I recently came across this quote by business magnate and Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat people well enough so they don’t want to.”
As I read it, I had what some would call an “aha” moment. Branson perfectly captures what I strive to do with my team every day. I want to inspire my team to give their very best, to develop and grow as professionals and to enjoy walking into work.
I have an amazing team. They could have their choice of employment but thankfully they are here with me. To do right by them and the organization, I strive to lead through inspiration and empowerment. I work with my cohorts to help them harness their strengths and understand the value they bring to the organization. We set goals. We provide the resources they need to succeed. We contribute to increasing their capacity and skill sets. We reward accomplishments and we work to tweak things that are not working. We communicate honestly and openly and I believe, see each other as a collective unit all working toward the same cause. My hope is that at the end of the day they feel a collective ownership in what we do, partnering in a long and lasting contribution to Jupiter Health.
I have found that there are two types of team members. There are those who are motivated by a pay check and are simply financially driven. There are also those who, while working for a paycheck, are motivated by the pride they take in their work and their desire to do well for themselves and the organization. As a leader, you are successful if you can inspire some of those aforementioned people to become more of the latter while continuing to develop and encourage those who are already there to work harder and give more.
But inspiring your team is not just about making them feel good and keeping the work place harmonious. There are other, significant benefits to leading through inspiration:
- Inspired employees are more productive. In fact, a recent study from Bain reports that inspired employees are twice as productive as simply satisfied employees.
- Inspired employees are loyal and less likely to leave. A low turnover rate is good for the bottom line.
- Inspired employees are more creative and innovative, helping to find solutions and generate new ideas to drive the company forward.
Finally, it is not enough to simply inspire people. It also how you show your gratitude. Nothing deflates an inspired team member quicker than feeling like their hard work has gone unnoticed.
In addition to financial compensation, there are two key things you can do to recognize and reward your team. One, offer them the opportunity to expand their capacity by giving them the time and the resources needed to enroll in additional training or classes. Sure, they could take those newly acquired skills somewhere else, but they are more likely to put them to good use right where they are. Second, acknowledge a job well done. Small but meaningful gestures are critical to continuing to inspire and bolster your team members. A group email praising hard work, a shout out at a staff meeting or a phone call at the end of the day to say, “thank you” can have a tremendous impact.
I realize inspiring others is not easy and it takes time to develop a style that authentically works for you. But if you wake up each day and focus on how to truly inspire those with whom you work, you will come to find an organization of people who share your vision and your passion.