You have a small team working with you.

Everything runs smoothly – the launches, the blog posts, the newsletter…

Mabye you feel like things are running on autopilot – to some extent.

But – is it okay for you to just walk away and let your team run the shop?

You jet off to another country, living the life, putting your trust in these people…and they are trustworthy…

But are they really happy?  How far off the grid can you go before their normal proactive behavior slows to a crawl?

Are you leaving your team in the lurch?

If you take your business seriously – want to continue living that freedom lifestyle you worked so hard to achieve, DON’T FORGET the people who have made this possible and are supporting you (and your business).

You need to support them as much as they support you and the growth of your business.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules for keeping your team motivated.  Instead of looking for quick motivation tricks, why not look for ways to stay connected with your core group or team.

Connection is easier than you think – but it does take effort.

You might not know when people need you to reach out to them or if there’s a problem hidden somewhere on your team.

So instead of waiting for that intuitive hit that may never come, you need to create systems to make connection a regular part of working with the people you’ve hired to handle your business.

Here are 6 simple way to connect with + motivate your team:

1. Meet regularly.

Don’t just email your team…  make sure you talk regularly by skype video or some other format that allows them to hear or see you.

Many people think it’s okay to have a low-touch relationship with their team and with some people this does work.

Most people need more than emails though.  We need interaction/feedback and if we don’t get it, work starts to suffer.

When I don’t see or talk to my clients, I start making up stories in my head about how they must be not interested in working with me – or that I’m not doing a good job.

All this craziness starts building  up – 1 skype call wipes all that away.

2. Give praise publicly.

Notice even small wins – and by publicly I mean within the team structure.  Take time once a week to notice each individual on your team.

Try emails to the whole team, shout outs on your internal update system (Yammer is a good one!), and mentions on the team call – those are all great places to start.

3. Plan team activities.

If possible – see if you can schedule meet ups throughout the year in different locations.  If you’re going to be travelling near your team members, make a point to meet them in person.

You can also schedule a team retreat each year! LKR Social Media  plans a yearly retreat where everyone gets together in one room to talk about the future of the company and hang out! It’s a mix of fun and business. (Man those retreats were awesome!)

4. Give gifts.

Everyone loves to get an unexpected gift.

Even books sent to the whole team – or enrolling everyone in an online course – is a great way to show people you want to help them grow with the company.

When a project does well, send people a gift.  Read a good book that inspires you? Send a copy to your team.  Send random and planned gifts to each person on the team.  They don’t have to be extravagant.  A little extra notice helps people feel special, significant, and most importantly VALUED.

5. Share your team with the world.

Talk about the people you work with – so people know you aren’t doing it alone.

Give each person a face – on a webinar, in class – on social media – call them out for the special work they do.

There’s nothing better than hearing your name being called out to their audience by someone you respect and work for.

Some simple ways to show how much you love your team to the world – support your team by retweeting their external projects without being asked. Mention them on a webinar.  Let people get to know your team.  Thank them before ANYONE ELSE.

6. Encourage your team to send you ideas for the business.

This is a simple one – be receptive to ideas from each and every person.  You don’t have to adopt or agree with every single one, but respond, and make sure everyone knows if there’s a great idea that came out of a simple question.

You can actually find some really good ideas for your business IF you allow and respond to the people working directly with you to share their genius.

Leave a comment below with some other ways can you stay connected with your team and keep them engaged in the work of helping you run your business?