Being exceptional in your position requires both skill and strong motivating factors. One can be highly proficient, but without a reason to achieve greatness he or she will most likely remain mediocre and simply meet the status quo. It takes leaders to shift your company culture, but being a leader is not strictly reserved for the business owner. Everyone has the opportunity to show leadership within their organization.
Here are 5 ways to strengthen your team, increase motivation and attain exceptional performance.
1. Know Your Team
Who are your teammates? Are you all from the same generation, or is there a mix? What are your backgrounds? Does everyone have a family or are they living the single life?
When you begin to understand the individuals within your team, you start communicating more effectively. Not everyone is motivated by the same factors, nor do they have the same work habits. Show them you care enough to make the effort to understand them and they will begin to make an effort in return.
2. Build Camaraderie
What activities does your team do together outside of the office? Have you ever so much as planned a Thursday happy hour and just taken the time to relax and talk about something other than the current project on your desk? Maybe there’s a community baseball game you could all attend with families included?
You don’t have to overlap your personal life with your professional, but choosing to do a social activity with your co-workers gives you the opportunity to get to know everyone (back to #1) and shows that you each prioritize these opportunities to get to know one another. When you care about the people with whom you work, you may find yourself working that much harder to contribute.
3. Listen & Incorporate Others’ Ideas
Once you’ve taken the time to get to know who the individuals on your team are, take the time to listen to what they have to say. Each person has something to contribute beyond their job duties, and most will go that extra mile if given the opportunity.
Create an “Innovation Station” on the wall where people can post their thoughts and ideas. Ask for advice when you get stuck on a project. Share your talents with others to help them overcome obstacles. If each person knows their voice is heard and valued, they begin to speak up and make that extra effort for the good of the entire organization.
4. Positive Feedback & the Power of a Simple “Great Job!”
A little encouragement and acknowledgement can go a very long way. When was the last time you heard a “Great Job!” from a co-worker or manager? When was the last time you made it a point to tell someone else they were doing a great job?
The simplest way to get a boost is to know you’re appreciated. If you know you matter to your team, you care that much more about your quality of work and contribution to the organization. Sincere gratitude yields great rewards.
5. Promote Educational Growth
Be proactive in furthering education. Maybe you’re a business owner who can provide your employees with the means to attend seminars or programs outside of your organization. Or you might be an employee with particular expertise in an area that would provide added value to your team.
It requires commitment, time and sometimes money, but the payoff can be exponential. One person’s attendance at a seminar can become their opportunity to lead monthly trainings within your organization and share their new skills to benefit the entire team. One employee’s expertise shared with the entire team can have huge benefits.
Here’s your challenge. Implement at least one of these ideas within your organization and see what happens. Report back on your team’s reactions, their level of interest and the results you see. What will you learn about yourself and how will you lead your organization further? Go!