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How to Motivate Your Team and Hold Them Accountable

Deborah Sweeney

Chief Executive Officer at MyCorporation.com
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, trademark and copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best.

With the holiday season in full swing and the end of the year right around the corner, it’s tough to get your team to stick to their agendas while visions of vacations and days off dance in their heads. How can entrepreneurs motivate their teams and keep them held accountable for their workloads during the most wonderful (and distracting) time of the year?

The truth is, motivation and accountability are a two-way street. Employees need a boss that takes responsibility for their actions and is passionate about what the company and its employees are doing and where it is heading in the long run. In turn, bosses need team members that can deliver on their assignments in a thoughtful manner and who feel valued and excited to be a part of the business. In order for this two-way street to work, here are the strategies leaders need to focus on implementing with their talent to motivate and get everyone on the same page.

Establish clear goals

How can you hold anyone accountable if there are no clear goals set? The Harvard Business Review states that the road to accountability is all about getting your priorities in order. Your expectations should be clear from the start, including what the outcome is, how success will be measured and what your team will need to do in order to achieve the objective.

Talk to your employees one-on-one about your expectations and make sure they know what the goals are by the end of the conversation. This gives both sides the peace of mind necessary in understanding their priorities and achieving goals.



Stay attentive and listen

Don’t walk into your office, shut the door and think that your team has it handled 100 percent from there on out since you’ve clarified goals. Keep the avenues of communication as open as possible from email to in-person visits and encourage your team to share their thoughts with you as often as possible. Listen to what they have to say and take their ideas seriously by providing honest feedback in return, which works to empower both you and your employees.

Show appreciation for your team

From the big successes to the littlest ones, every achievement is worth celebrating and every member of your team has a special attribute that deserves a shout out of its own. Say “thank you” to your team members on a regular basis, compliment hard work with email blasts to the entire office and cater in a lunch or give everyone gift cards for reaching a special milestone. These gestures may be small, but it makes everyone on your team feel valued and encouraged to keep going the extra mile.


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Be a positive leader

Think about the worst job you ever had. Chances are, you probably had a boss that wasn’t kind and was out of touch with the employees. In the worst case scenario, you might even have had a boss that made you dread coming in to work every day.

This is your opportunity to change the narrative and be a better leader. An employer who comes into work each day with a positive, can-do attitude will reflect that onto his or her employees, who will become energized and motivated to work hard as well. Take your positive attitude one step further and use it to create a company culture where everyone feels empowered to work hard and play hard all year round!

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