You won’t get anywhere motivating people if barriers to motivation and teamwork exist within your operation.

“It’s the manager’s job to remove these things first,” says Don Tyler, employee-management specialist at Tyler & Associates, Clarks Hill, Ind.

“Often it involves little things that dissatisfy employees, and until you remove those factors, you aren’t ready to worry about employee motivation,” adds Bernie Erven, personnel-management expert and professor emeritus at The Ohio State University.

So the duo advises that you make sure these basics are covered first:

  • The proper equipment is in place, in the proper condition, to do the job.
  • There is adequate hygiene and a comfortable setting in employee areas such as break rooms, restroom facilities, showers and locker rooms.
  • Proper lighting exists throughout the facilities, including animal and employee areas.

These are basic requirements for a work-place atmosphere, Tyler says.

From there, the next step that you have to follow through on as an employer is to work to resolve problems involving the following within your staff:

  • Egos — this could mean yours, other workers’ or anyone else that has access to your employees, and that might disrupt the work environment.
  • Ongoing conflict between employees, or between employees and managers at any and all levels.
  • Employees with personal problems.
  • Weak-link employees. Everyone has them or has had them. They chip away at the overall emotional health and abilities of the workforce.