Many leaders see an employee’s loyalty and commitment to the company as a quality the employee should possess right from the start, but that’s simply not a realistic image of today’s talent. Valuable work comes from people who know how valuable they are, and when they commit to bringing their best work, it’s because they can see how much their organization and their leaders will value it.
Inspiring motivation and commitment often go hand in hand, but the strategies that foster loyalty run deeper than getting someone psyched up for the moment. An employee’s commitment to their work requires constant communication from leadership about the organization’s direction and purpose. It means paying attention to how their unique abilities and personality align with company values and culture, and showing them that their value is more than a pricetag.
Committed teams have leaders who highly regard each employee’s intrinsic worth.
To be a leader who inspires commitment, think through these points and ask yourself (and your team, too!) which areas you’re strong in and what you can do to improve in others.
Praise achievements openly
Whether they’re big or small, one-time or incremental improvements, make it a habit to give praise where praise is due. Don’t assume your employees know when they’re doing a good job.
Their work may be high quality to you, but unless they are told so, it can be easy to slip into thought patterns that their work isn’t good enough or valuable to the company. They’ll be more motivated and committed when they know where they stand on performance. Don’t wait for performance reviews though. Continual, informal feedback makes a huge difference in mindsets.
Advocate for your team
Along with letting your employees know where they stand with performance on a regular basis, it’s in your hands to let others know how their work is making a difference in the company. Upper management may be far removed from what your team does day to day, so as the team’s leader, it’s important for you to communicate their impact.
Whether it’s recommending them for a promotion to another department or recognizing a common need among employees that leadership is unaware of, you have the power to build a stronger team by advocating for them.
Treat every employee consistently
Playing favorites is a quick way to demotivate an entire team, but it’s not always easy to recognize if you’re doing it, especially if you were good friends with certain colleagues before becoming their manager. Making sure you’re fair and consistent in your treatment of every employee is one of the ways you as a leader need feedback from your team.
This is a matter of perspectives, so to see theirs, you have to ask. This could potentially be a touchy issue, so bringing it up in a team meeting probably isn’t the best way to get genuine feedback. An anonymous survey would work better if you’re serious about finding out what your team thinks.
These are just a few practices to evaluate yourself on how well you’re building commitment. For more ways to become the inspiring leader your team needs, check out this 1-minute preview of “LEAD NOW!: Inspiring Commitment” from The BizLibrary Collection here: