What should you do when your team’s motivation suddenly drops? How do you revitalize your juniors with positive energy?
As a WISE business consultant, my clients have asked me time and time again how they can get their team back on track when energy is down. I started trying to find a tried and true method back when I found the Hubbard® Management System in 2008 and read this quote from an article by L. Ron Hubbard which he wrote on the 14th of January, 1969:
“There is a law about this — All you have to do to restore life and action is to rekindle the failed purpose. The stops will at once blow.”
Since then, I began my own consulting company, Visotsky Consulting, and have worked with over 400+ companies to implement the Model of Admin Know-How™ (MAKH). I was able to finesse this method through my experiences in consulting and have used it countless times in my own company and in the client’s companies.
Many executives are faced with the situation where—due to complications at the office, managerial mistakes or external problems—a good worker or a whole division loses motivation. A competent executive will recognize that low morale will not promote the best results for the company. If the emotional state of the personnel is negative, it is pointless to even dream about profits. However, there is a simple and effective way to breathe life into crestfallen employees that takes, literally, 30 minutes.
The first thing one has to do is notice the situation at hand. Unfortunately, most executives prefer to ignore it and would rather focus on seemingly more important and bigger issues.
The second step is to get the staff to openly talk to YOU. You clearly tell them you’ve noticed a problem has come up.
The third step is when you enter into action, ensure your employees honestly tell you about difficulties they’ve been dealing with. Just ask them, “Guys, what happened? What’s going on?” And make sure that they truthfully answer these questions. By the way, your juniors may each have completely different problems. One junior’s client refuses to sign a contract, another’s client hangs up on them and doesn’t want to talk, the third junior encountered some other problem, and so on. You listen to them and say, “Yeah, I understand”.
When a junior tells you about his problems, he realizes that his attention is stuck on these problems. And here is the interesting part: while talking about the issue, this fixation lessens. This is already half of the solution.
The fourth step is to remind your juniors about the main goals of their jobs. If this is a sales department, you could say “Guys, do you remember the goal of our sales department? This is the only department in the company that ensures our income. It is completely up to you and your work to make sure that our production and logistics are functioning. And your goal is to really ensure that it happens”.
Your task as an executive at this moment is to remind the employees about the goal, make sure they realize that their work is very important for the whole company.
The fifth step is to remind the team about past successes. Your goal is to make sure that employees remember about the wins they’ve achieved while realizing the above mentioned goals. I don’t promise that they will instantly be enthusiastic about the challenge again. It is sometimes a bit difficult to get back there. Nevertheless, if you show perseverance, employees will remember the good contracts from last month and the grateful clients who are now regulars.
The sixth and final step is to acknowledge them and get them started again. You can say, “See, you can handle it! Continue to work, act!” With that, you complete the cycle of motivation.
So, there you have six simple steps. This is a method of rekindling failed purposes that I have used with success. These steps will generally take 15-20 minutes and at the 30 minutes at the maximum—and this is only if you have more than 10-15 people in your company. However, there are two common mistakes some executives make while going through the 6 steps.
The first mistake occurs when an executive asks their employees about their problems and instead answers it himself or herself. The executive ends up only offering their own assumptions. In this case, the step ends up not working because it doesn’t give the employees the chance to “un-fixate” from the problem. The second mistake occurs after listening to the employee’s problems and the executive rushes to solve them all himself. He then presents the employees with a ready-made solution. This doesn’t allow the employees to face the challenge, live through it and find their own way.
In doing this I have found that motivating your team this way doesn’t necessarily solve their problems for them. The purpose is to find out what difficulties they have accumulated so they can vent and talk it out. Once they’ve let it out, remind them of their goals, make them talk about their wins, and then send them back to work. I have found it works best in this sequence.
Your first attempt at these 6 steps might be a bit slow going. It takes some practice to perfect it and gain the skill. However, once you learn this method, you should see results within 30 minutes and will be able to drastically improve the emotional state of a whole group of people. This seems like magic, but it really works.
Alexander Visotsky is a celebrated author of business management books and the CEO of Visotsky Consulting, a successful WISE-licensed consulting firm in the Ukraine. As tough as his native Siberia, Visotsky is making a significant cultural impact in Russia, Ukraine and the US through the implementation of the Hubbard Administrative Technology.
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