Keeping a team running at top speed is hard. High performance is a critical piece of the puzzle when you’re trying to do big things, but how can managers get the most out of their teams?
By empowering them to do great things. Motivation and engagement are direct results of good managers being able to see the proverbial forest through the trees and help their teams do more all of the time but in the best ways possible. When a manager goes above and beyond to help engage employees, they’ll put in a lot more meaningful work. So how can you get your team to level up? It’s pretty easy.
Show your commitment
If you’re working from home a lot and leaving early, give your team the same benefits. Don’t show up around 11 and expect the team to have been there for three hours and in a chipper mood. Extend the same courtesy across the board with the hours put in or if something goes well, share that with the team. A true leader will also take the heat for her team if something goes wrong. People feel appreciated when someone refuses to throw someone under the bus when it was a team effort, and they were at the helm.
Sit down and listen
Don’t hog the spotlight during the meetings. If there are other people present who aren’t on your direct team, let your folks shine. If you’re willing to show why you’ve got a crack team of geniuses who make you look good with their efforts, everyone wins. If someone has a new idea, champion it, let them run with it. If you’ve got feedback, give constructive, nuanced feedback that someone can utilize to get better.
Let your team flourish
Don’t micromanage and don’t be someone always looking over shoulders. Encourage your team to take the lead on projects, because when someone takes ownership of a project, they’ll work harder to see it through. When you give people space to do their thing, it creates trust, and when someone knows they’ve been given the ball to run with, they’re going to try their hardest to make it into the endzone.
Invest in continued learning
If you’ve got the budget, encourage your team to go to conferences, take those classes online, do whatever they can to develop their careers. By showing your team that you want them to be better versions of themselves, it’s a psychological cue that you’re invested in them, that you want to see them thrive and there’s a future with the company.
Show them they matter
If someone did a killer job on a project, tell them. Some companies offer “kudos”, a small thank you for teammates to show appreciation for hard work, while others provide spa days or free catered lunches. Whatever it is that you do, it’s essential to keep people feeling inspired, but also valued. Praise their efforts and the hard work they put into the project, and share the news with the greater team at large.
Drop them an email, pull them aside, or even a handwritten note. Whatever the method, people like to be recognized for their contributions, primarily if they worked really hard on something.
If someone screws up, lean into it. If the offense is a teachable moment, that’s acceptable. A true leader can take an ugly scenario and help someone learn from their mistake rather than head directly into the lion’s den of “improvement plans.”
If you’re looking to build the next great brand, or just keep your team performing high, invest in your team, they’re the most significant asset. If you show them, they can trust you and your vision, that’s half the battle toward success.