How to Motivate Your Staff and Increase Sales

“I do not try to dance better than

If only your staff were so well self-motivated!

But, most employees seem to fall under others’ influence for motivation – positive or negative. Why? Because management’s folly is to expect everyone to excel at everything – and de-motivating. Having unrealistic expectations of your staff will sabotage your business. A happy, highly motivated staff can outperform even the best trained, yet unmotivated, staff.

You hired well, but …

Didn’t you hire based on the energy you seek to help grow your business? You may have also expected the new hires’ energy might re-light the fires under your existing staff. And then,  strangely, the new hires soon fall into the same patterns and low morale of your existing staff. What happened?

Mirror, Mirror

Perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror for the source of the decline in morale. Traditional management styles can do a nasty little job of robbing employees of their personal motivation. If you are falling back on old, authoritarian styles of leadership, then perhaps you aren’t leading, but are commanding. When your staff learns that it’s your way or no way, they are less willing to think or act on their own. They eventually may stop challenging themselves to do their personal best as well when it is repeatedly unrewarded.

Time for a management mind-shift?

Studies have proven over and over that performance increases at a far better rate through positive reinforcement of desirable behavior than negative reinforcement (criticism or punishment) of undesirable behavior. The more positive they feel about themselves, the better their performance, the better they do, the better for your business, and so on. It’s difficult to do well when criticism is at every corner – whether well-meant or not.

Get started today!

  • Seek out their positive points
  • Compliment them when they do well
  • Point out their initiative
  • Critique via discussion and not instruction or lecturing
  • Ask for feedback and creative thinking and not always presenting only your own ideas and philosophies of business.

One person’s weakness is another person’s strength

Remember why you hired them! Revisit your hiring notes if necessary – their strengths should be recognized and capitalized upon. And if they have annoying weaknesses, weigh them against their strengths.

For example, if someone is a highly productive sales person, but consistently fails in paperwork, learn to pick your battles. If necessary, pick someone who is great at paperwork to do paperwork! At any rate, the paperwork person is most likely not your best salesperson and would serve you best focusing on handling all the paperwork for all your salespeople. See how this works? Don’t spread your talent where it is not productive.

A positive atmosphere is contagious and automatically translates into higher sales and more satisfied customers.

Note: occasionally my blogs address sales, customer service, and operations, because sales and marketing are not mutually exclusive.