It’s been said that hard times reveal true character. I think we can all relate right now: In times as uncertain as these, we have two choices: to complain and throw in the towel…or adjust our mindset to find new opportunities for growth, development and happiness. It’s a choice.
Now more than ever, that strength-of-mindset attitude is vitally important to the success of your business. But how do you do rally a team that’s working remotely? How do you motivate when sales are flat? If you’re responsible for developing and managing employees, here are a few tips that I’ve used during the last few months that have helped strengthen and motivate our team:
Take action. Now is NOT the time to sit on the sideline—if sales are down, don’t use hope as a strategy; do something about it. Use this unpredictable time as an opportunity to strengthen relationships with clients and employees by being present—front and center. Share the good and work through the challenges together: By being authentic and engaging in real conversations with both your team and your customers, you’ll build greater trust, which is the foundation of every strong relationship.
Be present. Videoconferencing is the new norm for most us for everyday business meetings. So treat them as just that: Real meetings. If you were sitting at a conference table, meeting with colleagues, you wouldn’t turn your back to them and scroll on your phone during the meeting. So be respectful, turn on your camera (who cares if you’re wearing a ball cap!) and join the discussion.
Try something new. There’s no such thing as a bad idea—so get your employees to throw their best at you. At Shamrock, we started a Sales Mastermind Group. It’s an open forum (via Zoom) that meets bi-weekly: We discuss challenges and brainstorm ideas to get in front of clients, explore new pitches, suggest new solutions, etc. The synergy of our group has helped to open our minds as we build off each other’s ideas. It’s really rewarding to see our team share, encourage and cheer each other on.
Be guided by your culture. Shamrock has a strong culture and now is the time to lean on it. We’ve been mindful of revisiting and reinforcing our values to help keep our team on track: We’re a family that’s stronger together. So, our culture club has stepped up and increased communication, implemented new games, hosted some fun on-line events. And we sent employee appreciation kits to everyone to remind them how much they’re appreciated.
Find good news and talk about it. The news will wear you out! We need to balance that negativity by intentionally increasing our communication regarding the good things that are happening (won a new deal, had a good sales month, added a great new product, etc.) It’s just like what you choose to feed your body: If you put junk in, your health is likely to suffer. Plant the positive stuff (in your own head as well as sharing with your colleagues) and you’ll enjoy better outcomes.
These are some of the ways I’ve chosen to realign my thinking and motivate our team during the past few months. Give me more great ideas—I’m always looking for more good ones!
Bob De Garmo