Manage, Motivate and Retain your Talent


It’s extremely important to manage, motivate and retain your team…it leads to increased team morale, more efficient internal workings, greater efficiency and increased profit, and the ability to attract top talent.

Companies have often used corporate days out to help develop managers, taking them outside their comfort zone and throwing them into situations where they have to lead an unfamiliar team. It’s fascinating to watch just how challenging it is for managers to lead, inspire and motivate a team of people they don’t know very well, especially when the pressure is really on and they are hanging from a thin rope, on board a sailing ship or trying to navigate around an obstacle course.

One of the most common things to come out of these days is planning – yet how often do we actually plan? Not just where our business is going and what needs to be done to get there, but more importantly, share that vision with the team.

Plan your Work and Work your Plan!

Set goals and make sure they are SMART goals:
• Specific
• Measurable
• Achievable
• Relevant
• Time Based

All team members need to know where they are going – the business vision and their individual goals need to be clear, attainable but stretching, so they know they can get there if they put the effort in.

As a manager you need to share your vision and goals and help them set their own. What would each of your team say if today you asked them what your company’s goal is? Would their answers be the same, or would they all be different? Do different departments have a different idea of the direction and goals of the business? Imagine what would happen on a corporate training day if half the team were heading east whilst the others headed west. No one would end up at the same destination – and yet in business we often expect this.

Even if they know your vision do they actually want to achieve it? What is in it for them? Is it pride in a job well done or money motivated? What does reaching the goal really mean to each individual team member? Do they actually jump out of bed every morning and rush into work just to help you reach your goals? And if not, why not? Think about what’s stopping them, think about what really is important to them, and then ask.

Plan your vision, your goals and get their buy in. Give everyone a role to play in achieving the goal and allocate outcomes. Use the team, recognise strengths, ask what they can contribute and let them get on with it. Trust them to do the job you employed them to do. Very few people like to be micro managed, simply telling someone to do something might get the
job done, but without a happy heart and full of pride.

Often results will be simple and short term, not long term ownership and success that builds further success. Far better to talk about the outcome you would like them to achieve, give them the chance to think for themselves, have ownership and come up with their own way of achieving it, talk through the options, but let them decide what to do.

They might choose to do something in a different way to you, but maybe looking at something with a fresh perspective or new angle might even be better and more cost effective that your own plan. As a manager or business owner, that might dent your pride. You might feel it makes you look stupid, old fashioned or out-of-date, but if it improves results, reduces costs and builds a motivated team, then shouldn’t you just swallow your pride and share the glory?

There are 3 basic rules:
1. If you have no goal, or your people don’t know what it is, then how will they know when they’ve got there?

2. If the goal that you do have isn’t truly inspirational for everyone, then why would they even bother trying to get there?

3. If your team can’t or aren’t allowed to think for themselves, they’ll get bored, disillusioned and will end up leaving.

Remember – if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting the same results. If you want to improve embrace change, manage, motivate and retain your most valuable assets.