Leadership is too often perceived as an innate quality in rare individuals when it is, in actuality, a skill set than any individual can develop with time and effort. These skills are deeply rooted in motivation because the nature of leadership is helping people believe in the importance of their actions. Accordingly, studies have repeatedly shown that employees place great value on meaningful work and the leaders who help them enact it. This process of helping people see their value and so creating motivation can be broken down into a few aspects of teamwork.
The strongest of leaders brings deep reserves of energy, passion, and positive energy to teamwork. This comes from the balancing of work and the rest of one’s life through supportive relationships and healthy lifestyle, including exercise and reflection. It is the leader’s job to model such balance and demonstrate the importance of individuals within the organization, especially in valuing employee integrity.
They should also demonstrate excellent communication, whether through impactful words or attentive listening. Being always open to dialogue, feedback, and problem-solving are all essential to strong leadership. As the leader, you should help all team members become advanced problem-solvers through mentoring and encouragement.
The next step is to encourage employee participation in decision-making, mainly to demonstrate the value of individual expertise. This is because so much of motivation comes down to one’s quality of life at work – something that is directly associated with leader effectiveness. Some ways to achieve greater participation include:
- sharing information
- creating opportunities for informal leadership
- and providing increasing responsibilities.
In fact, the model for dealing with employee recommendation has shifted toward a more interactive one in recent history, with an emphasis on cultivating dialogues and on valuing employee perspectives on change.
Perhaps the most powerful form of motivation is to connect team members with their end users. For most companies, this translates into illustrating impacts through face-to-face meetings, reviews from satisfied customers, statistics on the impacts of products and services, and other feedback. While some may find such practices difficult to leverage, they provide a simple yet powerful way to maintain motivation.
Another method is to invite one’s target audience or consumer base into the workplace to meet employees and give feedback on products and/or services. One might also encourage employees to become end users themselves and so provide additional feedback and understanding. The goal remains the same – to take advantage of unlimited, free feedback and give team members a good reason to work hard.
While demonstrating impacts is essential to cultivating motivation, rewards help prevent mental or actual absence. In particular, intangible rewards like informal leadership positions and tangible ones like promotions can be used separately or in combination to attract employees and maintain productivity, especially in teams.
In placing such value on individual actions, you can also imbue employees’ work with a strong sense of accountability. Team members will thus expect fair treatment in terms of accountability, including compensation and punishment for one’s actions. In recognizing the importance of both motivation and obligation, employees grow closer to becoming leaders themselves.
Effective leaders and employees alike are always continuing to learn and grow through teamwork in order to create and participate in meaningful work experiences. People need to achieve, develop, and grow, but it is the leader’s responsibility to appreciate individual skills and abilities in assigning and motivating work. Share this post with your fellow leaders and team members to help spread awareness of these key factors in cultivating motivation in teamwork.