How do you motivate your people in a bad economy?

How do you motivate your people in a bad economy? It's not easy. But when the economy is still sputtering, it's even more important to have your team committed to the company than any other time. Your team will help you survive. But you have to communicate with them and let them know exactly what the goals of your organization are. A few simple steps to help accomplish that:

1) Communicate to your team about what's going on in your organization. Where is the company heading? Is it making progress towards its goal or not? Why?

2) Respect each person in your organization for his/her contributions to the company. If you trust them and they trust you, chances are they'll be more willing to go the extra step for you when you really need it.

3) Listen to the team. They are likely telling you everything you need to know (and more) about how to save money. That includes changes they can live with to help save the company money. Engage them in the process of making your company stronger both financially and as a better place to work.

4) Give your team realistic expectations about the future and the company. If you're communicating the truth to them on a regular basis, when it comes time to make some of those hard choices, they won't be able to say they didn't know they were coming or misunderstand why.

5) Understand what motivates your team. Then, use it, so they will continue to flourish even in this uncertainty.