As a manager or a leader, you're responsible for the success of your team. But more than that, you're there to support the individuals that make up that team. Leaders go wrong time and time again by failing to appreciate the power of investing in their people. So how do you nurture your staff into being their best selves at work? Read on to find out what we think works.
Give them a purpose
First things first, you need to get everyone working towards the same goal. It’s hard to manage a team with individuals who are working to their own agendas and who can’t agree on a common goal. You want your team to feel that they're valued members of the organisation and that they're a part of its success. You can do this by helping your team to understand what your organisation is trying to achieve - and why - and then helping them to see how they can contribute.
Never underestimate the power of praise! It's easy to be caught up in your own work but taking the time to give recognition where it is due is essential to good leadership. Balance this by ensuring that poor performance is addressed. And remember that everyone responds differently and needs different kinds of appreciation. Be aware of your people need - at an individual and team level - and encourage them appropriately. It can make a difference between a happy employee and one who leaves.
It isn’t just the relationship between you and your team members that's important. The relationship the team has with each other is also crucial. A workplace where the team doesn’t see eye-to-eye can be toxic and lead quickly to dissatisfaction and poor performance. Start by establishing clear roles for each member. Without this, you can end up breeding confusion and power dynamics that shouldn’t be there. Encourage your team to share information in regular team meetings and assign team tasks to encourage individuals to work together towards the same goal.
Support them in challenges
It’s healthy to encourage people to step outside their comfort zone. It’s not healthy to push them too hard when they’re not ready or just expect them to get on with it on their own. Encouraging people to take on new challenges is a fantastic way to support their professional and personal growth, so build approaches and systems that provide opportunities with the right training and support. Remember that not all people relish change, so be ready to give the guidance they might need.
Flexible working is becoming more and more popular amongst employees and their organisations as it promotes a healthy work-life balance. Leaders are recognising that clock watching and enforced working hours do not promote productivity and can lead to resentful staff. It's time to accept that we're all wired a bit differently and need different things to make us tick! By introducing flexible working, you'll allow your staff to find a schedule that works best for them, promoting their productivity and reducing their stress levels. You'll also find that your organisation will become more attractive to the best people and better able to keep them. So embrace flexible working as an essential part of your approach.
Keep your door open
And finally, the best way to support your staff is simply by being there for them. Sometimes chatting over ideas, plans of action or voicing a problem is the most effective thing you can do to support your team. Micromanaging isn't productive. But being patient with the people who are in your team helps them grow. If you’re out of the office a lot at meetings or other trips, then schedule in some time each week where your staff know they can catch-up with you if they need to talk.
Remember, it’s not an overnight fix. Creating successful teams, with happy and productive individuals, needs continuous care. Relish your role as a leader and take the time to nurture those relationships that will make your team work.
Do you need an extra helping hand with staff engagement? We have experience in supporting teams back to health after restructures or a change of direction and can help you build a positive and constructive environment. Get in touch today. We'd be delighted to explore how we can help.