Being a leader isn’t just about telling your team what they can and cannot do.
Sure, at times it can feel like you are a glorified babysitter, but a true leader can look beyond the trivialities of being part of upper management and do the best they can to guide each and every person on their team towards personal success.
There are plenty of ways to help your team grow, but most, if not all of it, boils down to one thing: motivation.
Motivation is a big part of success; it drives the bottom line, productivity, creativity, etc., and without it getting your team to go above and beyond can be near impossible, so here are some great ways to help get your employees motivated.
Lead by example. First things first, if you want to push your team to go the extra mile, you have to start by doing it first. Your commitment to the company is perhaps the biggest motivator of all–as a leader you are someone your team looks up to. As such, it is important that you care about your job and the well being of others, because if you can’t even do that yourself, then what gives you the right to ask others to do the same?
Show what is in it for them. No one wants to be just another number or a cog in the machine. To help give your employees’ the personal incentive to work harder, start by making them ask themselves “Why am I doing this? How are my contributions making an impact and what do I gain in return?” By always pushing them to reflect on their actions, they can better orient themselves towards more clear cut goals as well as help them realize how they are personally making an impact in the company.
Show gratitude. Taking the time out of your busy schedule to show your team how thankful you are to have them is an important part of motivating them to succeed. Even if it is just a simple thanks, showing them that you appreciate their hard work and is a great way to help reinforce their engagement and passion for the job.
Be open and communicate. Communication is a huge part of motivating your employees. Allowing them to feel comfortable enough to come to you with their problems only shows that you really care about their feelings and ideas, which in turn can drive their engagement since they don’t feel the need to hide their true thoughts and sentiments. On top of that, open dialogues are a great way to spur creativity since employees don’t feel the need to hold back for fear of having their ideas shot down.
Mentor mentor mentor. As a mentor, you aren’t just thinking about the company’s end of the year goals and how your team can meet them, you are thinking about your employees’ future, even if it goes beyond the company. Taking a personal interest in helping your employees expand their careers can make a huge impact on their work ethic and even instill some leadership skills in them as well. On top of that, the authenticity that comes with mentoring them actually reinforces that you care about their well-being, which in turn can motivate them even more to succeed.