Wouldn’t we all like our team members to turn up for work, motivated, willing to do a great job and of course wanting to be there? I often ask area and store managers this question and while they agree that this is the goal, very few say that their team is at this level every day. Can you imagine the positive impact on customers if that’s how your team presented every day – wow your customers would be so engaged they may even forget about your competition or online shopping!
How can you get your team to this level? It certainly takes some work, however, it is far from impossible. Motivation is an interesting topic. I often receive positive feedback when running training courses, about being a good motivator, yet I ask the participants who are the only person that can motivate them and the answer is yourself. Yet as leaders, we can create an environment where our team feels motivated and that’s one of the keys to success.
As we are all different and what motivates me, may not necessarily motivate my colleague. The trick is to spend some time getting to know each team member and analysing their strengths and weaknesses. Also finding out what they like and don’t like when it comes to receiving instructions and information, understanding their individual learning styles and the roles in which they perform well and the ones they don’t.
Now it can seem like a lot of work, but these conversations shouldn’t take long and are a key part of being a great leader. Everyone wants their manager to show interest in them and taking time to build relationships with each team member is essential. This could be as simple as a 5 – 10 minute catch up once a week or fortnight. There is a great saying that really reinforces this: “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
There are other resources you can use to provide a guide, such as DISC profiling and a tool from Gallup which is called the Clifton strengths assessment. Gallup’s research uncovered that when managers adopted a strengths-based approach to leading their employees their teams outperformed those that didn’t use this approach in profit, customer and employee engagement and turnover.
Using a strengths-based approach allows the manager to better understand what motivates their team, how each team member naturally thinks, feels and behaves as well as how to build relationships within their own team and across other teams. This is powerful stuff and the outcomes were, more motivated and energised team members who approached their work differently.
Specifically, they found those team members:
- Came to work each day energised and ready to tackle their responsibilities
- Enjoyed their job so much they can’t help but spend time thinking about work outside of work hours
- Aspired to produce excellent results in all they do
- Stayed focus on goals, overcome obstacles and perform with excellence – often without needing much guidance from their manager
Imagine if you could get your team members to perform like this every day. Think about what you’d achieve as a team and the amazing experiences customers would receive. Leading a time like this would be a dream and help you as the manager to achieve great results through your people.
It will take some time to get to really know your team, work out their strengths and weaknesses, adjust your style to suit them, however, the benefits are massive.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.