Your guide to a thriving work environment that furthers development
“How can I improve as a leader?” This is a common question among business owners. There are numerous things that leaders can do to improve their leadership skills, but one of the most important is to increase employee engagement and company morale – which many people overlook.
A leader understands that their success is frequently dependent on the performance of those around them and collaborates with others – as one team.
Leaders motivate and inspire their followers to achieve more than they ever imagined possible, which is why it is critical for them to have an ethical compass to guide them through difficult decisions.
Leadership skills are essential for staying on top, but they do not always translate into improved performance.
Employee engagement is tricky because it’s difficult to tell when it’s high enough or if you’re even on the right track. Leaders in all industries are constantly looking for ways to increase employee engagement, but they often don’t know where to begin.
#1 Promote a positive work culture of openness, honesty, and transparency
Many people have attempted to define work culture as a catch-all term for social norms, attitudes, atmospheres, and belief systems. A well-established positive culture can influence a company’s overall performance and whether it will meet its objectives.
A positive workplace culture will make all employees feel safe, valued, and appreciated as they collaborate to achieve a common goal.
Certain individuals thrive in a social environment, while others require solitude and constructive feedback on their actions. What’s most important for organizational managers or leaders? Let me explain: Find out how each employee wants to communicate and if verbal communication works best with visual signals or not. This information can help you to adapt your teamwork so that everybody feels committed at all levels.
While this requires additional involvement and time investment, the results will speak for themselves as your employees will feel more recognized and appreciated.
By not treating everyone the same, you can cultivate an environment conducive to human flourishing.
Increasing honesty requires the establishment of an environment conducive to candid feedback. Employees should be fearless of retaliation or retribution and should know that their opinions are considered rather than dismissed as an inconvenience. However, this also implies that a leader should be able to admit their own errors and set an example of integrity.
This creates a sense that your employees are cared for, and the result is more loyalty to you as their leader.
While increasing transparency within a business may appear difficult, it frequently boils down to advanced communication skills. It’s about moving away from the traditional boss-employee relationship and toward a leader-teammate relationship. This is not to say that you will lose your authority and respect; on the contrary, you may gain more than you had previously.
Making your employees feel like they’re a part of the team can begin with a discussion of goals and key objectives and valuing their input. When your employees, who have now become team members, feel more validated and integrated, they will exhibit increased loyalty and morale – they will want your company to succeed because it means success for them.
Along with integration, validation is critical for increasing motivation and recognition. When a leader expresses gratitude to his or her high-performing team members, it boosts morale in the workplace.
We frequently underestimate the power of recognition on an individual’s productivity and self-esteem.
Three distinct types of praise exist, with personal praise being the most validating. In comparison to written and electronic praise, personal praise carries a greater sense of authenticity and sincerity.
My tip: When meeting with your team, make time to express gratitude for their efforts and appreciation. With this, take care to include everyone, so that no one feels excluded.
Written praise, such as recommendation letters, letters of appreciation, or notes for special occasions, is regarded as beneficial for a person’s future. It does not have to be lengthy but should highlight an individual’s accomplishments – this can make all the difference in someone’s life and professional self-worth.
Similar to written praise, it can be as simple as forwarding positive e-mails from clients or leadership – this is an effective method of motivating employees and letting them know their efforts are not going unnoticed.
#2 Encourage creativity and innovation
By providing employees with the appropriate tools, you can foster creativity and innovation. This can range from brainstorming sessions to fostering an environment that encourages taking calculated risks, exploring new ideas, and initiating conversations about how their jobs or company could be improved. Additionally, a creative work culture removes barriers for employees to express their ideas about how they would like things to be done differently,enhancing their integration and sense of validation.
My tip: Encourage your team’s personal development by providing constructive feedback and investigating internal training programs. This encourages growth and makes it easier for them to identify areas for improvement.
This is because the more people feel they can contribute and share their perspectives, the higher their level of engagement.
Numerous gifted individuals lack a sense of belonging and are unaware of their own potential and abilities. Businesses must channel their employees in these instances, as they may uncover hidden talent and thus improve company performance.
While you may believe it is not a part of your repertoire, you may be overlooking hidden gems.
While investing in your team may seem overwhelming and enormous, consider it an opportunity for long-term gains. By investing in your people, you will increase morale, which will result in higher retention and engagement rates than any other option available – who doesn’t want to keep good employees?
By investing in your employees, you can help them find meaning at work by demonstrating that their contributions matter. This again boosts morale while simultaneously increasing happiness and self-worth, as employees realize their input is valued. Many individuals believe they are easily replaceable, which frequently results in negative thoughts and decreased performance as a result of low self-worth.
While you may believe that you are not responsible for your employees’ mental health, consider this: the more you invest in making people feel important – truly appreciated, and valued – the more they will do for you – and their morale will skyrocket.
#3 Offer a flexible work schedule
Many business owners struggle to transition from traditional methods to more modern ones in order to provide their employees with greater flexibility and rights. Many are concerned about losing their authority or respect if they allow too much freedom – or, worse, if their employees take advantage and performance suffers. The reality, however, is quite the opposite.
Micromanagement is the demise of any workspace, as it robs employees of their autonomy – particularly when it comes to work styles.
Business owners tend to forget about their own early struggles: micromanagement and a lack of trust. They forget what it was like to be distrusted and constantly monitored – that oppressive feeling that drained their energy reserves. Does this sound familiar? Consider this: Would you hire someone if you lacked confidence in their judgment or time management abilities? Almost certainly, your response would be no, you would not.
Employee morale is determined by employee flexibility and autonomy, according to studies. They reported gender differences, with women preferring more control over their schedules and locations, while men preferred to be able to manage their tasks and projects independently of their superiors.
As with communication and creativity, the emphasis should be on providing unique opportunities rather than centralized policies.
While it may seem counterintuitive to give employees more control over their work schedules, consider incorporating it as a reward and appreciation system. When someone begins to perform above your expectations in terms of results and work ethic – why not reward them with increased autonomy?
It’s a well-known fact that people’s productivity varies throughout the day, peaking at various times. This may be early in the morning for some, while others are most alert later in the afternoon or evening.
Some examples of flexibility you can provide employees with include changing the lunch hour to multiple unstructured breaks throughout the day or offering a less structured workday. Additionally, you might allow employees who prefer less structure in their days some scheduling flexibility (i.e., a rotating set-up or specific mandatory hours such as 11 am to 3 pm). Or by giving them more control over the tasks they complete each week, which has been shown to improve employee engagement and teamwork abilities. Additionally, this improves people’s leadership and time management skills, as well as their confidence in their abilities.
As you read this, you may begin to feel overwhelmed by the possibilities for change in your business. However, if you scale at a comfortable pace and increase as your trust grows, you will gradually experience a less overwhelming sensation.
Peace is found when one relinquishes control over their team members, it also helps them maintain their composure during difficult times.
One of the most difficult tasks for a leader is creating an environment in which all team members can thrive and exceed their own expectations. However, these three tips, which are based on fundamentals such as communication and uniqueness (#1), advancing creativity and innovation (#2), and returning autonomy and trust (#3), can help your company achieve sustainable growth.