“When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.” – Zig Ziglar
Your team members should never feel that they are merely a resource. A resource is something you use as long as it is functional. When the shelf life expires or is no longer as effective as it once was, you throw it away without a thought. Employees, workers and team members are not robots. Human beings have intellect and emotions. Failing to deal with them on those levels will ultimately backfire. You cannot program loyalty.
Sharing Rewards With Your Team
If your team members are going to share in the work, make certain they share in the rewards. If you are going to get a bonus for a successful task, share at least a portion of it with your team. More than one employee has felt betrayed by leadership when the boss gets a big bonus and those who do all the work get nothing. You don’t need to give them half or divide it all up among all your followers, but you should at least throw them a party, provide a free lunch, organize a team building event, or give everyone a pair of movie tickets or a lottery ticket. Do something to show they didn’t work hard only to see you take all the credit.
Celebrating Team Accomplishments
Set both personal and team goals and milestones. Nothing motivates someone like public recognition. Although some may seem somewhat embarrassed by a public display, inside they are proud they have been recognized. There has never been a recorded study that quotes an employee who was honored in public with them saying that they never wanted that to happen again. Celebrate team milestones as well. It breaks up the routine of the workday, gives a well-deserved break, and motivates people to work harder when they return to work refreshed.
Making Celebration Part of Your Team Culture
You don’t need to decorate the office each day or have morning pep rallies, but the workplace should never be dreaded by your team. People spend most of their waking lives at work, with substantially less time for family, friends and activities they would much rather be doing. By the very definition, they come to “work” and you have to pay them to be there. People have to feel motivated by more than just a paycheck.
Be sure to have a welcoming environment where people feel respected. Celebrate special occasions to break up the routine, but don’t make celebration itself the routine or no work will get done.