Your workforce is like a sports team. The success of everyone can be brought down by one bad performance. Like a team of professional athletes, your staff must be prepared to give 110% each day. Otherwise, the weakest link will ruin everything for the entire team. But how do you convince each worker to do their best when most employees dislike their jobs and are worried about getting a pink slip any day. The answer is effective team motivation.

What Doesn’t Work

First, we have to discuss some things that are simply not going to be effective in terms of team motivation. Don’t ask your employees to play silly trust-building activities or to sit around in a circle sharing their innermost feelings. These methods do not work. Instead, you have to dig deeper and truly learn about human motivation. After all, what works for one of your “players” is going to have a positive impact on them all.

One Negative Hurts the Positives

Maybe you’ve had this experience yourself. You’ve been at a job, a school, or maybe even at a store when someone starts up a conversation with you. They are very negative about everything they see. How do you start to feel? Whether you had a good impression or not, chances are you’re going to start feeling more negative about your environment. That’s the power of negative thought.

To combat this, you can’t afford not to be working on motivating your entire staff. If only a few people jump on the bandwagon, you’re still not going to see positive results.

Egoism Rules the Workplace

The biggest mistake most employers make when it comes to motivating employers is forgetting that workers – like the managers above them – are egoists. That means they are primarily motivated by what benefits them. If you give a worker an assignment, he or she doesn’t complete the assignment because you’re their friend or because they want you to look good to your supervisors. Instead, they are acting out of their own selfish desire to keep their job and get paid, as well as their desire not to be yelled at, reprimanded, or fired for not doing the work.

Once you recognize that everyone’s biggest motivation involves the idea of what’s in it for them you’ll have a much easier time getting everyone on board and of making a difference in how your office operates.

The Rules of the Team

Because you are a team and because team motivation is so important, you must take this approach seriously if you want it to work. Don’t be surprised if the rest of the team laughs or jokes about the idea behind your back. They are going to be resistant, but if you are persistent you will soon see a change in their attitudes. As they come to adopt the new approach to the team, more of the office workers will also begin to change their attitudes and soon you’ll be running a well-motivated operation.

Victor Ghebre is the editor of where you get practical tips and information on goal setting, motivation, leadership and more.

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