right track - including you.

1. Lead by Example

Rare are those who are inspired to action by an absent leader.  The greatest leaders of history are the ones who led from the front of the column, who did not consider anything they’d ask of their followers too mundane to do themselves.  This applies to you, too: your team is looking to you for cues, so if you’re on time and ready to get down to work, it’s more likely they will be too.  

Likewise, if you’re excited about a project, that excitement is infectious, so let it shine!  Just keep in mind that it works both ways: if you aren’t invested in getting things done, it will show, and make it harder for your team to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

2. It’s the Little Things

Nobody is going to suggest that a day at the office should be like a day in kindergarten, complete with snacks, storybooks and nap time. But who’s to say a little TLC wouldn’t be appreciated around the workplace?  Here at Method we’re treated to snacks on Fridays the head of HR picks up for us around lunch hour - and it’s amazing how far some bagels or a pizza will go on the last day of the week.  

Same goes for making our goals: when our team reaches a major milestone, we often celebrate with cake.  Obviously you’ll want to choose rewards that suit your team (and not everybody likes cake) but acknowledgment of a job well done can make a world of difference to team morale.

3. Talk it Out

Of course, all the cake and baked goods in the world won’t make a lick of difference if you’re running your company from atop an ivory tower.  Just like it’s vital for a leader to visibly lead by example, it’s equally important for that leader to be approachable.  Of course, depending on your line of work you might not have time to take a hands-on role in every element of the day-to-day running of your business.  

But you’d be surprised how far words of encouragement or constructive suggestions from a team lead can take a team member. Individual attention makes members of your team feel like they are valued, that someone notices what they’re doing right, and pays enough attention to help them improve daily.  It’s a great motivator that takes almost no effort, making it one of the most powerful tools in your leadership arsenal.

That’s it for me - what are some tactics you use around your office to help motivate your team?  Share them in the comments or tweet them to us @MethodCRM.  In the meantime I’ll be dreaming of tomorrow’s snacks.


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About Method_Alex

Alex is a veteran writer and editor hailing from Toronto, Canada. He is an honours graduate of the University of Toronto’s Specialist program in rhetoric and composition, and has written for a variety of interests including advertisers, live media, academia, and a variety of news outlets. When he isn’t translating tech-talk for Method CRM, he can be found playing in his band or reading to his son.