Help light team members' fire

Help light team members' fire

Jun 01, 2008

Q. How do I inspire an uninspired team member?

Debbie Allaben Gair
"We can't inspire, but we can provide a motivating environment," says Debbie Allaben Gair, CVPM, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and president of Bridging the Gap in Sparta, Mich. "It's up to employers to provide employees an environment that supports sources of inspiration that parallel the practice's goals and values."

For example, if a team member arrives late to work, she's inspired to sleep in. Gair suggests managers set expectations and explain them to employees. If the team member is motivated to keep her job, she may be inspired to wake up earlier.

So managers should determine what inspires their team members and whether the practice culture motivates, Gair says. Perhaps team members feel inspired by recognition, and the practice can build a reward program.

Start by asking team members during their annual performance review what motivates them. Is it career growth or opportunities for expression? And how does their current position address those issues? Then you can work with team members to create systems that inspire the behavior you're seeking.