Regardless of the industry in which you operate or the size of the team, being a leader is no easy task. You need to be a mentor, disciplinary and source of encouragement to your entire team. Finding a balance between these roles - some of which at first seem to conflict with each other - requires a clear strategic vision, passion for your people and a commitment to developing your emotional intelligence.
As a leader and CEO it is possible for you to replace employees, but you can never replicate the specific skills of an individual. In today’s economy, employees and human resources are a very big value of the company. One of the most important things you can do as a manager is to show your employees that you understand this, as well as the value they bring to the desk. You need to show them that you have confidence in their abilities and that you expect great things from them.
Setting high expectations not only inspires employees, but also helps you get the most out of them. At the end of the day, the success of your team equals your success. Below are some key ways to keep your team motivated and thus help the entire organization, your company succeed.
Help your employees design a climbing path for their career
They want to know that they are learning and growing at work. In fact, according to research by the Labor Institute, career development (or, conversely, lack thereof) is the leading cause of employee turnover in the US
Tell employees you care about their development by talking about their career goals, and not just during your annual reviews. A quantum workplace study has found that when employees have these types of discussions more than once a year, there is a noticeable increase in engagement levels. Be intentional about this process to make sure you regularly discuss professional goals with each of your employees directly, whether through a quarterly formal meeting, a casual lunch chat or something in between.
Make sure your employees know that their career success matters. Share your goals with them and ask about them. By discussing your goals with your employees, you will show that you trust them and will help them feel more comfortable and cozy to discuss and share ideas with you.
Encourage your employees to learn every day
Encourage your employees to learn from work experiences - both good and bad. As a leader, you can start practicing this by helping your team learn key lessons from their work experiences.
You need to remind your employees to think about what went wrong, what went wrong and how they can improve in the future, so you need to encourage them to do a situation analysis.
Identifying and responding to these learning experiences is incredibly powerful; helps create a culture of learning within your team. Furthermore, provide resources for continuous learning throughout the year. These can take the form of an in-company training platform or financial support for a workshop abroad. Reward those who make an effort to improve and grow, be it with a gift card, a one-time bonus, etc.
Encourage friendships within the team
Employees want to have personal relationships with their colleagues, and Gallup research shows that friendships at work lead to better performance. When employees really feel a sense of friendship with their colleagues, they feel more compelled to take positive action to really grow and contribute to the company.
To help cultivate relationships, create opportunities and space for your team to interact as they perform their respective tasks. This could mean adding a 15-minute lunch break or creating an informal environment to collaborate.