Team morale is often a leading challenge for companies worldwide. So how do you, as a leader, create excitement and confidence in a team?
1. Align your company with a bigger purpose – Instead of emphasizing what you do as a company; focus on why you do it. Forum for the Future’s, Stephanie Draper, argues that if companies are to move beyond incremental environmental change, they need to create a strong sense of purpose.
2. Display integrity at all times – Integrity creates trust, which in turn boosts morale and engagement. We all like to work with people we can trust. So, as an individual and organization, keep your promises and act from your highest self at all times. If you make a mistake, admit it and never back away from doing what’s right.
3. Create a stimulating workplace – Whether it’s providing breakout spaces to socialize and collaborate or offering healthier food options, or onsite yoga classes or individualized training sessions, make the office a place your employees come to where they feel connected, empowered and productive.
4. Build engagement and connection – Find out what your employees are most passionate about and then create opportunities/platforms where they can connect and feel a sense of belonging with others. Whether it’s volunteering for a favorite charity together or going out for group treks create a roster of regular events for people to connect with in an informal space.
5. Encourage a culture for a free and uninhibited flow of communication – Create a culture where people are not afraid of expressing their doubts, ideas, and concerns. Allow free flow of discussions without frequent interruption and judgment to enable participation from each team member. The report of the Columbia accident investigation board found that the Columbia space shuttle disaster could have been averted by NASA had it not ignored the valid concerns of low-level employees.
6. Offer opportunities for self-development – Instead of mandated standard training programs, take time to profile the individual skill set of every employee and then help to bridge the performance gaps. An organization that provides a good learning environment with an emphasis on identifying and nurturing individual skills is more likely to have a motivated workforce.
7. Define clear end objectives and guidelines – Based on Gallup’s work with companies worldwide, only about half of the employees strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work. Once you set clear goals, ensure everyone is clear about their individual role, relative priority, and timing of that goal, as well as the team’s role in reaching it.
8. Don’t micromanage – Bosses tend to micromanage when they fear accountability from their team members. And this distrust further builds an expectation of poor performance from employees, creating a vicious cycle of bad outcomes. The best solution is to hire the right people, set clear goals and then let them figure out the best way to achieve them.
9. Foster creativity – Each one of us is born with special talents and abilities. People feel most productive when they are working on a project which actualizes their creative potential.
10. Acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate – We all seek approbation and praise. Hence, take time out to pinpoint, share and celebrate individual successes with the entire team. This not only builds individual confidence and self-esteem but also nurtures a sense of belonging and connection.
11. Resolve issues promptly – Do not allow tensions, altercations or differences in opinion to linger or fester. Resolve the issues promptly by taking a fair overview of individual viewpoints, and then taking just action – giving a clear basis for the action taken. And ideally, address all such issues behind closed doors. Do not rebuke an employee in a public forum.