The Power of People: Motivating Your Team

Group of people stacking hands together

Motivating and managing a team is challenging under the best of circumstances. Add in a worldwide pandemic and the challenge increases exponentially. If you have felt that leading your team through this crisis has been an overwhelming task, you are not alone. It’s hard enough to manage your own emotions when faced with a threat to your business and livelihood. When you are also responsible for a team of employees, all facing their own unique struggles, the situation can seem insurmountable. But you didn’t come this far to only come this far! 

You are the leader in your organization and you have the ability to guide your team to a new future where all of you are stronger and better for having weathered this storm together.

Start by giving them a purpose

Anyone can face challenges with more courage when they have a compelling reason to do so. Why should your employees care about helping the business to thrive? They want to feel that their work has meaning. Help your employees see the mission behind the service you provide and their role in accomplishing that mission. Show them what you are all fighting for as a team.

Then give them focus

The stress of the pandemic has many people feeling paralyzed and unable to determine what action to take. The more clear you can make their path forward, the better. This is the time to dig into job descriptions and clarify the role of each person in your company. Help them understand the vital functions they perform and what their highest priorities are. Doing this will increase efficiency in their work and ease the stress of ambiguity. If communication is important during ordinary times, it is imperative during times of challenge and change.

Next, make sure they have opportunities to grow

With so much uncertainty about the future, the fear of losing employment and income has been real. Whenever possible, reassure your team by showing them the path to growth and progression with your company. Providing a growth plan can help team members see a future of possibilities, one in which they make personal progress and potentially increase their income. When you incentivize employees to become better trained and educated about their work everyone wins. They gain knowledge and skill, and the business benefits from their improved ability to provide service.

Also, give them your time and attention

Your team can be your greatest asset and the best insurance that your business will be able to come out of the current crisis on top. The demands of business ownership can be so heavy at times that it is hard to stop and give someone your undivided attention. Yet a listening ear, words of encouragement, and mentorship might be just what an employee needs to do their best work. Investing your time with your team members is time well spent.

Remember to give them your praise

Charles Schwab said, “There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person an incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loathe to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.” 

Your people need encouragement now more than ever. Take time to notice where they are doing well and be lavish with your praise. The behaviors that you praise and put your attention on will increase!

When you give your team the motivation and direction they need, they will help your business overcome any obstacle. That’s the power of people!

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