Managers can promote camaraderie, and create a space where both team and personal development is encouraged and expected in any office or industry. Managers just need to learn the do’s and don’ts of inspiring their employees.
Discuss Career Paths
Excitement naturally stems from growth and investment, so honestly discussing job paths with employees is important. Talk to them about their goals for the future as well as their passions. What is their ideal job, and what are the next steps they can take to get there?
Be transparent and proactive by creating detailed career paths and opportunities for promotions. Let employees know that after their first year, they will have opportunities to move up. And they will have opportunities to move up after that, as long as they continue to show growth and a desire for leadership.
Create Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Goals
A lot of people just show up to work and follow basic job descriptions. How do you inspire them to think outside of the box, try harder, and put in the extra time and effort? One way to do this is through goal setting. Sit down with employees and create goals together. Get their input and push them to complete reasonable goals that stretch your team and employees.
I spoke with Paul Thatcher, VP of Human Resources at Jive Communications, and he explained how creating weekly, monthly, and yearly goals has had a huge impact on Jive’s bottom line, their employee and customer retention, and their NPS score (which at 68, puts them in a class with other customer service superstars such as Apple, Amazon, and Netflix). According to Thatcher, the key is for managers to set aside time every week to speak to their team members in a one-on-one setting and create and follow-up on goals.
Implement an Open Door Policy
Managers are busy, but they shouldn’t consistently be too busy to help manage their team, listen to new ideas, answer pressing questions, or provide encouragement. Many great managers have implemented an open door policy that lets employees know that they can always stop and talk if they’re not on an important phone call or in the middle of a time-sensitive task. Fostering open communication at all levels lets employees know that they are valued. So remember to keep your door open as often as possible, and encourage your team to come to you with questions or great ideas.
Encourage New Ideas in a Safe Environment
Individual ideas and expression should be encouraged. Let employees know that if they have a brilliant new idea, you’re willing to listen. Whether they have input on their job, product, or marketing ideas listen. According to Henry from babys.reviews It’s more detrimental to discourage or ignore new ideas than it is to set aside time and hear someone out. You may even consider holding regular team building activities that are followed up with a collaborative idea session where your team can throw out ideas in a judgement-free zone.
Even more important, show employees that you’re willing to implement good ideas. If they see a way the company can do something smarter, better, bigger, or more efficiently, why not give it a whirl? And this will only encourage more innovation and incoming ideas.
Make a Difference Outside the Office
For managers to set their teams up for success, they need to create an environment of trust, productivity, and positivity. An effective way for managers to create this kind of in-office environment is by working outside the office. Research from the University of Georgia shows that employee volunteering is linked to greater workplace satisfaction and productivity. Employees who volunteer feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically. So ask your team what causes they’re passionate about, and then offer opportunities to get out and serve in ways that are meaningful to them. As you do this, you will generate excitement, create a greater sense of purpose, and improve employee retention.
Send Out Employee Surveys
Anonymous surveys are a great way to gauge employee happiness. They give employees an outlet where they can safely share opinions and give feedback and ideas. Managers should set up surveys, read every single comment, and try to make changes based on what their employees want. And don’t skip out on essay questions. These fields are great ways to fill any additional gaps in your survey and offer some of the best insight and advice.
Showing recognition and celebrating employees’ efforts and successes can never be stressed enough. Let them know you appreciate them and are thankful for all of their hard work. You may even consider offering tangible rewards like swag or gift cards to employees who reach a long-term goal. Because every employee is unique, managers should spend time getting to know their team members and understanding how they like to be recognized—whether it’s through praise, a gift, or even a simple note.
A great culture starts at the top and works its way down. If you want inspired employees, ready to tackle new projects and innovate within their field, you need great leadership.
Whether or not you’re happy with your culture and leadership, there is always room for improvement. Whether you manage one person or a team of people, it’s important to create a space where employees not only feel safe and happy but inspired. Show your employees that you want the best for them and for the company as a whole by hiring good leadership, and then by sending out surveys, showing constant recognition, creating goals, offering service opportunities, encouraging new ideas, and building out career paths. It’s never too late to improve the office with a little inspiration.