Why team motivation doesn’t work!

Here, Adam Strong, CEO of Elite Corporate Fitness, tells us why team motivation might not work for your business.

For CEOs and small business looking for the next big thing to motivate employees to work harder, increase profitability and grow market share, forget it! Motivation doesn’t work. And here is why…

Let’s look at my old training partner Mo Farah, he is not motivated to win gold medals time and time again because motivation is only short term and unsustainable.

Mo is driven by inspiration, he is inspired by his family, by his burning desire to win and because he wants to be the best person he can be in his sport, he’s inspired by empowering the next generation of young athletes to follow his steps.

This goes for any winning Olympic athlete, motivation is like a sharp stick, it gets you moving for a while but eventually the novelty wears thin. How can we inspire your team to win gold medals in your business? As a former elite athlete, I know what inspires athletes and what can inspire your team to become even more successful are very similar. Here’s what I have learnt:

Help your team achieve their dreams and desires

If you want to achieve your business goals then you have to take an interest in your each of your team member’s personal and professional goals. Get to know what your employees want, provide them with the tools and encourage them to achieve their own goals.

I always find the most effective way of achieving this is by booking an informal chat on a regular basis i.e. every three to six months. Engage with your team and strategise with them as to what incentivises them.

Let people loose

One of the most common problems facing business owners is their inability to let go. They are not empowering their team to take up the responsibility to drive the business forwards. Micro-managing leads to burn out, causes stress and makes your team feel dissatisfied.

If you want your team to perform, encourage them to tack up the reins, invite them to set their own performance goals and encourage them to feel that they are part of something big. You must get everyone to buy into a vision that gets them excited.

Be committed

One of the biggest reasons why Mo Farah is one of the greatest Olympic athletes in the world is that he made the decision and long term commitment to be the best in his sport. Get your team aligned as part of the longstanding vision of your company and empower them to achieve whatever it is they truly desire.

Create a dream team

One of the biggest challenges in growing a business is recruiting the right people to fit your culture. Many companies (especially tech) are struggling to attract top talent; therefore you have to be open-minded as to whom you want to bring into your team.

When I interview a person applying for a position in my consultancy firm, one of the most crucial things I test for is their level of optimism. I have devised a series of questions and based on their answers I will get an indication as to how optimistic that person is. If they don’t score (90+) then I don’t consider them as a strong candidate to fit our team culture, regardless of qualifications and experience.

Be accountable

Enable your team to choose a training partner that has similar goals and will hold each other accountable. My training partner, Mo Farah, inspired me to work hard and achieve success. Encouraging healthy competition in your business will achieve the results both you and your team want.

Be a great role model

Your team needs a leader who directs them to the path of success. They need you to support them, give them guidance and respect.

A great leader can have an exponential impact on performance. Leadership in effect is when one person follows another of their own free will because they feel inspired and engaged to follow. Your leadership can create a togetherness and family spirit that will unite everyone together, enabling you to be the leader you want to be and the person to inspire them.

Written by Adam Strong, CEO of Elite Corporate Fitness.

Further reading on team motivation

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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