When you’ve done the hard work of building your home services team by design rather than by default, it can be tempting to sit back and relax now that you have this great team up and running. After all, you’ve hired selectively and trained them well.

For a few months the team is strong, setting new records and raising the quality of your customer service. But then the team slows down, revenue drops and it’s like your technicians and experts are just going through the motions.

 You saw them at peak performance. You know you have the right team and the right culture. So why the slump? Your team lacks motivation. Some of us, if we try to motivate the team in our default way, like getting angry, will end up making it worse instead of better. So let’s look at three things not to do when you’re trying to motivate your team, and three things that will work much better.

What not to do

1. Thank an employee instead of apologizing

Do you ever regret getting angry with a tech who screwed up a job? You’ve yelled at them and sent them out to fix it. Later, you praise them for making it right or, perhaps, you thank them for working hard on some entirely different service call. Your appreciation fails to motivate this employee because a few nice words do not repair the damage done by the angry words.

2. Say thanks but miss the mark

A manager saying to a tech, “Thanks for taking care of that out-of-town service call to install a new furnace,” sounds good to us, but to the technician who actually repaired their air conditioner this comes across as uninformed and insincere.

 3. Punish failure

Trying to motivate other employees to do the job right by humiliating an employee who made a serious mistake is misguided. It’s much better to create a culture where we can learn from each other’s mistakes.

“Lack of appreciation” was a key reason that 79% of employees quit their jobs, according to a recent study. A Gallup survey found that only 21% of employees say their job performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. Let’s look at what you can do to motivate your team.

What to do

1. Express appreciation and connect it to the company vision

Many employees don’t see how their efforts contribute to the bigger picture. So when you thank an employee for meeting their monthly target for improved customer satisfaction surveys, for example, explain how improving the company’s reputation could result in hitting this year’s revenue target which would then lead to employees receiving a new health benefit plan.

2. Give employees opportunities to develop within the business

If your technicians don’t see any opportunities to advance in the business, they’ll lose motivation over time. But if it’s clear that devotion and hard work can lead to advanced training, educational courses, and new positions in the company, workers will be motivated.

3. Provide a clean, organized workplace

A messy, disorganized and unclean shop or company headquarters is discouraging to employees. Developing your workplace culture should include the cleanliness of your shop and the condition of your service vehicles. Give your employees a clean, organized workplace and they will shine.

Summary

Once you’ve developed your home services team, you’ll want to keep your employees motivated. We’ve reviewed three things not to do when you’re trying to motivate your team, and three things that can help you energize them.

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