Tom Merriott
Tom Merriott

Want to motivate your team? Start by saying “Thank you.”

When was the last time you walked around your business and genuinely thanked the people who work for you? If you can’t remember or your answer is never, then I hope you will pay attention to this piece. HVAC contractors constantly ask how to motivate internal staff then quickly answer their own question with some half-hearted joke about money and raises. Listen, I know money is a great motivational tool, but I never recommend managers should start with money.

So where should you start? Talking with your people and really listening to what they have to say is the place everyone should start. Our staff want to feel they are part of the team, and we need to do everything we can to nurture cohesiveness in our organizations. Group meetings help, but taken even further, one-on-one time with an owner or manager is priceless.

The key to interacting with staff is you need to be genuine. If you are faking it, everyone will be able to tell. No really, I’m not kidding, everyone can tell, and they’ll go on to tell everyone else. Bottom line, if you’re not the person who cares about everyone who works for you, then you need to find someone who does. Look for someone who sincerely fills this role, then put him or her in a position to help your company succeed.

A sincere THANK YOU is a powerful thing. Looking someone in the eye and telling them you appreciate what they do for you and the company is grossly underutilized in business, and that’s a shame. Owners and managers would not have jobs without the people who help us reach our goals.

For those of us who assume employees “know” how much they mean to us, go ahead, take a morning and thank each and every one of them anyway, just to see if we are right. Share what you discover in the comment box below.