Motivation, We hear the term often. We usually associate the word with human behavior, a state of mind that moves us to action.
And while we can’t actually motivate another person, we can constantly strive to build a positive environment, which encourages self-motivation. In other words, as a salon leader, you must become a chief energizing officer.
So, how do you encourage team motivation or build a team environment that is motivational and will inspire your staff?
These six “hot buttons” will help to create the best possible environment for building and sustaining team motivation.
1. Purpose 
Ask someone to describe the characteristics of their most successful and rewarding team experiences. You might be surprised to discover that at the top of the list will probably be a clear purpose, focus, or mission. An understanding of what they are working for or towards. For long-term motivation, it must be a purpose or mission that aligns with their personal wants and needs. They must be able to see a picture of the future and how they fit into it.2. Challenge 
Another term you may hear when asking about team motivation is challenge. When presented with a challenge, our natural defenses are alerted to move us to action, to accept the challenge and defeat it. We naturally want to be winners.
Many people will say that their most rewarding team experiences resulted from some sort of challenge. The challenge itself is the motivator.
In salons, these challenges don’t occur very often. Salon teams are not presented with stimulating challenges every day. So the question becomes how to provide challenges to your team more often. The answer is, determine what areas of the business need improving such as client retention or average ticket amount and challenge your team to improve in these areas.
An important factor to consider when presenting your team with a challenge is the level of difficulty. If a challenge is too difficult, and perceived as impossible, then team members may give up before they start. However, the same result may occur if the members perceive the challenge as too easy. Little energy is required to accomplish something too easily obtainable.

3. Camaraderie: 
Another factor that often emerges when you question people about motivation is camaraderie, meaning comradeship, fellowship, and loyalty. If the people on teams genuinely like each other, they will work hard to develop and maintain their relationships.
People seem to understand that it’s a lot easier to support your team member if you have a good relationship. The key to this kind of relationship-building is open and direct communication; frequent praising of each other’s contributions, and constant support from each other.
So, you may say, that is all well and good for teams whose members like each other, but what if they don’t like each other?

Usually if we dislike someone, it’s because we don’t really understand them. One way to break down this barrier is to expand our understanding of other team members. Find ways to bring your team together so that they can get to know each other. Planning an off-site activity for the team, sometimes just to play together is a powerful way to build camaraderie.

4. Responsibility 
In general, being given responsibility stimulates people and teams.
In this concept, is the understanding that the responsibility comes along with the authority to make necessary decisions. Teams that have both responsibility and authority tend to maintain motivation over longer periods of time.
Responsibility can be de-motivating if the consequences of error or failure are too great. For example, if the organization has a history of punishing mistakes, then the responsibility is viewed more as a negative. The short-term performance may be good (because fear is a motivator), but long-term motivation will suffer. It is difficult to sustain high performance when energy is being sapped by fear.

5. Growth 
Finally, the opportunity for personal and team growth can encourage motivation. When people feel they are moving forward, learning more, adding to their skills, and using their minds, motivation tends to remain high. Personal growth adds value to the individual, increasing self-esteem and self-worth.

6. Leadership
A good leader can bring about motivation in the short term, but the best leaders create the conditions for their teams to motivate themselves. Great leaders have a knack for helping others see the best in themselves, providing the enthusiasm for self-motivating behaviors.

But great leaders also understand the importance of team purpose, challenge, camaraderie, responsibility, and growth, and focus much of their time on creating the conditions for these to exist.
Great leaders understand that their team members have needs, and that for motivation to grow and continue, the activities of the team must help in some way to meet these needs.
A team whose members are in line with your salon’s purpose feel a challenge in the goals that have been set, have a strong sense of camaraderie, feel responsibility for the outcome, and experience growth as a team and in their personal lives, will tend to sustain motivation over the long haul.
This is not to say that they will not have difficulties at times, or that some members’ wants and needs won’t change over time. In these cases, sometimes changes will have to be made. A member who no longer feels the team is meeting his or her needs may have to leave the team to continue on their own path. And that’s okay!

Keri Manuel Co-dean, Vanguard Business Academy
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