Employees who take pride in their work are motivated, productive and pleasant to be around. They raise the overall morale of the workplace and inspire their co-workers. They happily go above and beyond requirements and expectations simply because their work makes them feel good. These four leadership practices will instill pride in all of your employees:
Build anticipation for success
Emphasize the connection between each employee’s daily tasks and the person’s, team’s and organization’s future successes. Don’t wait to celebrate those achievements. Cheer your team members on along the way with praise like “Connor, I’m really impressed by how you handled that angry customer. Your patience and cool-headed responses will be a big factor in helping us meet our quarterly goals” and “Patrice, thank you for taking the initiative to research that new software. I’m confident that it will help us get back on track with our upcoming deadlines.” Later, when your team reaches its goals, remind people of their contributions.
Offer leadership roles
Not everyone can have the title “supervisor,” but everyone can take the lead on something. Building employees’ leadership skills is an important leadership practice. Consider their strengths and interests, and give them opportunities to capitalize on those at work. Explaining why you think they’ll be a good fit for their roles will instill more pride. Examples: “Juan, we’re going to delve deeper into social media next quarter, and I’d like your insight. Could you prepare a short 5-10 minute presentation of dos and don’ts for next week’s meeting on Twitter and LinkedIn?” “Clarisse, I’d like to ask you to take our new intern under your wing while she’s getting situated. No one knows the ins-and-outs of this organization like you do.”
Note: Make sure you’re not dumping undesirable work on people under the guise of an “exciting leadership opportunity.” Your staff will see right through that. Furthermore, be conscious of everyone’s workload. If someone is already overwhelmed with assignments, even a good opportunity won’t be appealing.
If there’s an issue that’s hurting employees’ pride in their work, take steps to remedy it as fast as possible. If the problem is a bullying team member, meet with that person and put the kibosh on the behavior immediately. If employees are embarrassed by the script or form letter they are required to use with customers, work with them and your superiors to find a solution that satisfies everyone. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problems.
Brag about them to the top brass
As manager, you receive much of the credit from your supervisor and your supervisor’s bosses when you hit goals or your team does something amazing. Make sure you are spreading that love around. Share credit when it is due, and take every opportunity to praise your employees to upper management, especially when you can do so in front of your staff.
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