Volume 14, Issue 4 - July/August 2010

AsktheExpert

Staying Motivated

I want to thank those of you who responded to my first article. An interesting question came in from the responses and I have decided to address this question: “If you put all of your employees on salary, how do you keep them motivated? If employees know they are going to be paid the same amount each week, why should they go beyond the minimum of what’s expected?”

Indeed, it is a very interesting question. However, I think the bigger question is how do you keep your employees motivated regardless of how you pay them? After all, without employees you would have to wear all of the hats and do all of the work,
right? So, here are five tips for keeping your employees motivated for your company.

1. Compliment Your Employees.
Everyone loves a good compliment. Be sure you let your employees know when they are doing a good job. Do not be afraid to compliment them in a public setting; receiving a compliment in a public setting will make them feel special. And remember, compliments go a long way when you are in the middle of summer asking your employees to go the extra mile for you. Along those lines, say “thank you,” too.

2. Give back to the employees. We have all heard about the “ugly ogre” that so-and-so has worked for. You know, the person who makes you work until 7 p.m. on holiday weekends, asks you to come in early on Saturdays and when you ask for an hour off docks your pay. Don’t be that employer. Surprise your team with lunch, take them to an event, go out for happy hour once in a while, etc. When you go the extra mile as an employer, your employees will reciprocate. They will feel as though they are a part of the team and not just someone who collects a paycheck.

3. Offer incentive competitions. Competition can be a good thing between the employees, as it can help heighten their performance level. Competitions can last for a week, a month or a quarter. Ask the employees what type of prize they would like to win. For instance, give the installer who has had the least amount of call-backs for poor installations within a three-week period a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant. The first salesperson to sell $100,000 in residential sales wins three days and two nights at a regional bed and breakfast, all expenses paid. Put up progress charts in the office and update them weekly so everyone can see where they stand.

“The team that you have compiled is looking to you, the leader,
to teach them and lead them to the next level.”

4. Motivate your employees by coaching them to perform to potential. You have hired a group of employees who you believe is the best fit for your business, right? If this is not a true statement, then you need to reevaluate your staff. That being said, the team that you have compiled is looking to you, the leader, to teach them and lead them to the next level. That means you need to show up to work on time; you need greet your staff at the beginning of the day; you need to create an environment where your employees can come to you if they are having personal issues. If you are not comfortable with leading an installation or sales team, then you need to find someone who is and hire them to help you. Your employees are only as motivated as their leader.

5. Listen to the experts in the industry. There are many people who have been in this industry for ten, 20, even 30 years. Some have worked on the corporate side only, some have worked on the independent side and some have worked on both sides. You need to find those people you believe are an expert in your niche of the industry and ask them for advice. If they have been around for awhile, they have all had great employees and not-so-great employees. The point is, everyone who has had employees has had to keep them motivated.

I hope this was informative and inspirational. Please keep those questions coming, as I enjoy helping you grow your business.

Got a question for Donna?
Please e-mail it to us at erogers@glass.com. Individual names and company names will be withheld upon request.

Donna Wells has worked in the window film industry since the 1980s and is currently sole proprietor of Image Imagination in Huntington Beach, Calif. Ms. Wells’ opinions are solely her own and not necessarily those of this magazine.


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