Motivate Your Team In tough times, leaders must be able to lead

October 25, 2009 07:00 PM

When times are tough, leaders have to be even tougher. Tom Wall of Language Links, LLC, Green Bay, Wis., lists key ways to keep your employment team informed and motivated:

Lead. A leader's job is to focus on teamwork. That means understanding where the bottlenecks are. Make sure workers have the right tools and skills to get their jobs done as you
expect them to be done.

Manage. "Walk around and observe what's happening on your dairy,” Wall says. Ask why employees are doing things in certain ways. It's the perfect opportunity to correct procedural drift before it's too late.

Communicate. "Communicating is so much more than speaking the same language,” Wall says. Use both formal staff meetings and informal communications to let employees know what your expectations are.

Organize. Have job descriptions, evaluations, warnings, pay scales and standard operating procedures written down in both English and Spanish. Work routines should be as specific as possible and designed to work.

Reward. Treat all employees with respect. "Without worker dignity, the other things don't mean much,” Wall says. Offer compliments and praise, but be specific. Raises are critical, but use them to encourage people to want to continue to excel. Giving automatic raises after several months or a year, or giving the same raises to everyone, only raises your cost of production and makes workers "sink to the lowest level of performance,” Wall says.

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