How to create committed teams?
“Experience indicates that it is much more profitable for any enterprise to have employees who are both motivated and committed. Achieving this combination implies reaching a higher step on the ladder of success.”
We hear and read daily about the need to have a motivated workforce. We are inundated with information that explains just how much this contributes to a better performance, and thus to better results.
Although I have always advocated rewarding workers, and I even have a few articles in the pipelines on this issue, experience has taught me that it is much more profitable for an enterprise to have employees who are both motivated and committed. Achieving this combination implies reaching a higher step on the ladder of success.
Salary rises motivate employees, as do reduced working hours, but six months later (unless you are a market leader) these measures cease to be a driving force. The pay rise will have been forgotten; and that’s natural because the “money is never enough.”
As project leaders or entrepreneurs, we can’t increase salaries every so often or keep reducing hours, as both have limits. As such, we need to find workers who are committed to our idea, to the project and to us ourselves.
The series of measures I propose below are intended for small enterprises, family businesses, and startups where, often, an extra effort is required from each of their components.
- Be empathetic
It is very difficult to be a good leader without this quality. It’s important to be capable of appreciating someone else’s pain, or putting ourselves in their shoes. Empathy will open many doors. I’m not asking you to be the best friend of each and every person that makes up your team, but to understand them. A leader who is close to his workers creates stronger ties and encourages greater commitment from them.
- Let them participate
When businesses are small, the decisions are usually made by one or two people. This can cause a divide between workers and their leader and/or owners. Often, employees can offer better solutions than those promoted by their bosses. Listening to them and letting them participate is one of the strategies. This will help them feel important within the project and our organization.
- Money isn’t everything.
Sometimes, bosses are only concerned with paying their employees well. They tend to repeat the classic phrase: “what you earn here, you won’t earn anywhere else,” and that may well be true, but it’s not enough. Personal tranquility and wellbeing come before money. If you pay well, but your workforce is not at ease, they will be less productive and your employee turnover will also be high.
- Avoid being a “bighead”.
Recognize the work of the team and publicly reward its results. A leader should claim more failures than successes. Don’t be a bighead, who takes all the glory and money, and leaves just a little for the rest.
Whether employees feel committed and motivated depends to a large extent on their bosses. It’s said that when an employee resigns, it’s not because of the actual work, but due to the boss, who is usually referred to as a “SOB who makes my life impossible.” To be a good leader, the challenge is to have committed and motivated workers; to guarantee the best performance of the enterprise, together.