You can’t always motivate everyone at the same time... but you can create an environment that is motivating.
When your work life is busy both stress and tension can rise, bringing the opportunity for conflicts and power struggles to rise with it. It is in these times that we can lose sight of what is important and meaningful as we rush from meeting to meeting or from deadline to deadline.
It's reason for concern, isn’t it?
When it’s super busy and you see people’s frustration and exhaustion grow,
how do you create an environment that is motivating?
Recognize and Celebrate the good.
You and your team have been working hard. You can’t all sprint to the finish line (it's a team relay), nor can you sprint forever (it's a marathon) without putting your relationships, your emotional and physical health and your work at risk.
We work with leaders who want to prevent common problems which occur because of busy-ness.
Here is what we shared in a recent session with Executives who want to create a Healthy Work Environment so that they are ready when times are challenging:
5 Ways to Recognize Your Team and Celebrate Accomplishments
When team members see that their work is having a direct impact on the success of the organization, people can be inspired to contribute their best.
1. Stop to recognize people in the busiest of times... and the quiet times.
One of the biggest complaints we hear that creates an unhealthy environment for teams and families is this:
"We never hear about what’s good.”
Dedicate time to acknowledge what is going well, especially when people are feeling pressure or tension. This builds trust, helps people feel inspired and helps them be patient and engaged regarding long term goals.
2. Show appreciation for effort (as progress occurs), not just for completion.
When you choose to be aware of people’s effort along the way and thank them for the time and energy that they are giving to the work, everything changes. They see that you see them. You help people, including you, see 'the good’. This is inspiration at work.
3. Look for unanticipated accomplishments and acknowledge them.
Often the most important accomplishments are invisible. These invisible accomplishments are seldom predicted in advance and may not be recognized when they occur. Acknowledge something that you noticed that wasn’t part of the milestones but helped to meet the team’s goals, i.e. shifts in people’s views; kindness, integrity, initiative, patience, new ideas, helping out, improved team moral, etc.
4. Recognize mistakes, misunderstandings and challenges as learning opportunities, not cause for punishment.
If there is ever a time that mistakes, conflicts and misunderstandings are more likely, it’s in busy times. And how you help people work through mistakes, can have an engaging effect or a diminishing effect. Don’t let the inevitable (conflicts, mistakes and misunderstandings) create feelings of guilt, shame or fear. Turn conversations about these human foibles into learning conversations. Help people grow (not shrink)!
We seem to live parts of our lives on autopilot - where we don’t 'see people as people’, rather as parts of a process. We miss things like taking time to notice and acknowledge the little things people are doing day-to-day that are making life wonderful.
How will you celebrate and recognize the contributions of your work team? Your team at home? Your own contributions?
When you show appreciation/recognition/gratitude:
- Be genuine.
- Be specific.
- Personalize it.
- Enjoy the benefits!
It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day noise of how busy you are: deadlines, meetings, and endless emails. It’s always important to take the time to celebrate efforts as well as milestones. Appreciating even the smallest details can do wonders for morale and engagement, at work and at home.
To hone your skills of self- and other-awareness click the poster below to be a part of our next Ultimate Leadership Experience where leaders practice being present, dealing with what's most important and improving their results.