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Team Building + Motivation

Team Building and Motivation in a Service Business – The Five Key Techniques

Your service business team building has to be a key priority.

A crappy culture leaves you with a team of underperformers.

Here are the five awesome techniques that give you a team of A-players.

Lazy, bored, unmotivated.

Do those words describe your team?

I bet more than a few of you look at your team and wonder just what in the hell happened. You work hard and you think you’ve brought in the right people.

Why aren’t they putting in the same amount of effort that you are?

Why are you spending every waking hour in the business and the team just doesn’t seem dedicated?

What the hell is the key to motivation in a service business?

You want your guys and gals to be A-players. But you can barely get them to give you the bare minimum.


There are a few forces at play here. Culture, recruiting, and your leadership all play a part.

Here’s some good news.

I’m going to show you how to motivate team members so they’re excited to work towards your company’s vision. These are the five techniques that you need to master.

Technique #1 – Grow Yourself

Stop looking at your team for a minute and start looking in the mirror.

How many service business team building ideas have you come up with recently? What example are you setting for your team?

Are you the kind of person that you want working in your business?

Answer honestly and you may not like what you hear. The truth is that your people are going to take their cues from you. If you’re not the sort of person that you’d want to hire, you’re not going to have A-players in your team.

That’s what John Parker discovered when he came to CEO Warrior.

  • John Parker owns JSP Plumbing and Heating. He came to CEO Warrior with a desire to fix his business.
  • But he learned that it’s not all about the business. It’s about him too.
  • He learned that growing himself translates directly into his business. If he’s loving what he does and is always motivated, he’s going to inspire those feelings in others.
  • Being the best example is how you motivate team members. Today, he has a much more motivated team.

That’s the key secret.

All of the service business team building ideas in the world aren’t going to help you if you’re not growing yourself. That means setting goals for your own future as well as that of the business. If you’ve got something to work towards, you’re going to come into the office feeling motivated and ready to go.

Your people will see that and respond in kind.

But if you come in looking and feeling like crap everyday…

Just think about what your team’s seeing and the message that you’re sending to them.

Technique #2 – Recruit Like a Master

Toxic people ruin any chances you have of effective service business team building. It only takes one toxic employee’s influence to completely tank your team’s motivation.

That’s why recruiting is such a key part of your service business team building strategy. You’ve got to know how to get the A-players who are going to want to work for you. Those are the people who inspire others and get them motivated.

I cover this in a lot more detail in this podcast.

But here are a couple of basic things that you can do the next time you’re looking to recruit:

  • Bad systems and processes lead to you hiring bad employees. Focus on what you’re doing when you’re hiring. If you keep getting bad people, you’ve got to make a change.
  • Create your employee avatar. This is the ideal person that you want working for you. Build your entire recruiting strategy around finding that avatar.
  • Know what makes you unique and emphasize that in your job postings. Recruiting is a lot like marketing when you’re going for the A-players. You’ve got to tell people why you’re awesome to work for.
  • Use emotional language in your job postings. Nobody wants to work for a robotic and boring company. Excite people and get them to connect to what you are.

Bringing awesome people in automatically boosts motivation in a service business. You’re happier because you’ve got an A-player. And your people are more motivated because they can see the business going in the right direction.

Technique #3 – Build Leaders

Okay, so you got an A-player.

Then they leave. Just like that, your service business team building strategy goes out of the window. You’ve got to invest again to find somebody new.

And just think about the message that losing your best people sends to the rest of the team.

That’s a problem that Andrew Fraser had before he joined CEO Warrior.

  • Andrew runs DogiZone, which started out as a training business. He became a Warrior in 2015 because he recognized that his business had a bad culture. He says the culture built itself by default rather than due to any intentions on his part. A crappy culture leads to an unmotivated team.
  • With CEO Warrior, Andrew learned that building leaders is key for motivation in a service business.
  • When he became a Warrior, DogiZone made about $500,000 per year. Today, it’s a multi-million dollar business that’s expanded into multiple service zones.

Here’s something for you to chew on.

By 2020, 75% of the service industry will be millennials. And they’re different to your daddy’s workforce. Millennials want constant feedback and professional development opportunities.

That’s a good thing for you. It shows they’re ambitious and that they want to learn more.

You’ve got to give people opportunities within your business. Coach them on how to do the things that you do. Build leaders who can take control and have some responsibility in the business.

Responsibility equals empowerment. And that’s a huge motivator for your team members.

There’s a side benefit too. If you’ve got leaders in the business, you can step away from all of the internal stuff. You get to focus on the big picture while you’ve got motivated people handling the service end.

Technique #4 – Create Clarity

Do your people know what you have planned for the business?

Jeff Street didn’t when he came to CEO Warrior.

  • Jeff Street runs BOSS Services, which provided HVAC services when he came to CEO Warrior in 2017.
  • He says that the business had no clear direction before he became a Warrior. He had no idea where he was going, which meant he had a bad culture. That lack of clarity also meant that he had no idea how to motivate team members.
  • In about a year, Jeff has transformed the business. He’s created clarity, which means the business has a direct path to growth in place. That means he’s got more motivated people who aren’t pointing fingers at each other anymore.
  • The results bear it out too. He’s added more trades to the business and it’s doubled its revenue in a little over a year.

Building clarity is the fourth of my nine pillars. You can read about them here.

Clarity is all about bringing a clear and vivid vision to what you want to achieve in the company.

Here’s what I want you to do. Sit back and envision the success of your business. Think about what success means to you and what you’ve got to do to get there.

This is a technique that world-class athletes use all of the time.

That’s your clear vision. Communicate that to your team so everyone knows what they’re working towards.

Technique #5 – Use Some Motivating Incentives

You don’t still think that throwing money at people will help you build motivation in a service business, do you?

Sure, money’s great. We all love a little extra cash. But the A-players aren’t just looking for the money. They’re looking to work for a business that they believe in and that will go above and beyond to keep them motivated.

That means you’ve got to look beyond cash as your incentive.

Here are a few incentives that you can use:

  • Education. Remember what I said about the millennial workforce. Offering to pay for education and courses is a big way to motivate your staff. You’re showing that you give a damn about their professional development.
  • Passion. So what if you have a small business? Don’t hide from it. Emphasize it! Make it clear that you have passion for what you’re doing and make sure your people know they’re valuable for your plans for growth.
  • Benefits. Health insurance, savings plans, and other benefits all show that you’re taking care of your people. They’re the little extras that go a long way.

Those are just a few ideas.

You can get a bunch more from my book Secrets of Leadership Mastery.

The Final Word

Team building in your service business is about more than a couple of fun activities.

You need to build permanent motivators into the business.

That means focusing on yourself. Be the example of what you want your people to be. Recruit well too. Even one A-player can elevate the rest of the team.

Create clarity in your vision so people know where they’re actually going. And make sure you’re giving people reasons to stay. Look beyond money as a motivator and focus on building leaders within the business.

CEO Warrior can help you put all of this into practice.

Now I have one more question for you.

Has success been elusive and you feel stuck?
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