MEET AIMEE. A VETERAN IN HELPING ORGANIZATIONS UTILIZE HUMAN CAPITAL EFFECTIVELY, SHE SHARES 5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO KEEP TEAMS MOTIVATED AT WORK.
For the last 15 years, I have made my life's work out of optimizing the most important aspect of every business: its people. From every customer that chooses to do business with you to every employee that chooses to spend the majority of their week with you and your company, each individual matters, and the relationships you build with them all start with how you show up as a leader.
Today’s businesses are facing more and greater challenges than ever before. When you show up as a strong leader, you create a trickle-down effect that allows your teams to flourish, and having strong teams is how most companies get important work done. Ensuring your teams - your most important asset - feel supported, motivated, and encouraged, is the best way to utilize your human capital effectively. Here are five ways that you can keep your teams motivated at work.
Autonomy No one likes to be micromanaged. If you adequately train, provide for, and prepare your teams to perform their roles successfully, you can trust them to perform their job duties and you won’t feel the need to oversee everything they do. When your team can call the shots and make informed decisions without having to run everything by someone eels, they will rise to the occasion and be more prepared to handle their job responsibilities and any new challenges that may arise. People who feel trusted have higher morale and higher morale coincides with an increase in productivity.
Invest in psychological safety
The pandemic provided a lot of space for reflection, and most of us came out the other side prioritizing the same thing: our mental health. One aspect of protecting the mental health of your team involves providing a psychologically safe workplace. So what does this mean, exactly? It means showing and telling your team how valuable and respected they are. There are many ways in which to do this. Some of my favorite practices are using positive language, actively engaging in Q&A sessions, requesting employee feedback, promoting self-awareness, and being forthcoming and owning any mistakes that I may have made.
Don’t punish failure - celebrate innovation
In any company, mistakes are inevitable. It’s life and it happens. What have I personally found to be the best promoter of growth and innovation? Positive reinforcement. Shifting your focus from the negative to a positive is one of the best ways to encourage your team’s growth. I’m not saying that mistakes need to go unnoticed, but when one occurs, it’s important to address it, acknowledge opportunities for growth, and shift the narrative to recognize the good things your team has done. Positive reinforcement begets more positive work, and everyone benefits when your team members feel encouraged and celebrated.
Creating a culture that values collaboration over competition is a great way to optimize your teams. Each member of your team offers a unique skill set and viewpoint, and when we encourage our teams to work together, suddenly one idea builds upon another and before you know it, you may have an entirely new service to offer your clients or new internally optimized system and process. Teamwork does in fact make the dream work and when you foster teamwork within your business, your entire company comes together to achieve business-wide goals.
Offer professional development opportunities
When you invest in your team, your team will be more motivated, thereby investing back into your company. By offering professional development opportunities not only do you show your team that you care about them, but you also increase retention, boost performance and job satisfaction, create a more ‘in-demand’ and appealing workplace, and build the confidence and credibility of your team.
Teams are the way most companies get critical work done. By prioritizing the needs of your teams, you can set your entire business up for success. Remember, having strong leadership creates a trickle-down effect in the success of your organization, and the most important thing a leader can do is listen to, value, motivate and encourage each member of your team.