When you’re looking to increase performance and results, your first stop shouldn’t be hiring new people or starting a new project. Instead, start with training up your current team.
There’s a reason you hired these people - especially those who joined early on and have been with you for a while. They, presumably, love your mission and are loyal to you.
But, as we grow, sometimes it becomes hard for teams to adjust to the new way of doing things. What started out as a very close-knit family of coworkers starts to become a lot less personal as we grow our operations larger, causing employees to become less motivated.
Other times, things are changing so quickly your team doesn’t know what the heck they’re supposed to be doing anymore. (Which is no bueno for efficiency).
So how do you revitalize these employees so they’re happier and more productive?
Here are my top 3 recommendations for increasing employee satisfaction and performance:
Daniel Pink’s TED talk
Do you know what motivates your employees?
If your answer was, “I don’t have more money to pay my team (although I wish I did!)”, don’t worry.
If you don’t have the time to watch or read the whole TED talk, here’s the gist: Money isn’t the biggest motivator!
What motivates people is feeling connected to a bigger mission, feeling like what they’re doing MATTERS.
You can do this in a couple easy ways:
Send your team success stories. Usually only a handful of people get to hear about the impact your work is creating. Share these stories with everyone to boost morale!
Remind them that their work matters. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day that we forget why we do this work in the first place. Send your team a heartfelt email about the importance of the work they do in the grander scheme of things.
2. Simon Sinek’s TED talk and book Find Your Why
Simon’s TED talk “Start With Why” is one of the most-viewed TED talks for a reason: It’s the foundation of everything.
You started your business for a reason - to solve a problem. To meet some kind of unmet need. That’s YOUR why.
And each member of your team joined that mission for another reason - their OWN why.
Having your team take some time to get really emotionally connected to the outcome of the work that you do can do amazing things for productivity and happiness. When employees feel like the work that they’re doing is meaningful and contributing to something bigger than themselves, they are way more invested in creating results.
3. The book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
You may have heard of the 5 Love Languages.
Each person receives appreciation in a different way - whether that’s through gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, or physical touch.
Learning how your team receives appreciation is crucial to having a good working relationship. Appreciating them in a way they understand not only helps them to feel recognized and encouraged, but it allows them to show up more fully in their work and commit themselves more to what you’re doing.
The saying “What you appreciate appreciates” applies here.
Iowa State put together this handy dandy PDF that give simple, practical examples of how you can apply these to your working relationships. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Sometimes the smallest, simplest things make the biggest difference.
Which of these will you implement with your team first? Share in the comments!