What Do I Do To Motivate a Stalled Team?

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Nov 27, 2013

Dear Barb:

I know my recruiters could produce more, but I don’t know how to motivate them. It’s like I want more for them than they want for themselves. My four senior guys seem burned out when the economy was difficult. Right now, we have business, but many of our good orders are not being filled, which is very frustrating. I’ve tried to encourage them. I’ve offered contests. I threatened to take action, and I even became a micro-manager, which I hated and so did they.

They are not costing me money, but they are not making me the profits I would like. I feel I already overpay them, so I’m not willing to motivate them with more money. Any other suggestions?

Carl W.

Chicago, Ill.

Barb Responds

Dear Carl:

It is impossible to motivate someone who does not want to be motivated. It is also important to understand that your team won’t produce more because you want higher profits. They will however increase their production for their own reasons. Contests only work if they help the people who work for you achieve things that are important to them. Often time off or the ability to virtual one or two days a week is more attractive than contests offering money.

Have your team write down five non-negotiable goals they are trying to attain by the end of this year. Under each goal have them write down three to five action items that are dated.

These goals should be in all areas of their life which are important: career, financial, personal, health, philanthropic, spiritual, and education. Have each person post the goals where they can see them as they work. If someone wants to send their child to a great college, or buy a new car or home, they are more likely to do whatever it takes to increase their production and income.

The best you can do is create an environment that is motivating and offers your employees an opportunity to attain what is most important to them. Your contests should also be focused on the specific goals of your employees. It’s amazing what someone can achieve if it’s for the people they love.

It is also critically important that you offer training so they can change how they work their desk. If your employees keep doing things the same way – they and you will get the same results. The most important aspect of training is it must be consistent and repetitive. Go here to watch a demo.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS