Improving Team Motivation

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Countless businesses have at their disposal a sales team of which others can only dream. This team are dedicated, encouraged and successful, even when working under time pressure and with limited budgets is necessary. Team spirit benefits are a major theme throughout all good leadership training courses and has many.

Even the famous French army general and military strategist Ardant du Piq knew what worked better than the principle "order and obedience" - "a mutual social control which rests on trust in comrades and the fear of having no chance alone in a dangerous situation. The desire to go wherever the others go and what is more without quaking more than the others ... the unit spirit."

In an extensive study of 800 businesses, scientists looked at the phenomenon of team spirit.

In businesses with a strict hierarchy and clear command structure, team spirit scarcely exists. However if the employees have an opportunity to make their own decisions, they work significantly more productively. Employees' freedom to make decisions when expressed in terms of percentages improves team spirit by at least 17%. The balance between control and empowerment regarding decision making is a very challenging skill which is covered on good leadership training courses.

The more detached the individual functions in business and sales are from each other the less communication there is between the employees. The so-called departmental thinking barely gives employees the chance to peep over the edge of the plate to recognise greater community of interest. With this, variety is missing in the job. One statement from the study: "It is precisely the different demands of my job which I experience as stimulating. These keep my interest awake. I could not imagine doing the same routine work every day." Purely in terms of calculations, this aspect improves team spirit by 34%.

The existence of strict rules, like for example, work times or procedures in the business, decreases the chances of development of team spirit by 18%. However it depends on the way rules are set out by the person in charge - if they permit their employees more room for maneuver than is allowed, generally morale increases. The criteria by which existing employees are promoted and new employees are chosen are important for team spirit. All those questioned want competent and successful colleagues in their team. In this their career to this point is less decisive, the actual performance much more so. But overall this point only contributes 10% to improvement of the team spirit.

Of considerably greater significance is the question of whether employees are treated both within the business and also outside with the customers in a way that is business-like and impersonal or human and personal - Team spirit cannot be expected if employees are treated as if they had no personality, no soul and no emotions. On top of that it is important that personal friendships develop between colleagues.

Apply the following eight statements to see whether team spirit reigns within your team:

1. My employees give mutual help to each other, even when they will not profit personally from this.

2. When my employees are together they usually have a good time.

3. In our meetings you feel that the people really want to achieve something.

4. My employees also help colleagues outside sales if there are problems.

5. Other departments readily help us if we ask.

6. My employees feel a mutual bligation to each other, they stand up for one another

7. Common goals are pursued by my employees.

8. A kind of code of belief of field salespeople in my department, is the common conceptions of values and basics of behaviour.

If you have answered fewer than five questions with a "yes", team spirit still needs improvement. To develop a greater understanding of team spirit attend a good leader training course.

About the Author:

Richard Stone is a Director for Spearhead Training Limited that runs leadership training courses that improve business performance. You can view more details at

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