With all the challenges of remote working and the Great Resignation, leaders are feeling the pressure to keep their teams motivated and engaged. Whilst HR professionals are responsible for setting up an infrastructure of the right tools and practices, it is managers that are crucial to bringing them to life. It is thus imperative for leaders to build a cohesive, bottom-up work culture that engages every member of the team and ensures that every employee is seen and appreciated.
Strong teams are built on a culture of ownership, transparency, and growth and here are 4 practices leaders should employ to make them happen.
Encourage collaboration, not competition
Whilst for some teams, workplace competition can drive motivation and engagement, for most, it often goes too far, leading to stress and disengagement. Unhealthy competition often reinforces the mentality that everyone in the team is an island – disconnected from the rest of the group. Managers need to combat this by bringing their teams together to focus on the same collective goal.
This can be done in sales teams, for example, by adopting a sales without commission model that recognises that bringing a new customer is a team effort, not just a one-person role (and should be measured accordingly). These types of measures can help encourage people to want to be successful not just in the company, but as a collaborator within their team.
Fostering this environment can also be done through consistent contact with all members ‘ not just for the sake of checking in, but with the aim of seeing how you can help your team to expand the business and themselves. Recognising the hopes of each team member and making steps towards making them happen can inspire greater enthusiasm and quality of work.
Enable employee internal mobility
Encouraging employee mobility across the company also reinforces the benefits of collaboration and investment in growth. In a quickly changing world, leaders should encourage employees to take on new opportunities within the company, growing horizontally or vertically depending on their career goals.
Exploring different career paths in the same company helps people feel like they are developing and managing their career successfully without the added stress of changing companies. As employees learn new tools, acquire new skills, reskill, and up-skill, it can substantially reduce attrition and enhance engagement in the team – making it stronger and more resilient.
Give room for mistakes as part of the learning process
We all make mistakes in our daily lives, but in the workplace, mistakes often feel much more damaging than they actually are. As a result, a team member who feels vulnerable in the company may berate themselves to the point of not taking any risks in the future. Creating an environment where people are allowed to learn from their mistakes is, therefore, an essential part of creating a strong, resilient team.
Even leaders make mistakes and by acknowledging their own errors, managers can build trust and enhance transparency. Leading by example in this way also serves to help workers feel more comfortable conceding and analysing their own missteps.
Celebrate the success of your team
We often overlook how important it is for people to feel successful, not only as part of the bigger company but as part of their team that knows them so well. Celebrating achievements throughout a team is perhaps one of the most important management initiatives. Purposeful recognition in front of the whole team makes people want to not only be a part of the team but also want to be successful in it.
Team meetings should provide the right environment to give and receive recognition to each team member, by creating dedicated communication channels for celebration, weekly team meetings, monthly gatherings etc. This intentional way of celebrating employees can fuel their journey to achieving the next goal.
In this highly competitive market, it is a challenge to build and maintain a coherent and satisfied team. But, by skilfully utilising these four practices leaders can both stay in sync with their employees and be one step ahead of the competition.