Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Motivation ... More than Money

Any discussion about motivation must begin with two acknowledgements.
  1. Money is not the only motivator, and for most people it isn't the most important motivator. Of course, we all want to make more money but that isn't all that is needed for someone to be happy and content at work. Acknowledgement, positive working environment, a flexible work schedule ... all of these are motivators.
  2. External motivation is never as important as internal motivation.You can throw money at people. You can send them to motivational seminars. You can buy them self-help books. Yet, nothing will help if the person you are trying to help doesn't want to be helped. The strongest motivation comes from within.
Having said that, motivation matters. Taking the time to figure out what matters to your CSRs is important to ensuring their job satisfaction. However, if you have a big team, you might not have the time to play motivational detective. There are some things you can do overall to increase the odds of improving the morale and motivation of your team.
  • Acknowledge and Encourage: Don't be the boss that only comes around when something is wrong. Let members of your team know when they are doing things right and are on the right path.
  • Praise Publicly, Criticize Privately: When an employee does a good job, let everyone know. If there is an issue, pull them aside and discuss it one-on-one.
  • Give Credit, Share Success: If your success was a team effort, let the team share in the success. If one or two employees went above and beyond what was necessary, acknowledge their effort.
  • Back Them Up: Nothing is more demoralizing to a team than knowing that the boss is more than willing to throw them under the bus when the going gets tough. Be willing to take a stand for your employees.
  • Open Door: Give your employees the opportunity to come and talk with them. If you are busy, let them know but also let them know that you are available for them.