9 ways to inspire your team to bring their A-game every day
Career coaches weigh in with tips to keep your employees firing on all cylinders. Go team!
As the boss, it’s your job to lead your team to greatness. This doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a day-by-day process, which can wear down even the most enterprising employees. (Hey, it’s not called “the grind” for nothing.) So how do you keep your team motivated to consistently perform at peak level.
Monster asked nine career coaches for ways to keep your employees fired up to perform like champions every day. (Note: This will make you look awesome, too.)
Start by looking in the mirror
“The energy of the company begins with you. If you’re not excited and inspired, your employees won’t be either. As a leader, your mindset is your most important asset, so you have to continually work on it as part of your self-care regimen, just like exercise and eating well. Stay focused on solutions, and share your enthusiasm with your employees.” —Allison Maslan, author of Blast Off!: The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality, based in San Diego
Be a cheerleader, not just a coach
“When employees don’t bring their A-games to work, it’s often because they lack confidence in their abilities or don’t even know what they’re capable of achieving. Great leaders bring out greatness in their team because they see what is possible and transfer that belief to their people. Empower your people by letting them know you believe they can achieve their goals, do their best work, take on a new project or land a new client. Often your belief in them will directly affect their confidence in themselves.” —David Dye, author of The Seven Things Your Team Needs to Hear You Say and co-author of Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results — Without Losing Your Soul, based in Denver
“The old-school management technique of using negative reinforcement to drive results has been proven ineffective, and it also creates an unhealthy work environment for everyone. By leading your team with support and empathy, you will build a stronger relationship and increased rapport with your team. Your employees will step up to the plate and deliver at the next level.” —Dandan Zhu, CEO and Founder of Dandan Global, a career coaching service in New York City
Prioritize their health
“Healthier employees tend to have more endorphins flowing, work harder, get more done in many cases and feel happier. Offer healthy snacks in the break room, and encourage employees to take smoke-free breaks and get outside twice a day. If possible, offer [to subsidize] their gym memberships if they go at least 10 times a month.” —Jess Tiffany, president of Marketing and Networking University in Minneapolis
Pile on the positive feedback
“Overwhelm them with positive feedback—on the big things, little things, any chance you get. Most managers only give feedback when it’s negative or corrective, but they don’t give out the good stuff nearly as much as they think they do. Give at least three pieces of positive feedback for every piece of negative feedback.” —Karlyn Borysenko, principal at Zen Workplace in Boston
Get out of the way
“Leave employees alone. That might sound counterintuitive, but backing off is a great—and underutilized—way of motivating your team. Top performers want space to be their best, all the while feeling a real sense of trust from above.” —Lori Scherwin, founder of Strategize That in New York City
Remember your manners
“Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ go a long way. Saying ‘thank you’ is a specific and tangible way of letting your staff know that you know how much effort was put into the work being done and that you recognize the value of that effort. Employees who believe their work has value tend to take pride in what they are doing. They tend to want to contribute more, and the quality of their work is improved.” —Erica B. McCurdy, managing member of McCurdyLifeCoach.com in Atlanta
Keep your door open
“Proactively demonstrate your eagerness to support your team by maintaining a regular schedule of one-on-one time. When impromptu requests come up, regardless of how the day has gone or the deadlines looming, view it as an opportunity to empower your team members through feedback and support.” —Kendra Davies, owner of Stellar Life Coaching in Orlando
Make them part of the mission
“Make sure your leadership is aligned with the vision of the organization and that this vision is featured prominently and enthusiastically in all your leadership communications with your team. When employees have clarity and unity around their company's purpose, they understand how to prioritize their work, and they avoid wasting time on unfulfilling, inconsequential tasks. More importantly, they can see how the work they do each day contributes to something bigger and directly helps to advance the organization's goals.” —Seth Sinclair, leadership coach and co-founder of Modern da Vinci in Washington, D.C.