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  • Writer's pictureAkiri Heath-Adams

Boost Motivation & Productivity in Your Last Mile Logistics Company

How do you get your couriers to deliver faster, CSRs to respond quicker & managers to build high performing teams?

Leaders are always trying to get the best from their teams. Most leaders wonder how they can get their team "more motivated". But motivation comes and goes. What you need is to inspire your team to give their best at all times, even when their “motivation” is low.

Here’s 4 steps to take to consistently get the best from your team (aka 4 steps to boost your employees’ motivation & productivity):

1. Create a Real Vision/Purpose

A sense of purpose is the greatest driving force for a human being. You have to give that sense of purpose to your employees by having a proper vision for the company.

The vision must not be something superficial, like “to be the best and deliver quality service”. That is not a vision, that is a bare minimum requirement for any business.

Vision is about why you do what you do, what you are hoping to achieve by building and growing your company, what impact you want to have on your customers (& the world).

An example of a meaningful vision (& mission) for a last mile logistics company:

Vision - we envision a world where people have all the things they need, when they need it, to create happy, healthy and successful lives & business.

Mission - to provide the fastest, safest, most reliable & most enjoyable delivery service, bringing everything our customers need right to their doorsteps.

For your team, the vision of the business gives meaning to what they’re doing on a daily basis. It makes their jobs more purposeful.

With a vision like that, your team would understand that they’re not just delivering packages, they are:

- bringing someone a piece of exercise equipment that’s going to help them change their lives & become healthy;

- helping businesses to get important stuff on time so they can serve their customers, earn revenue, and continue to put food on their employees’ tables;

- bringing someone a household item that’s going to make their lives more convenient, or a gift for a loved one that’s going to lift their spirits after a tragedy;

- giving people convenience (aka the gift of time) and helping them to be more productive as a result (and you never know who’s going to build a world changing company because we brought the tools to them and give them the gift of time to focus on their project), etc.

When you have a good vision and you communicate it to your team clearly and consistently, they start seeing their job through a different lens. They get more energy, purpose and conviction behind what they do.

They will see that they are improving lives and making a meaningful impact.

As the leader, it's your job to help your team see their jobs as something that is truly valuable and meaningful. This will give them the biggest inspiration to work hard and give their best. It’s the ultimate cheat code to high levels of ‘motivation’ & productivity.

2. Build Strong Relationships

Increasing trust and building a real relationship is one of the ultimate keys to motivating your team to perform at the highest level. One of the best examples of this principle are some of the teams in the army. Why are they motivated to be at their best and go above & beyond to risk their lives for each other? Because they know that the other person would do it for them. That’s the level of trust they have with each other and it pushes them to give their best daily.

Your logistics business may not involve life & death situations, but it’s still meaningful & important work. When you build trust with your employees, and go above & beyond to create the best environment for them to work, they will be motivated to go above & beyond for you too. And the best way they can do that is by being as productive as possible and serving the customers in the best way they can. Your employees won’t want to let you down.

If you want your employees to go the extra mile in serving your customers, you first go the extra mile in serving your employees. Build a real relationship with each of them, and create a workplace where they feel safe, confident & fulfilled.

3. Establish High Levels of Accountability

A simple hack for ‘motivating’ employees: make sure they know what you want them to do, how to do it & when to do it. And then make sure they get it done when & how you want them to.

Employees lose motivation when they are confused about what they are supposed to do, and when they know that nobody is going to hold them accountable whether they do their job properly or not.

If you want your team to be more productive, you need to:

- Tell them what they are supposed to do, how they are supposed to do it, when they are supposed to do it, and how much they are supposed to do;

- Give everyone honest feedback on their performance;

- Praise & recognize those who perform well,

- Hire good people who align with the vision & values of the company and are competent

- Fire employees who consistently perform poorly

Creating more accountability makes employees want to show up to work and give their best. Believe it or not, employees like to work in a structured, fair & accountable environment, where the right things are rewarded and the wrong things are properly handled.

When employees know that they are going to be held accountable (and especially that they are going to be praised for performing well), they are motivated to give their best.

The opposite is also true. If you are not setting clear expectations, not holding everyone accountable, allowing poor performers to stay on the team, and not rewarding good performance, your employees (especially the high performers) will lose their motivation and eventually they’ll leave your team.

4. Pay Fair Salaries + Incentives

You have to give your team fair compensation- and if possible, include bonuses, gifts, promotions and other incentives for good performance.

Especially if the business is actually making good money, salaries & incentives are ways that you can make your employees feel more valued & appreciated.

Some leaders leave out the other steps and only apply this one. A good salary cannot make up for a job where the employee feels no sense of vision/purpose, does not trust or have a good relationship with the leader, and the environment is one without any accountability & fairness. The salary might seem appealing in the early stages but in the long-term, employees almost always realize that it’s not worth it (that’s exactly what’s happening on a large scale in many industries right now).

Some leaders also falsely believe that if you pay employees “too well” they will become complacent (or they will leave), but that only happens in companies where the employees are only motivated by the money.

When they are inspired by the vision, loyal to you because of the relationships they have with you, and they are happy to be in an environment that holds them accountable and pushes them to improve, a high salary only makes the job more worthwhile & pushes them to work even harder.

Good salaries & incentives are important, yet it’s probably the least important of the 4 factors discussed here. But when you have the other things in place, good salaries & incentives will take your employees’ ‘motivation’ & productivity to a next level!

Implement these four steps and watch your employees become more committed, determined, ‘motivated’ & productive.

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