There are a million different ways to motivate your team throughout good times and bad. No matter whether you’re in the red or the black, you can’t put your people in the right direction if you’re not communicating with them. I don’t mean company-wide emails and the occasional happy hour, I mean having an ever-present and well-maintained line of communication between you and the people who make your company run.
There’s no better motivator than knowing that your efforts are valued. If you only pop up every now and then for a quick attaboy, your words won’t carry as far as they would as part of a strong working relationship. As someone who’s been married for decades, I know that a good partnership relies on communication. It’s not just part of your relationships, it’s the heart of it. That goes for maintaining networks both personal and professional.
If someone on your team has done something for you and you’re feeling appreciative, don’t hesitate to let them know. If they’re not pulling their weight, they definitely need to know that, too. In a starting business, your team may be comprised of people you’re not used to communicating within a professional setting. Qualified friends and trusted family members make up a large number of early startup payrolls. You’re doing them and your business no favors by holding back when they’re not giving their fullest effort.
The image of the CEO holed up in their office is a cliche that died years ago. To run a dynamic business in an ever-changing world, entrepreneurs need to have their finger on the pulse of their entire organization, from top to bottom. Since you can’t be everywhere, keeping all intracompany lines of communication open means you’ll never be caught unaware by the goings on in your company. It’s not a matter of being friendly. In a business world where any misstep can sink you, good communications are a matter of survival.