If you want a motivated team, you need to be a motivated leader.
As someone who has been both in a leadership role and relied on others to guide me, I've noticed two huge aspects every leader should practice every single day. Demonstrating certain traits will help keep your employees inspired, and allow you to avoid accidentally creating a toxic work environment.
Here are two key traits to focus on that will help create a workplace that propels employees to stay motivated and show up to work as their best selves:
1. Good communication skills.
Your team can't read your mind, so you need to speak up and share your ideas. Great leaders should always be working on their communication skills because every single individual has different communication strategies that they positively (and negatively) respond to.
According to the Center for Creative Leadership, "Communication is a core leadership function... You need to think with clarity, express ideas, and share information with a multitude of audiences. You must learn to handle the rapid flows of information within the organization, and among customers, partners, and other stakeholders and influencers.".
Powerful leaders inspire, advise, and sometimes have to reprimand their employees. To do this you need to be able to speak to each of these circumstances. Have you ever had a boss that didn't give you much instruction and then blew up in your face when you completed the task not to their liking? It's not a productive or motivating way to instruct or discipline someone.
Prioritize healthy communication and do your best to ensure your employees are fully aware of what is being expected of them.
Part of this means being able to listen to your employee's feedback. If you have a coworker who is struggling, have a conversation about it and find out why. This ensures that everybody is on the same page at all times.
It also can empower your employees to reach out and get assistance when needed. Or in some cases, it can inspire them to go above and beyond what is asked of them once they get an understanding of the bigger picture. Leading means providing the vision, instruction, and feedback that will allow your employees to do their best job.
I once worked for a CEO who spent a lot of their time complaining about the company, its procedures and its board members.These continuous complaints formed a company culture that propelled a negative mindset.
That is not a productive way to be a leader. Instead, leaders should be enthusiastic about the work cut out for both themselves and their team members When you lead with enthusiasm, you lead by example. You set a tone that says "anything is possible."
Richard St. John spent 10 years researching 500 successful people in an array of industries to answer one question "what makes someone successful?". In his study, he found eight key traits that help someone on their journey to success, the first being passion. This is just as true for leaders. To be a successful leader you need to be passionate. And when you're passionate, you're enthusiastic.
This energy can be contagious and inspiring to employees. Work can be hard, draining, and frankly sometimes even depressing. As a leader, you need to be the one to continue to ignite their passion for the job-- even on tough days.
For example, if you want your sales team to drown out rejection and only focus on getting the sales, you need to celebrate each sale made. I had a friend who worked at a recruiting company where every time someone closed a deal the ran up in front of everyone and hit a gong while the song of their choice played.
This got not only the employee on the spot hyped, but boosted the energy of the entire sales team. Finding powerful ways to be enthusiastic will boost your employee's enthusiasm for the job.