Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.
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Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work. New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie. For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.
So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results. Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does. Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.
Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions. Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level? Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks. More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.
In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance. From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs — investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.
While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings. Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.
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Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder. Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills. Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work.
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You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them. Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals. Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results. From bowling nights to hosting team dinners — team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond.
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Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too! Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously. In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals.
The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street. You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.
Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn. Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way. A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.
How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations. As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month — a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities? From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office — let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work. Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space. Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.
In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees.
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