Keeping your team motivated is a constant effort. One solid month of production produces lots of “high fives” but a couple more down months means discouragement looms. Employees may fear getting laid off if there are no new loans on their desks. But we all know there will always be highs and lows in production. Yet it’s still your job to keep their motivation levels high. Here are seven quick tips you can use.
1: Praise in Public. When someone does something a little bit special or puts in the extra effort, regardless of what they may say, everyone enjoys public recognition. When praising or thanking someone for a job well done, don’t just do it in your office behind closed doors, do it in the open. Loud and proud!
2: Admit Failure. You’re a sales manager, not a super-hero. You’re fallible but you’re also looked up to as an authority figure. Someone with answers. When loan officers get down because they made a mistake or a customer complained, have a heart-to-heart explaining how you did something similar in the past and how you learned from it. They’ll appreciate knowing they’re not alone.
3: Set and Celebrate Goals. You need clear, achievable goals, both small and not-so-small ones. It’s the always the tiny, unnoticed goals that support the bigger picture. But without them the final goal will never be met. Don’t just concentrate on the “big picture” each month but recognize smaller achievements as well. And refer to Tip #1.
4: Spice Up Your Production Meetings. If your production meetings are nothing more than reviewing spreadsheets each month and counting loans, the best way to demotivate people is to have another boring meeting. Production meetings are important but think of ways to make them a little more light-hearted. Go over your goals but also have something like a “Mortgage Trivia” contest and toss movie tickets to the winners. Anything to crack a smile or two.
5: Do What You Say. Want support staff to always be on time? Then you do the same. In fact, be a little early. Do you have certain rules you want everyone to follow? Then guess what, you follow them to. Be a positive example, say what you mean and mean what you say. Follow through.
6: Get Personal. Even your very top loan producers have their own benchmarks. One loan officer in the top tier might close 20 loans this month while the next best production means 15 loans per month. While you certainly want to publicly praise solid production, you also want to congratulate those who are making progress and always wanting to improve. If a loan officer closed eight loans last month and in on schedule to close 10, that’s a pretty big deal.
7: Recognize Differences. People are motivated in various ways. Some are motivated by fear, causing them to work even harder. On the opposite scale, some loan officers are inspired by success and fear only causes them to shut down. Get to know your loan officers personally and ask, “What inspires you the most?” You may not get the exact answer you need but you will get pretty close.