Think Small, Motivate Big

By Malcolm Fleschner

When it comes to motivating your salespeople, seemingly small gestures can generate real excitement. The author of CARE Packages for the Workplace—Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work (McGraw-Hill, 1996), Barbara Glanz is a firm believer in taking small, creative steps to improve the motivational environment of the workplace. She offers the following ideas to help create a more inspired office environment.

1. Extend a top o’ the mornin’
Create a message of the day that includes a quotation about customer service, personal growth, a humorous observation or even a list of coworkers’ birthdays. Then send out the message so that it’s the first thing your salespeople see when they turn on their computers in the morning. Nothing beats a little inspiration to get the day going. But be warned, once you start up with a practice like this, you have to keep it up because people will come to expect it.

2. Bring out the talent
The next time you have a company-wide celebration, have your salespeople put together a skit that dramatizes significant events from the year just past or the company’s history. You won’t believe the hidden talent you’ll bring out in your people while building team chemistry.

3. Have some whine
Designate one room in the office as the official whine cellar, where anyone who is having a bad day or who has suffered a disappointment can go to let off some steam and gripe. You can have fun putting a sign on the door and decorating the room, possibly with stress toys or other outlets for aggression. Then, whenever coworkers start complaining, suggest they take a few moments in the designated area. Soon everyone will be spending time there!

4. Offer a red plate special
Buy your office a red plate and on its face print the phrase: You Are Special Today. Then pass the plate around the office as an affirmation of an achievement. Begin keeping a record of who gets the plate and why. It’s amazing what such a seemingly insignificant gesture can do to improve morale.