The Hidden Team Members

“Understanding their contribution is paramount”

This was a response a good friend and colleague Gill McKay. She said on a post recently in response to a question I posed about encouraging team members, enabling and supporting them.

It is certainly no good banging the desk, demanding results, or shouting. These are all tactics that will de-motivate the majority of people.

So, how can you motivate your team?

Getting to know them, their desires, their motivators, and their reasons for working for your business.

This LinkedIn conversation with Gill and others got me thinking about the unseen team members and I recalled an example from my corporate career.

I was in the office at a ridiculously early how because my ‘boss’ had demanded a  7.30am meeting. As usual, he was running late.

I sat chatting to Linda the lovely Domestic who cleaned the HQ building. It was quite clear the ‘boss’ had been delayed. So I started helping her empty the bins, and wiping down the desks and work surfaces while we chatted. I also made us both a coffee. I hadn’t met her before. At first, she was astonished and even a little embarrassed that a senior manager was helping her clear up.

We were chatting and whiling away the time. Keeping busy, and, getting the job done. I made reference to her colleague who cleaned the office building I was usually in. It turned out they were related and we formed a lovely bond and respect for each other.

When my boss eventually turned up, as usual bustling in full of his own self-importance, I parted company with Linda and went off for my meeting. His immediate question was ‘why are you talking to the cleaners and what were you doing with the rubbish bags’?

What an ass of a question was that!

I explained that I ‘talk’ to all of the team. Also if I can, I help, no matter what their role, how they fit into the jigsaw of the business, and that they are people and important people in my opinion. Getting to know them, would help productivity, motivation, and understanding. To say he said I was stupid is the polite version of his response.

As you can probably guess, that is not my sentiment.

Supporting and developing your team are key themes that I talk to managers about on my training programmes every week. Regardless of the role, regardless of the size of your team everyone counts, ensure they understand their contribution, and they ALL respect that. Including the big bosses!!

Guess what?

When Linda came to cover the work in my office building, she worked amazingly hard. She was diligent, she was a trooper, respectful, helpful, and motivated.

In this case, was I stupid?? Don’t think so………

As managers, every interaction, every opportunity to speak to team members, every communication either written, verbal or nonverbal provides us with a chance to inspire, motivate and engage our team. Don’t forget that is ALL of the team. Every one of them matters.

If you would like to know more about motivating your team here is a free E-Book, download it now – ‘Motivation for Managers’

Author: Tracy-Anne Barker

If you want to read more leadership and management ideas just like this, Tracy-Anne’s new book will be out soon. She shares her experience and practical solutions to help managers step up and manage a team in today’s modern management world.

About TA Barker Associates  – Tracy-Anne is the  Founder and CEO;  a training and coaching business specialising in working with Business Owners, Managers, and HR Professionals so they can equip their managers and teams with the right skills to maximise their performance and have a high performing business that is sustainable.

Get in touch if you have any questions at

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