M            You must motivate yourself before you can motivate others.  It has been said before … walk the talklead by examplepractice what you preach …. However you say it, motivating your team starts with you.  Take a moment for honest self-reflection.  Are you motivated?

O             Understand what motivates your team.  This means open your ears and truly listen to what they want and need from you.  If they aren’t readily telling you, ask!

T              If you have done your part by setting clear expectations and providing tools needed to do the job it is time to step back and trust your team.  Expect that they will need your support as well as latitude to do it “their way”.  Let them explore and experiment (yes, that means let them make mistakes too) – then expect greatness.

I               A basic human need of every person on your team is a sense of belonging.  Involve the whole team.  When each person is involved in process, problem-solving, action, or the social aspect of a team their ability to take ownership is fed.

V             Take the time for a victory celebration.  Reward your employees with time to reflect on a job well done!  Celebrate together and bask in the success.  Not only will this likely build camaraderie, it will perpetuate motivation. (Bringing treats or food for the victory celebration is good too!)

A             Notice when they do something right and appreciate out loud.  In other words, let them know you appreciate their work.   Share positive feedback as often as you can.  Go the extra step sometimes and write a message of appreciation in a card.

T              Respect is free and powerful, so treat employees respectfully.  When we give respect, we get respect.  Even if we hold differing opinions or need to deliver a difficult message, if it is done with respect we help others maintain their self-confidence/esteem.

E              Communicate expectations that are clear and attainable, yet challenging.  When work is not challenging, complacency can set in.  If employees don’t understand what to do, why it is important, how to do it, or when it needs to be done they aren’t set up for success.

 “Motivation is everything.  You can do the work of two people, but you can’t be two people.  Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people.”  ~Lee Iacocca