When you start your own company, you have these ideas about the perfect employees and how you can inspire them, lifting their efficiency to higher levels. However, the stark reality is that you will have to put in a lot more than the odd inspirational speech to get your employees to perform at their peak.
Loving your employees is easy when they go above and beyond the call of duty and take some initiative, but that is the exception rather than the rule. Although it takes some labor, as a leader, you can create a positive culture among your employees.
Furthermore, in a valued enterprise, a positive culture inside reflects on the outside environment, and overall, it builds strong brand recognition and develops the customer base for your business.
Here are some practical guidelines that you can follow to create your dream team.
Be a Humble Leader
Ernest Hemingway put it succinctly when he said:
There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Humility comes with self-mastery, knowing that despite your privileged position, you are still as fallible as any man under your employ and that you can err in judgment sometimes.
With this understanding, you will be in a better position to value and appreciate the divergent opinions of those you lead. This approach endears you to your team members, enhancing trust, loyalty, and the benefit of a large pool of ideas from employees who feel free to express themselves before you.
In a recent survey, it was revealed that one of the most important traits of a good leader is humility. When your employees see that you don’t just hide in your office and shout out commands from afar, they feel that you are also part of the team.
Leading from the front and not like some dictator, who has no clue about the state of affairs outside the confines of the office, is what inspires trust. Your employees want to know that you have their backs, but that you are also fair in your judgments. The only way that you can get that right is if you are in the thick of things with them.
When a leader is humble, the employees see an impressive example of hard work and in most cases, they follow suit. They see that you are not afraid to get your hands dirty and that you don’t consider yourself higher than them.
Do not focus entirely on yourself and set targets that will help only you to be in the limelight. Help your entire team grow and set a career development plan for each of them. It renders you more approachable when you humble yourself and are known among your employees as a boss who cares.
Assumption Leads to a Misconception
Effective communication is not just important to leadership; it is the most important tool. Leadership is mainly about leading human assets and getting things done with your team in the best possible manner.
To achieve this, your instructions must be clear and mutually acceptable. To communicate effectively with your workers, you need to come down to their level and drop the corporate-attitude that bosses tend to assume.
Sticking to the corporate approach leaves you with the assumption that your instructions were understood, whereas in practice it’s often the other way. To achieve effective communication, learn to listen and to exchange views with your workers for a consensual approach that avoids ambiguity.
As a leader, you should never assume anything. You shouldn’t assume that your employees know what you are thinking and you shouldn’t assume that you know why your employees do certain things. You need to be an effective communicator.
Being an effective communicator doesn’t just mean that you can speak well. It also means that you have the ability to listen. Your employees need to know that you are willing to listen to them and that their opinions are valued. When you show them that you value their input, they will also be more inclined to be proactive and innovative.
When you assume that all is well with everyone, you also leave room for mass miscommunication. You should also not assume that your employees are in the loop all the time and know what is expected of them.
Therefore, you need to communicate frequently and make sure that you touch base with everyone as often as possible.
Create Clear Goals
To marshal and effectively direct any work team, a leader must understand the importance of setting goals and possessing the skills to do so. Deploying a team to work on a project without clear goals and milestones is akin to driving in the dark without lights.
A leader who is clear about what is required in a project demonstrates authority, trust, and dependability while inspiring his or her team to better performance. Leaders need to understand that they are the bridge between workers and project owners and that they are responsible for the success of both sides through adept management.
Every company has certain goals that they want to achieve, but not everyone is always aware of what those goals are, or what their part in achieving those goals is. This becomes even more difficult when you have remote teams working on various projects. Inspiring remote teams is easier to do when everyone is in the loop and knows their role.
When you start new projects, setting your goals and communicating those goals is essential to inspire your employees. When they know exactly what to do and what part they play in the goal, they have more confidence and also take ownership of their role a lot easier.
Rewards, praise, and recognition fans the flames of individual and collective performance on projects. A good leader must understand how to leverage the reward system to improve team performance. A successful reward system must be perceived to be fair to all in the team on the basis of established company policy and local culture.
When the leader and, by extension, the organization, shows appreciation for exemplary achievements by workers, it generates a culture of hard work, self-drive, and commitment and workers will go the extra mile when the situation demands.
A celebration is equal to inspiration. Everyone wants to know that their efforts are valued and that what they are doing is important. For this reason, you have to celebrate your wins. Your employees will start to realize that they are part of something bigger and that they have a crucial part in the success of the company.
As a leader, you should also celebrate and acknowledge individual greatness. Just to be clear, a celebration doesn’t mean that you have to throw a party for everything little thing that goes well.
Small tokens of gratitude, like a day off or a half-day for everyone in the office, will show your employees that you acknowledge their efforts and know that they are doing their bit.
Though it is the cardinal motivation for working, salary is not the only factor in recruiting and retaining top talent. The working environment matters a lot to the general welfare of employees and putting in place good working conditions and flexibility of hours has shown a correlative effect on performance.
Welfare is the effort the company makes to ensure the comfort, personal improvement, and health of its workers and is a leading morale booster. Your team members will deliver better performance when you facilitate a conducive working environment that cares for them and instills a sense of wellness.
When the pressure is on, we are often tempted to drive our employees to the brink of breaking. This is counter-productive. Although you spend more time in the office, you don’t get as much done because your focus is off. On the contrary, when you are rested, you work much more effectively.
To promote positive vibes in your business, you need to make it clear that you place a high value on wellness. Don’t overwork your employees, and when you have no choice, make sure that you build regular breaks into the schedule for everyone.
If you have ever worked for a horrible boss, you will know exactly what not to do. It isn’t always easy to be an inspiring leader, but when you have your employees on your side, it is a lot more rewarding experience. It’s all about your willingness to build a participative environment and lead from the front.