The modern workplace can be an incredibly testing environment, one that ultimately starts to take its toll on one’s wellbeing if measures aren’t in place to support the workforce accordingly.
Leaders have a large responsibility to their team and their company, and they need to make sure they’re doing all they can to listen to the needs of everyone involved in the operation.
A satisfied workforce is a productive workforce, but every now and then, a lack of inspiration in the work environment can lead to disillusionment, stagnation, and a general lack of engagement.
Great leaders can inspire their team members using a wide array of skills and techniques, and this can be learned. Great leaders aren’t born that way, they’re made, and in many ways, they never stop learning.
If you happen to be an aspiring leader, or you’re already a leader in business and you feel like you could be doing a little more to inspire the people around you, here are some top tips you may want to consider.
Pay Attention to Your Employees’ Needs
The needs of your employees are the needs of your company, as they are, after all, the heart and soul of the operation.
Without them, nothing gets done, and without their support, what does get done doesn’t get done properly.
The first and one of the most important pieces of advice to note in your efforts to inspire your team is to pay attention to everyone’s needs. Employees need to feel heard, and they need to know that their voice has value.
You need to show them that you’re willing to listen to what they have to say and that you’re willing to act on their thoughts and opinions. This can empower employees to speak up when they have something to say, inspiring them to feel confident in their abilities and their outlook at the same time.
There are a few ways you could make room for this, such as:
- Organizing regular one-to-one meetings – Regular meetings with individual employees can help you keep track of their progress, but it should also be an opportunity for your team members to talk candidly, without the fear of judgment.
- Hosting team events – Spending some quality time with your team outside of the working environment may be able to help you strengthen the bond between you. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture either; maybe some afterwork drinks or a lunch would better suit your company culture.
- Checking In – A quick check-in every now and then (whether that’s an email or a phone call, or whatever you think fits) can go a long way toward letting employees know that you care about them.
- Designating a safe cool down space in the office – The working day can get tough at times, and everyone needs a cool down occasionally. Allocating a space that your employees can go to where they can talk openly or spend some alone time is a must.
Transparency translates to trustworthiness and relatability, and it’s an incredibly powerful trait to possess for any leader. Just check out Michael Savage New Canaan for a great example of a successful CEO who’s both transparent and inspirational.
The best leaders involve their team in the decision-making process, or at the very least, always remain upfront about how it will affect them.
Setting goals and tracking progress is another great way to promote transparency in the workplace, as is remaining accessible and honest at all times.
Transparency can inspire your employees to be themselves, not be fearful of speaking out, and seek out support should they need it. A company culture of transparency and honesty looks great to the outside world too – if potential clients, candidates, and investors can see that your employees feel safe, happy, comfortable, and cared for, you’re more likely to attract interest in your brand.
Place the Emphasis on Consistent Growth
If you manage to create an environment that fosters consistent learning and growth, employees may be inspired to always strive to reach their toughest goals.
This means offering resources to your employees in the form of learning opportunities, and it means providing support whenever you can.
By offering employees the space and the freedom to pursue professional development opportunities, you might have a much easier time holding onto their services in the first place. Many employees who experience stagnation and a lack of inspiration do so as a result of a lack of opportunities, and at a time when the great resignation is still fresh on the minds of many, this has never been so important.
Learning and professional development is itself incredibly inspiring, and the effects and value of it should never be ignored by managers looking to improve their team and their company as a whole.
Laying out a clear and obvious path for your employees is not only important for transparency in the workplace, but it also provides people with a visible trajectory, a set of milestones to aim for, and a clear end result.
Sometimes, this is more than enough to spark the feeling of inspiration that you’re looking for.
Offer Rewards to Your Employees
Incentives can be inspiring, especially when employees will directly benefit through monetary rewards. If you aren’t able to offer rewards like cash bonuses, then there are plenty of other avenues of reward to explore.
You may want to consider offering extra vacation days, meal vouchers, all-inclusive days out, or branded gear – whatever you decide to go for, it’s important for the reward to reflect their hard work, and it needs to be desirable to make any meaningful impact.
Set an Example
Leaders need to set an example to their employees, so make sure you practice what you preach, and you strive to grow as a professional alongside your team.
If your team can see you performing, they might be inspired to do the same. Leadership roles command respect, and in many ways, it’s a position that people strive for. If they can take guidance from your actions, they may feel inspired to prove themselves too.
Offer Positive Feedback
Not all feedback needs to be constructive criticism, although this is exceptionally important. Positive feedback is critical in inspiring your employees – nobody likes to do thankless, unrecognized work, so it’s up to you to make sure you praise them.
Positive reinforcement can work wonders in motivating and inspiring your employees to carry on performing their roles to the best of their ability.
It’s worth letting them know exactly how impactful their work has been, what it’s done for the company, and what it means for the future of their career.
Even a small thank you can go an incredibly long way, so don’t hang back on dishing out the compliments when a job is done well.
Solitary work is sometimes a must, and it’s often unavoidable in many roles, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t encourage collaboration.
Collaboration can inspire new ideas, raise energy levels, and develop a free-thinking environment in which everyone is happy to express themselves and take on new projects.
You can use an online platform to improve communication if you need to support remote workers, and you might find that switching to the hybrid approach works in your favor in terms of encouraging collaboration.
Inspiration is elusive and difficult to pin down, but as long as you continue to listen and represent the values of togetherness, growth and progression, transparency, and collaboration, you shouldn’t go too far wrong as a leader.