Sales Staff Burnt Out? Creative and Unusual Ways to Motivate Employees

With the dog days of summer upon us, it can be difficult to motivate employees who are feeling less than fired up. That’s a big problem because when employees are feeling sluggish, profits and sales goals often grind to a halt.
If your sales team seems to be dragging a bit, it may be time to implement some creative ways to motivate them. Before you ask yourself how much this motivation will cost you, relax. Some of the most effective motivational tactics don’t involve spending a lot of money or paying out huge bonuses.

That said, money is always a great motivator. The key is to use it in a way that does more than just reward the top performer. For example, if outbound sales calls are necessary to your company’s success, try rewarding people for the number of times they are rejected. This motivates everyone to make as many calls as possible—the name of the game when it comes to cold-calling—but rewards them for trying!

Here are some other, decidedly untraditional, ways to motivate employees and make the workplace a little more exciting:

  1. If there aren’t clients visiting, how about ditching the suit and tie (or khakis and polo) and instituting unusual dress down days. Favorite sports team day. Ugliest t-shirt day. Pajama day. You get the idea.
  2. Cater a special breakfast or lunch to the office or consider bringing treats regularly to help raise morale. How about renting a smoothie machine for the afternoon?
  3. Sometimes the best motivation for an employee is to know they are appreciated. Do you let employees know you value them? If you don’t, it’s time to start. You also can accomplish this as a group, as well. Gather everyone in the office one Friday morning and tell them they all get the afternoon off as a way to say thank you.
  4. Consider adding a nap room. It may sound odd, but companies of all sizes are converting a small office into a nap room. A quick 15-minute snooze can refresh employees and help them be more productive all day long.
  5. Welcome Fido or Fluffy to the office. Maybe letting employees bring their pet to the office every day is not feasible (although some companies do just that), but a special pet day can help boost morale and promote camaraderie.

Of course, these ideas may be a little too extreme for some businesses but they do drive home the need to make the office somewhere your employees want to go instead of a place they have to go. And remember, happy employees are productive employees.

Emotional Intelligence and Authenticity the Keys to Succeeding at Work

One of the factors critical to your success in the workplace is your emotional intelligence (EQ). Researchers have found that people with high EQ perform better and make more money than those with low EQ.

EQ is defined, in part, as the ability to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. In order to reap the benefits of a high EQ, however, you must be genuine, as well. In fact, as Travis Bradberry writes in his article, 12 Habits of Genuine People, EQ on its own won’t do anything at all when it comes to your job performance.

The article cites a recent study from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington that found people are skeptical of EQ unless the person with EQ is authentic, as well. When it comes to farmers and ranchers, this is particularly true.

Farmers and ranchers have little time for slick salespeople who aren’t genuinely interested in what they need to succeed. While Bradberry’s article doesn’t touch on the Ag industry specifically, it is an important reminder for those who work in that industry.

It’s not enough to just go through the motions, trying to demonstrate qualities that are associated with emotional intelligence. You have to be genuine.

It is easy to see why farmers and ranchers are attracted to salespeople who have a high EQ but are also genuine.

Genuine people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. They are firmly grounded in reality, and they’re truly present in each moment because they’re not trying to figure out someone else’s agenda or worrying about their own.

Bradberry lists the 12 habits of genuine people, including they treat everyone with respect; they are trustworthy; they aren’t driven by ego; and they aren’t hypocrites.  If you want to be the best marketer or salesperson you can be, you would be well to develop these habits. Whether you are selling irrigation systems or electronics, without these habits it is unlikely that you will be successful doing it.