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Ways to Motivate Your Team to Increase Job Satisfaction

Nov. 3, 2017
When you communicate your vision, express thanks, listen to concerns, and tell employees often that they are valuable to the organization, they will respond positively. Part 1 of a Series.

1. Pay More Money

Most business owners and managers are money motivated.  Money motivated people believe everyone is similarly money motivated.  Some are.  For those, spiffs, incentives, bonuses, and commissions are great motivators.

For many people, however, money is necessary, but not necessarily motivational or satisfying.  They respond to other factors. 

2. Share the Vision

You have (or should have) a vision for your business.  You might want to serve people exceptionally well and make their lives better through your efforts.  Maybe you want to become the dominant player in your market.  Or, you could seek to create a boutique company that’s like family for your customers.  Whatever your vision is, write it down, refine it, and share it. 

People spend a lot of time at work.  They want to know what big picture.  They want a vision they can buy into, make their own, and be proud of. 

3. Communicate

A lot of dissatisfaction in the workplace is related to communication breakdowns.  Managers often believes everyone knows what is going on, the reasons for certain actions, and so on.  They might have even told everyone, but not enough.  It is almost impossible for business owners and managers to over communicate with their team, but easy to communicate too little.

4. Show Each Person How His or Her Work Matters

A small boy happened upon a row of men laying bricks.  The boy asked the first man what he was doing.  The man replied grumpily that he was performing manual labor in the hot sun.  It was a miserable job, consisting of backbreaking work that left him exhausted every day.

The boy walked down to the next bricklayer and asked him what he was going.  The man explained evenly that he was building a wall.  It was difficult work, but the pay was fair and it was satisfying to watch the progress as the wall was completed.

The boy went to the next man and repeated his question.  The man’s eyes shone as he looked up and smiled broadly, exclaiming, “Can’t you see?  I’m building a cathedral!”

It’s an old story, but it illustrates the importance of each person understanding how his role fits into the big picture.  Make sure everyone in your company understands the importance of their role.  A parts runner should understand how important it is that he quickly gets the right parts to field service people.  A call-taker should understand how important each phone call is and how the call-taker makes the first human impression and sets the tone for everything that follows.

5. Listen

It is important for people to be heard and understood.  This means it is important for managers to stop and actively listen.  You may have a million balls in the air.  This issue may not be important to you.  It may not be something you can even solve.  It is important to the person bringing to you, so stop and take the time to listen. 

Make sure you are approachable by anyone and everyone.  This requires more than simply being approachable.  It requires telling each person your door is always open.

6. Do Something Unexpected

We all fall into routines.  The routines get staid.  People get bored.  Every so often, it’s good to do the unexpected (as long as it’s positive).  Bring breakfast tacos one morning.  After a tough few weeks, surprise everyone with movie gift cards.  Buy a radio controlled car, robot, or quadcopter and run it through the building one afternoon.

7. Give People Time Off

Many people value time off more than extra money.  These are not only millennials.  They are time stressed people who rarely get time to themselves.  A free afternoon or free day can be cherished. 

8.  Allow Flexible Schedules

 Businesses have hours to keep and working around schedules can be challenging.  Yet, offering people flexible hours outside of the standard hours can be the difference between a job that delights and one that’s endured. 

Flexible schedules can also result in higher caliber personnel, such as the mother who left the workforce to have children and wants to return to work when the kids start school.  She may still want to be at home in the afternoon when they leave school.  Working around this requirement can result in attracting extremely talented people.

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.