Managing A World Class Team: Part 4 – What’s Your Motivation?

About the Author: Ashley Thomson
Ashley Thomson

We’re going to start with question. BUT before we do, make sure you have checked out the other blogs in this series, Unlocking Potential, Recruitment Time (again) and Kicking Goals!

Would you rather know you’re doing a bad job so you can improve, or not be told you’re doing bad and never get better?

We think the answer is pretty obvious.

But for years and years (and maybe even more years than we care to mention) of coaching, one thing we’ve always seen is a fear of managers to lay it out on the line.

Managing teams is not easy. But to get more out of a sales teams, it is essential to be honest and appraise.

You could almost think of it as “appraise or die”.

Performance Reviews

And what better way to appraise your staff and motivate than with performance reviews?

People need feedback.

In fact, scrap that.

People crave feedback.

Feedback helps to motivate, guide and drive employees to achieve higher results and yet many businesses are too scared or say they are too busy to do them.

So read on and learn as we give some hints and tips we’ve learnt to how appraise effectively.

Read Our Other Blogs… NOW!

We’re going to do some shameless self-advertising and tell you to read our other blogs on job advertisements. We’ve put a couple together previously and reading them will give you a great grasp on why they’re important and useful.

But why are they important for performance?

Job descriptions split responsibilities and develop points of reference for developing performance review areas.

Embrace it, Rate it and Reason it

Another tip we give is use ratings.

Ratings lay out all your expectations and your thoughts in a simple, easily judged number. We often suggest using number from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 to give an easy point of reference.

Further more, document the reasons for your ratings. The least you can do for your team members and is give an honest opinion on why you’ve rated them the way you have.

The Real Motivator

But overall, we think it’s extremely important to offer improvement ideas and positive feedback.

On one hand, the positive feedback is always fun to give and makes everybody feel good. An example of a positive piece of feedback for a bookkeeper dealing with account receivables may be:

“Invoices are always sent out on time within 3 days of the end of the month. I can’t think of an instance where there has been an error and your attention to detail in providing extensive and detailed descriptions on the invoices has ensured we get very few invoice inquiries”

This example is short, sharp and positive, rightly acknowledging hard work and success.

On the other hand, giving negative feedback is less fun (we’re human as well, we know), but just as (if not more) important. Here’s an example with the same type of employee:

“An area where I would like to see improvement in your performance is with the tracking and follow up of outstanding invoices. Sometimes I feel as if you treat your job as complete, the minute the invoice has been sent. It is crucial that we keep on top of these. Let’s discuss how you can do this better.”

This is specific and clear and direct enough to make sure the employee is exactly and succinctly aware of how they are performing.

When You Do One of These Things…


  • Be clear
  • Be Fair
  • Be Direct
  • Be Genuine (in praise and feedback format)
  • Discuss each section one by one
  • Read your comments as you go


Your Thoughts

Have you ever had any success stories with performance reviews or have there been instances where they have gone pear shaped?

We always love to hear about how other managers have coached their sales team, so shoot us a message or comment to us and let’s get the discussion started.

(Maybe you can even performance review our blogs? Please, be gentle though!)

Image credit: The Bait cc by nist6dh (contact)