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Find the Keys to Team Loyalty By Answering These 3 Questions Not every talented, energetic person wants to be an entrepreneur. Understanding what they do want is how you build your team.

By Jacqueline Whitmore Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


You care about your job because it's your business. It's something you're passionate about. However, your team may have a different attitude about work, and that can become a problem when trying to motivate them to do their best.

Your company is most likely different from big corporate structures where people often feel like cogs in a wheel. You have the unique ability to offer your team the opportunity to actually make a huge impact on the viability of the company, and its success.

Realize that your co-workers may have different ideas and motivations than you. When you take the time to learn what those are, then you can begin create a culture that accomplishes the goals you've set out for your business.

Give your team a chance to show you what they've got and you'll be rewarded by their loyalty. Here are three questions to ask yourself:

1. What are their motivations?

Why did your team member choose to work for you? What made them choose their career path? From what background did they come? What you see on the surface may not be the whole story, so take the time to really learn about your people and their background motivations that brought them to where they are now. Take a chance on someone who wants to make a mid-career change, or conversely, hire an intern who has the enthusiasm but not necessarily the resume of experience that exactly matches your requirements. You'll be surprised at how loyal these people can be just because you gave them the opportunity.

Related: The 5 Motivations That Drive People to Choose Entrepreneurship

2. Where do they want to go?

It's uncommon that a person doesn't have dreams of where they'd like to be in life, or what they'd like to be doing. Show a sincere interest by asking your team what their vision of success includes. Do they want to move up in the company, start their own businesses, or take on a new challenge? Determine how you can help them achieve their goals and see if you can take action steps to bring them to reality. It may be as simple as signing them up for a course or training, mentoring them, or transferring them to another responsibility in which they've shown an interest. Encourage your team to have dreams and provide support in their pursuit of them. They will be happier and be more motivated to help you climb to success.

Related: How Successful People Stay Productive and In Control

3. What is their idea of success?

Along the same lines, find out where people want to go in life and encourage them to pursue their passions inside or outside of work. Then give them the time or place to do it. If they want to take a class, allow them a flexible schedule arrangement. Or create a forum where they can showcase their talents, like hosting an art exhibit on the company walls. Applaud their creativity and provide positive support. Your encouragement will help them grow, which will ultimately benefit their performance at work.

Related: What You Can Learn From Hollywood on Hiring and Managing Employees

When people know you care about them, they are motivated to act in ways in which you will continue to be proud, so discovering what is important to your team members is just as important as uncovering the motivations people have for buying your product or service.

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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