3 Ways to Inspire a Worn-out Team
A non-expensive way to get positive energy into your team
Positive energy is really a thing. No one wants to work in an environment of negativity. However, some do work in terrible environments due to the fact that they cannot afford to leave their jobs.
In a situation where you are the company head or leader of some sort, you can design the environment you work in. It is possible to have positive energy radiating in your work environment. This will certainly result in a better quality product or service delivered. And that helps your customers stay customers and easily recommend your product.
In the lifespan of every business or venture, there are trying times. In many cases, it happens at the beginning stages. How to manage the circumstances at the early stage of a business is too important; in this case, the employees or team members.
First, getting people to work for you on a startup can be challenging. There are different kinds of workers in this regard:
- Those who want to do it for the money. They have no other option or they need the extra money you are willing to pay
- Those who want to do it for the experience. They have a vision of doing something similar in the future or perhaps they just want to enrich their CV
- Those who do it to help you because they know you on a personal basis
- Those who do it because they see a bright future for the product or service
- Those who are doing it on the recommendation of a third party (for any of the above 4 reasons)
Each category of these people are different and cannot be inspired or motivated the same way. For example, more pay would motivate those in category 1 but it may not move others in the other category. This shows that the best way to inspire the team is to speak to their reason for being in the venture and allow them to convince themselves.
There are a few things everybody has in common. One of it is the desire to be significant. This is quite different from being useful. A person can be useful in a place and not feel significant. Some can even suppress the need and desire to be significant but as a leader, you can awaken it.
First way to inspire your workforce is to listen (and make others listen) to each person speak their mind (on what they’re passionate about)
The impact of listening to people cannot be overstated. Have you ever worked in a place where your boss sat down, made everyone quiet just to listen to you? It can be so soothing. And it really doesn’t necessarily have to do with the job or work. Just give your team members the platform to express themselves while giving them rapt attention and forcing everyone else to pay attention.
Why is this so powerful? It is because the best person to encourage and motivate you is you. This is why a leader who listens commands more respect than one who just commands and never listens. Sit down and listen to the triggers of those who work for you. And also, understand where they stand in the classification made above, so you can know how to push buttons that get to their heart.
Second way to inspire is to give temporary leadership roles to each member of the team
This is suited particularly for those who are in for the experience. However, generally speaking, if you explain the purpose of the exercise to the team and they get it, it will be a major source of inspiration. How? It’s simple! Leadership experience is one anyone would like to talk about especially when they are given the opportunity for the first time. Their performance as a leader can help them become more focused and committed.
An exercise like this must cut across all members of the team. Of course, there are those who won’t be happy at all with having to do more work. Perhaps those who are in for the money. In that case, you can add a financial bonus based on how the other members rate the temporary leader. In some organizations where this idea of temporary leadership cannot be practiced, basic leadership tasks can be used. The idea is that they must be tasks that the workers look up to, so they can appreciate the opportunity.
Before I move to the last point, it is important to note that taking up any of these methods while you underpay those who work for you will not give any good result. The pay is important and you should never play games with it. That is basic leadership common sense.
The third way to inspire your team members is to follow their suggestion
It looks so simple, but yet very difficult for many to do. In many places, leaders ask their team for ideas and suggestions. But in most of the cases, the leaders are just looking for validation for what they want to do. It’s good for the leader to make clear-cut decisions but asking a worker for validation is not making the worker feel inclusive. That is authoritarian. There is nothing wrong in some things being like that, but there is a problem if everything is like that.
Once a man asked me for a suggestion to run an organization. I sat down and designed a lovely template stating what I feel should be done and why. I packaged it well and sent it over. None of my suggestions was applied. The man made me feel I had wasted my time. And since then, I never gave him a piece of my time again. If you are not going to use a suggestion, don’t ask for it.
The idea here is to follow the suggestion of a team member and give credit to the one who suggested it. If possible and if the member is willing, let them execute the suggestion themselves. For example, if you want to do Christmas decorations at the office and you have a small budget and then you mention it to the team. And someone has an idea for a beautiful Christmas tree that decoration that sounds lovely and within budget, follow the suggestion.
If you are asking for validation, it is based on a decision you are about to make. Never be the one whose suggestion will be taken after you ask the team for a suggestion. Even if you eventually have a better idea than they all suggested, just because you have thrown it open, it must not be your idea that will be followed.
Another point here is that you should try not to merge two people’s suggestions together. If someone is suggesting an idea for a Christmas tree, don’t let any part of the Christmas tree be determined by someone else. Have faith in people. Can they disappoint? Yes! Especially at the early stages. But what you are buying is trust. Knowing that you trust them makes them committed to you in a very special way.
Inspiring people is easy once you know what they are after. Each person is triggered by different things. Your job as a leader is to find what those things are before it’s too late.
P.S. If you apply any of the methods here and they produce remarkable results for you, I’d like to hear about it.