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Energize Every Employee!

Imagine it's 9 am on a Monday morning. Your team is settled in with their cups of coffee and their computer screens. It looks like another long week ahead for everyone. But something is different. Everyone seems, well, upbeat. They smile more. They seem enthusiastic about their work. And everything is getting done on time and on budget.

This isn't a made-up scenario. In fact, in offices across the country, this very scene is being played out each and every day. So what can transform a group of employees like that? The answer is simple—motivation. When employees feel motivated, they become more productive, more passionate and more satisfied with their work.

And motivation begins with you. You have the power to make every employee feel good about what they do. The key is to communicate, recognize and empower your people - at every desk, every single day.

So, where do you start?

It's not as hard as you may think! Here are a couple of great tips to approaching the task of motivating your people.

• Meet with your people -- you may even want to hold a kick-off meeting to share your goals for energizing the team. Communicate to them your appreciation of the work they do and build excitement for your team and the company as a whole.

• Listen to your people. You can never talk to your employees enough. Ask them how they feel, and what would make them happy -- you may be surprised at their answers. Consider holding round table discussions on a regular basis. They're a great opportunity to really get to the heart of what's important to your people.

• Share the enthusiasm. Small things can make a big difference when it comes to energizing your staff. Start off with small "fun breaks" that can bring everyone together - hand out toys, share a snack, engage them in a group activity—and encourage your people to relax and enjoy the camaraderie.

• Make the energy last. Again, it all starts with you. Encourage upbeat and positive attitudes on a continued basis by being upbeat and positive yourself. Consistently reinforce your commitment to your staff, and show them that attitude is everything.

• Reward positive behaviors. When you see someone doing a good job—tell them. Give them small tokens throughout the week and then publicly recognize them on a regular basis. Recognize the behaviors you'd like to see more of.

• Motivate them where they sit. Everyone uses things like coffee mugs, binders, pen holders and notepads. Reinforce positive themes each and every day by giving your team desktop accessories revolving around important ideas and attitudes.

• Remember, you can't go from 0 to 60 with motivation and expect your team to change overnight. Energizing your team is an ongoing process of passion and persistence, listening to staff needs, and reinforcing your commitment to both them and the company.