LET me tell you a quick story about my friend Brian who works in sales. Every month, he sits down with his regional manager for a preformance review.

This consists of the manager examining the potential customers Brian has called on but who have not placed any orders. Brian is then asked to explain why this is so. Later, the manager goes on to tell him how to improve on his performance.

Is Brian motivated by this method? No. All Brian wants to do is to find another job where he will be appreciated.

Ironically, Brian is a competent salesman and regularly hits his sales targets, and his company would definitely not want to lose him. Unfortunately, his manager has no idea how to motivate Brian and bring out the best in him.

The manager primarily sees his role as finding faults and correcting them. In the past year, Brian's regional manager has only spent one day with him, visiting customers and observing him on his job.

The No. 1 secret of team motivation is to spend some quality time with your subordinates. Devoting some time regularly is more productive than a one-hour review every month or year.

You need to understand each member of your team better and they need to get to know you. This will help you build a positive relationship with each team member.

Here are six good reasons to spend quality time with your team members:

You will gain a much better understanding of them and how they are handling the job.

It will give the impression that you care about each person and that you are there to help with personal and work problems.

It will encourage opinions and ideas to flow from them and allows you to explain the company's mission.

It gives team members a feeling of being in on things, which is a huge motivator.

It will also help you build an "early warning system" which can alert you to any problems - business or personal - your team members may be facing.

Finally, it builds team spirit and morale.

It is important to get out of your office or off your seat and interact with your team mates on a regular basis.

Don't wait for them to come to you. Pull up a chair and chat with them. And don't just talk business.

Find out how they are doing but do not pry into their personal lives. Make your team members feel that you are interested and care about them as persons.

Observe what they do in their jobs. Identify the areas that they have to improve on and give praise where necessary. Do make sure that you pay attention to what they have to say as well.

Just like any other relationship that you have, whether it's with your spouse, children or friends, it will benefit everyone if you spend more quality time with them.