I’ve mentioned that I had to make some pretty radical changes to my business about six months ago in order to turn it around. Many of these changes included how I manage my team. Below are the five most compelling ways that I’ve found to motivate my team. We’re having our best year yet despite a rocky few months…so there must be some value in this list!
1. Don’t micromanage
Otherwise known as “empowering” your team if you want to keep things positive. I talk a lot about empowering my team during our team meetings (we meet once a month). To me, this means it’s ok to make mistakes. Or maybe you do something a little different then I would and as long as the task is completed within the given parameters, that’s ok. Mistakes are “ok” as long as you learn from them and don’t repeat them. I know I’ve empowered everyone when there aren’t any sticky notes on the computer when I come into the studio.
You know what I mean…you walk in and instead of starting to work on YOUR list of priorities, you have like 80 sticky notes all over the computer and desk because someone didn’t know how to take care of something. I hate sticky notes. And I’ve actually wondered if I stopped buying them, would my Team have to take care of everything on their own because they couldn’t leave a note for the next person?!
For the record, I haven’t had a sticky in at least a few weeks. Yea Team! Stay strong!
2. Communicate your vision and sales goals
I used to be a little secretive with my business financials with my Team. How dumb was that?! If I don’t tell my Team what it is we’re trying to accomplish or what is driving our two studios’ sales each month, how will they know what to work on? Now, at our team meetings I review our previous month’s sales and talk about what drove the numbers to the level we achieved (ie. Class sales in Clemmons increased compared to last month because we saw an increase in $99 New Client Special purchases with our Bring Your Friends promotion. Or…Clothing sales in Reynolda Village increased because we had some really cute things and y’all focused on upselling tanks if someone purchased a pair of leggings—we sold 30 more tanks than last month). I think I used to keep our sales information close to the vest because I didn’t trust a few members of my Team. Now that I’ve spent a great deal of time outlining our Mission, Vision and Culture statements, I know that my current Team is committed to our success and 100% invested. I’ve learned the more information I share, the better our performance. As a bonus, my Team can actually receive evidence that their hard work is paying off.
3. Push their limits
You never really know what your Team is capable of until you push them to work their hardest or most efficiently. This can backfire, however, if you have unrealistic expectations and are disappointed by what you perceive as lackluster results. I have found that in order to set my Team up for success with a tough sales goal, it’s best that they work together. Meaning the entire team has to be rewarded for meeting the goal, not just the top salesperson.
4. Develop leadership
Eventually your business will reach a level where you won’t be able to do everything yourself. So…you have to make sure someone else has the leadership to help you out and run the place. This can be tricky because some people who have authority positions aren’t well-respected. As we discussed before, anyone who doesn’t quite fit in at your business is missing a key element of your Culture and should never be given a leadership role unless you’re prepared for them to fail miserably.
I only know one way to develop leadership in my Team and that’s through leading by example.
5. Celebrate your success
It’s so easy as business owners to be down on ourselves for not doing something or not meeting a goal. And what happens when you finally do something amazing? What do you say? “Well, it’s about time.” This is so bad.
You need to take the time to celebrate your and your Team’s success. The easiest way to do this is to give your Team a goal and tell them the reward to motivate them. Now you can’t not celebrate if they reach the goal because you’ve already put the reward out there. And no one likes a “take back.”
There you have it. 5 of the most compelling ways I’ve found to motivate my Team—hopefully a few if not all work for you. But really it all boils down to trusting your team to do their best—which goes back to avoiding micromanaging.
Next week I’m going to discuss financial benchmarking and my thoughts on Black Friday. I had some time to analyze my Black Friday sales and I’m not convinced it was worth it—what do you think?
Until then, stay on your toes!