Turning your team into a marketing asset
Author: Liz Wells
Your team members should be your biggest asset and your number one marketing tool. On the flipside, if your team members are not motivated and enthused by your brand and by the work they are doing, they can cause untold damage to your business’s reputation and future success.
Motivation levels in decline
In general, employee motivation levels are in decline. According to the Living to Work report, released late last year, 29% of the 2,000 UK employees who responded said they were not motivated at work in 2017 – a rise of 11% over the previous year. It is important that your team members do not contribute to this negative statistic.
Every manager has their own methods of motivating their team. There is no miracle answer, but there are certain golden rules that every manager and business owner should bear in mind if they want team members to represent their business with enthusiasm and commitment.
Every person in your team has their own distinct personality and will, therefore, react better to certain motivational methods than others. As a manager, you need to get to know these individuals and learn how to get the best from them. One of the most effective ways of getting to know what motivates each individual team member is to hold regular one-to-one meetings. Find out in these meeting what drives each staff member and what would incentivise them to represent your brand in the most positive way possible.
Set out clear career growth plans
Lack of career progression was given as the main reason for employees not feeling motivated in the Living to Work report. Even within the smallest business, there is potential for individuals to grow and develop. During the one-to-one meetings, agree with team members on a goal, or set of goals, that they should aim to achieve over a set time. These goals should take account of the staff member’s own wishes and also the needs of the business. As a manager, it is your job to not only set the goals but monitor progress and also help make them achievable through offering advice, training where needed, and possibly mentoring from another team member.
Give individual team members areas of responsibility
Responsibility is a great motivational factor for most people. It makes them feel recognised for their hard work and an integral part of the business. Obviously, how you allocate this responsibility will, once again, come down to the individual concerned. In an ideal world, you want to give someone responsibility for something they enjoy. If a team member loves the challenge of selling, put them in charge of growing sales of a specific product group. Ask them to come up with ideas of how to market a particular area of the business that might currently be experiencing slow sales. Even those team members who are reticent about taking on responsibility should be given something to oversee, even if it is taking charge of the company’s social calendar – good relationships with colleagues was cited as the second major reason for employee happiness in the 2018 Happiness Survey from One4all Rewards, so do not underestimate the value of a team night out.
Reward hard work and success
Again, this all comes down to knowing the individual and what will motivate them. Many people will be motivated by financial reward, but not everyone. The answer, once again, comes down to effective communication with individuals to find out what will incentivise them. It may be a cash bonus, or it might be access to training or time off. It could be as simple as congratulating them in front of the team. “My boss is good at saying thank-you” was given as the third biggest reason for feeling motivated at work by respondents to the Living to Work report.
Involve your team in planned business developments
A team that does not feel involved in the evolution of a company is likely to lose interest and motivation very quickly. Where possible, make your team feel part of major decisions affecting the business, get their input and listen to their views. If a team feel they are playing a part in a change, they are far more likely to buy into it and make it a success. Even if you as the manager have to make a change that will not appeal to everyone, keep the team informed throughout the decision-making process. A team that has been kept in the loop is less likely to react negatively to an unpopular development.