Your employees are your biggest asset – show them you understand their worth, writes Rashan Dixon for Entrepreneur.
The key to being a good leader is understanding people.
“In today’s knowledge economy, the old adage that employees are your biggest asset rings true,” writes Rashan Dixon, co-founder of Techincon and Senior Business Consultant for Microsoft. “One of the most important things you can do as a leader is show your employees you understand this…”
HOW TO KEEP YOUR TEAM MOTIVATED
Here are Dixon’s three ways to motivate your team:
1) Help your employees chart a career path. Employees want to know that they are working towards a goal.
Research by the Work Institute shows lack of career development is the leading cause of employee turnover in the United States.
Schedule regular meetings to discuss your employees’ progress and career goals. A study by Quantum Workplace shows an increase in levels of engagement if you do this more than once per year.
Dixon advises that you “dial up your emotional intelligence” during these discussions and attempt to gauge how your employees are feeling.
Discuss your goals. Discuss their goals. Discuss how the company can help them achieve these goals.
“Don’t leave the meeting until you both have some concrete action steps,” writes Dixon.
2) Seize opportunities for learning. Encourage your employees to learn from their experiences, both successes and failures.
What went well? What didn’t go well? How can you improve in the future?
You can take a reactive approach – highlighting opportunities for learning throughout each day – or introduce a weekly or quarterly survey.
You should also provide regular opportunities for in-house training or offsite workshops and reward employees who take advantage of these opportunities.
3) Foster friendship. Gallup research shows that work friendships result in better performance.
You can play a role in cultivating these relationships. Allow “social time” before meetings, set up “huddle rooms” for informal discussion and encourage collaboration across teams to break down silos.
You could also plan team-building or social events that fit with your company’s culture.
PEOPLE COME FIRST
Being a leader requires numerous attributes and skills, but managing people is of primary importance.
“By focusing on employees’ goals, development and relationships, you’ll set up your team – and company – for success,” concludes Dixon.