Employee Morale

4 Essentials for Inspiring Leadership

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Business owners get frustrated when their employees aren’t performing to their expectations. It could be any number of things -- from workers exhibiting lackluster energy and engagement on the job to chronically failing to reach agreed upon goals. Such behaviors display a lack of commitment and are often the result of employees not feeling motivated and inspired at the workplace. So how can we change this?

Related: How to Build a Booming Team of Satisfied, Motivated Employees

As you grow your company, having a committed team on your side means everything. Without that, you won’t see what levels of success are truly possible for your business. Here are a few tips that will help you to invigorate your employees, inspire them to do their very best work and have them wanting to maintain employment with your team.

1. It starts with you.

This is everyone’s least favorite reality check. If your employees are underperforming and disengaged, the first thing to do is look at yourself. The energy of the company begins with you. If you’re not excited and inspired, your employees won’t be either. What mood are you bringing into the workplace?

Generally, members of a team want to do a good job and want to earn your praise. But if they see that you’re stressed all the time, regardless of what they do, they may become unmotivated to work to the best of their capabilities. As a leader, you need to “aspire to inspire.” It’s your job to inspire others.

2. Have a “no whining” policy.

Of course, everyone has a bad day from time to time, and this tip is not to suggest that we don’t allow each other to be human. But remember, there is a time and a place for venting and the workplace should be neither. Ask everyone to focus on positivity and the work at hand -- and do so yourself. You’ll immediately eliminate an entire category of negativity at the workplace. Suggest that the whole team leave the drama at the door, shift their attitudes to positive ones and make each day the best it can be.

Related: There's Nothing Wrong With Going Off On a Rant -- as Long as You Do It Properly

3. Give employees a feeling of ownership.

When you are focused on work that you love, hours can go by in a blink of an eye, and you barely notice! Of course, your employees are never going to be quite as excited as you are about your business. It’s your baby, after all. But what if you could get them to be around 80 percent as excited as you are? That’s a pretty strong level of commitment! To accomplish this degree of personal investment, you’ve got to give employees a feeling of ownership.

Sit down personally with someone, one-on-one -- or have a team lead do so for very large groups -- and express how important a particular employee’s role is to the overall vision and mission of the company. Let them know that you can’t accomplish your goals without their crucial investment. Then, put it in their hands and ask how they feel they can best contribute.

Related: The Winning Formula: Creating The Kind Of Company People Love Working For

This is not to say that, as a leader, you don’t set goals and have expectations. Of course you do. However, engaging individually with each employee to make sure they understand your vision for the company and how important they are to the whole, then empowering them to suggest how they might best support the team -- that’s where their feeling of ownership comes in.

4. Show appreciation.

Go out of your way and make it a part of your daily routine to show appreciation to employees, even for small successes. When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to value their employment with you. Consider having a weekly meeting that’s entire purpose is to celebrate successes. Highlight individual and group achievements, and you will soon notice the effects of positive momentum spreading through your workplace.