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You can buy your team pizza and bring in large lattes from Starbucks to distribute, but unless you are an effective leader and manager these little niceties are a waste of your time and dollars.  This will not make

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them a better support staff for your business.  This unique and interesting group of individuals who make up your team needs to support each other and, even if they don’t always like each other, have a mutual respect with common goals…goals that you as their manager should have ingrained into them since the day they joined your company.

It is necessary to learn the right managerial techniques that are going to motivate your employees.  If you are their leader and haven’t really done enough to make this a nice cohesive unit, a well oiled machine, it’s not too late to implement changes that will morph your good company into a great company, or a mediocre staff into the best dream team ever!  Here are some tips to help:

Don’t assume that everybody is motivated by the same thing. 
For some it is simply money alone, but for many they are looking for a sense of purpose, or finding that niche to use their skill set.  Hone in on this for each individual while also making your expectations clear.

Respect the differences of your staff.  If you have hired a diverse group of individuals, realize that they can get along with each other without being best buddies.  Celebrate their unique attributes and what each person individually brings to the table.  Your managerial style may differ from person to person, and that’s okay as long as you are happy with their performance.

Expect the same high caliber of work from each person.  Regardless of how they work or what they do, quality should never be compromised.  You can be a flexible manager but it does not mean that your expectations should ever be limited.

Always keep lines of communication open with your team.  If each team member plays by a separate set of rules, a weekly meeting to assess goals and make sure everybody is on the same page when it comes to achieving these goals may be in order.

Make sure to respect boundaries and that those who make up your team are respecting your boundaries as well.  It’s okay to also be friends with the people who work for you, but you are still their leader.  It needs to be understood that business is business, and you as the manager may need to at times correct or criticize.

Training from outside sources may be necessary at times.  Recognize when someone else is better than you (or another team member) to accomplish this task with given staff members.

Employ only those who you think will be a good fit.  Follow your gut.  If instinct tells you that this super qualified and intelligent person just isn’t the right one for your team, don’t hire them only to be sorry later.  Trust your inner voice.

Ask for feedback.  It’s difficult knowing if your efforts are working, if you are really getting through to your team.  Communicate with them.  Ask questions.   Is this working for you?   Do you have a problem with how I handled this situation?  You are their leader, and while it is true you do not need their approval, they will only respect you more if they believe their opinions and their voices are important.

Motivate with passion.   Simply put, if your team sees how much you love your job, how important your business is to you as you pour your soul into it, there will be a trickle down effect. Make them part of the excitement.  The business is excelling because they play an important role in it.  Remind them of this…often!

Being a good leader takes practice and perseverance.  Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t give up on the wonderfully eclectic group of individuals who only need your loving guidance and patience to share your dream.   Eventually, with hard work, not only will you be achieving your goals, but you will have the dream team you deserve.

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