There are probably few if any people in leadership who don’t aspire to have a happy team. But what does it take to keep people motivated? Especially these days, when most people are working long hours and have so much to do, there are steps you can take to help ensure your team is happy (and, since the two go hand in hand, motivated). Here’s a list, compiled from the workshops I facilitate, of what fuels the happiest teams
1. A happy team has a supportive leader. A happy team has a leader who is engaged and supportive—and leaders with that style will go much further than either micromanagers or aloof directors. People are much more willing to go the extra mile if they know their team leader is willing to roll their sleeves up and pitch in when necessary. They need to know their leader is someone they can count on when the going gets tough.
2. A happy team has an inclusive culture. One key to a happy team is to create an environment where people feel free to discuss ideas openly and to disagree with each other before reaching consensus—or, at the very least, a compromise that everyone can live with. If the culture is right, the conversation will be honest and the communication will find common ground. Make sure your team atmosphere is one where new ideas are welcomed, healthy debate is encouraged and everyone works toward the same goals of trust, respect and success.
3. A happy team has opportunities for learning. When team members feel that the organization and leadership are invested in their career, they feel valued—which in turn makes them feel happier and more productive, innovative and creative. Team members are also invigorated by feeling that they’re growing and not just standing still. Extend as many opportunities as possible for learning and professional development.
4. A happy team has up-to-date tools that work well. Teams work at their best when they know they’re equipped to do their job properly. Tools that are outdated or that don’t work well make the workplace stressful and frustrating. When setting goals for your team, make sure that they have the tools and training to accomplish they need.
5. A happy team has ongoing feedback and clear communication. Good communication skills build trusting relationship and cultivate happy people. That means you need to be as skilled at listening as at speaking and writing. Allocate ongoing time for feedback, making sure communication is honest, truthful and straightforward. Teamwork thrives in an environment where communication is valued.
6. A happy team knows mistakes are acceptable. While you should be able to expect consistently high performance from your team, mistakes and errors are inevitable. A positive working culture is one where employees are not made to feel that a mistake is unacceptable or fatal. The best teams make mistakes—and then learn from them. Avoid blaming or shaming people when they make a mistake.
7. A happy team receives appreciation and recognition. When your team does something above and beyond, something unexpected, something that impresses you—express appreciation and recognition as loudly and publically as possible. It’s a no-brainer: making people feel valued it one of the easiest things you can do to foster a positive workplace culture and a happy team.
Everyone in the organization, from the top down, is responsible for designing and building a positive environment and culture where people can be happy, where everyone makes a contribution, where everyone counts.
Lead from within: Happy people make happy teams, and happy teams know what they want and how to navigate toward it together.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
THE LEADERSHIP GAP
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.