Employees are a diverse bunch with varied interests. Each one has had a different taste of life and what motivates one might not motivate another. When handling a team, it can be quite difficult to get everyone on the same page and motivate them to give their best. Being a leader means much more than being a manager, not only one has to plan and organize tasks according to the strengths and capabilities of the team members; a leader also has to inspire motivation among them and get them to work as a team aiming for the betterment and growth of the company. Below are some of the tips to bring out the best in employees:
Establish clear goals, but let your employees find their own way to reach them
The people working for you must be intrigued by and interested in what they’re doing in order to be motivated and have an open mind towards improving the projects they’re working on. This can’t be achieved if you’re always looking over their shoulder and trying to micro-manage every aspect, not allowing any freedom in decision-making. People tend to become hesitant, uncomfortable and lack confidence in their work in these kinds of environments, which leads to little creativity and lost opportunity to find new innovations.
Monitor their work but remain at a distance
When your team is working to achieve the goals set out for them, you should keep tabs on how they’re progressing, but never go overboard. There’s a fine line between being interested in their progress and intruding on their personal approaches or trying to do their job for them. Allow them the freedom to work at their own pace and try not to force any methods. Listen to what they need and help them overcome any hurdles they might be facing.
Make your team’s job easier, not harder
If you want to maintain good morale and a positive outlook among your employees, be wary of criticising and controlling their efforts too much. It’s better to support and provide them with the necessary tools needed to succeed.
This helps remove hurdles from their progress as possible, helping them to achieve their goals as fast as possible. It also enhances their confidence, knowing that their manager is behind them and their ideas.
Try to be their advocate in the organization—you have the tools to make their work easier so that they can focus on the project at hand.
Create and separate idea-generation and idea-evaluation processes.
Both creating and evaluating ideas are paramount to the innovation process, so there are key steps that need to be taken in order to achieve success. Don’t make the common mistake of mixing idea generation and idea evaluation. This can have a detrimental effect on the innovation process. These two must be separated because they’re completely different processes.
The idea generation is a process that needs to focus on quantity—at this stage, there are no bad ideas. Simply put, it’s better to have fifteen ideas to choose from than five. Additionally, if an idea is shut down at its early stages, it’s not given a chance to develop into a potential breakthrough solution.
The idea evaluation process is quite different—it focuses on working with the pool of generated ideas and evaluating their positives and negatives, trying to figure out if an idea is feasible and is compliant to the organization’s resources, policies and long-term goals.
Praise effort and reward your team
Showing appreciation for the work ethic and professional integrity of your team will make them feel empowered. They will continue to produce high quality work and will pursue rewarded efforts. Encouraging them to progress and providing incentives along the way will demonstrate your leadership skills, while also helping them become a solid team and produce the best work possible.
The surest way to bring out the best in your team is to believe the best of them. That means starting with the assumption that they're going to rock every assignment, even if there's no evidence yet to support that optimism. This means trusting them with things you don't know they can do yet, reserving judgment, and then giving them honest feedback.
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