Leaders are born, not made. A team is only as good as its leader.
Leadership is a quality one cannot easily acquire, one has to be pro-active, confident, open-minded and most importantly, a good communicator. For an HR, leadership is a must. What comes along with it is to ensure that your team stays constantly motivated. No matter how efficient or how good or how resourceful a leader is, he is nothing without his team. Here are a few pointers to keep your team up and about for any task:
There’s an assumption that leader’s usually make, that all people are motivated by exactly the same things, which is simply not true! For some its money, for others, its recognition, it’s important to know what keeps your team motivated, there is no better way to do this than communicate with your team. Move away from the formal modes of communication, the email only perpetuates an air of authority, have real conversation with your team. Get to know them beyond their jobs, have real face to face conversations or munch on after meetings. You’ll learn what motivates them and how best to get them to put in their best effort. Maybe cutting down working hours, allowing work from home or giving a salary bonus, will make the team far more productive than it already is! But the boss will never know this unless he communicates with his team. Remember, there is no ‘I’ in a team.
Another way to ensure that you continue to get good results is to acknowledge good effort. Applaud your team on every successful endeavor. Give them the credit they deserve. Be genuine, so they know you mean it and are willing to work harder.
Sometimes teams tend to have a lot of inbuilt confusion. This is usually because individual team members often do not have clear cut definitions of their roles and responsibilities. Ensure that each member knows what he or she brings to the team, there must be a definitive connection between each member’s role and the team’s ultimate goal.
A good team is one that does not consider personal ambition over team spirit. Unity in a team is of utmost significance. Team building activities have to be encouraged for the whole team.
Lead by example. Give your team an ideal to look-up to. Build up trust in your team, so they follow your lead. Discuss strategies with your team, keep them in the loop, and notify them of impending change. This ensures that your team trusts you and is willing to listen to you, as long as they are heard too.
It’s never a harm to create some friendly competition within your team members. This not only gives incentive to prove their worth, but also helps individuals feel appreciated. It’s when this friendly competition begins to become real competition, the problem comes. A leader must always know where the line must be drawn. He must have enough authority to resolve any team related disputes to ensure the harmony of the team.
Workplaces tend to get hectic and stressful. A stressed out team automatically becomes less productive. It is important to find ways to have fun while working. Provide short breaks during work time, encourage socialization away from work hours. Get coffee for your team, or cook breakfast or organize parties to celebrate success. After all, all work and no play make jack a dull boy.
Be open to criticism, at the same time don’t be a pushover. It is absolutely essential to know how and when to display authority. A team that works together correcting each other is a team that goes ahead. Keep success and progress as your primary goals, then criticism becomes just another stepping stone of success.
It usually becomes dull and boring to have regular meetings in the same place at the same time every day. It’s usually productive to have important discussions early in the morning or just before lunch, that’s when people bring the maximum of their cognitive ability to the table. Ling meetings that stretch for hours together are never a good idea. We tend to drift off or lose focus midway and it ends up being a waste of time. Instead, have short meetings, and often. This not only keeps your team in touch but also gets the maximum ideas and solutions out of every meeting. Meeting in unconventional places, over coffee, over dinner, etc can also help if the office space gets too routine and mono chromatic.
Another important quality is to empathize with your team; after all, they too are people. Have respect in your team’s abilities. Have confidence in their abilities. Some of the greatest leaders in history, like Steve Jobs, the CEO of apple, never stopped pushing his team to work harder, until he was convinced there was nothing better. Apple today is a company known for its cutting edge design and its knack for delivering products we don’t even know we want. There are several anecdotes of how Jobs built an entire network of top notch software professionals, whose only goal is to deliver the best they can. Sometimes, having a charismatic personality, and good oratory skills help a lot in building influence.
Staying motivated in today’s economy and work reality can be difficult for anyone. But when you take responsibility for motivating yourself and others, you become a true inspiration and can better reach your goals. As a result, your vision, your potential and your efforts all leave a mark.
We spend half our lives working, nobody wants to come home and crib about a bad manager or an unsupportive team. When you are all mired deep in work, morale is low, and energy levels are fading, recognize that everyone needs a break now and then. Acknowledge the work that everyone has dedicated and commend the team on each of their efforts. Make sure you provide the best environment to work in and be rest assured, your team will work wonders!