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10 Most Mesmerizing Leadership Moves To Make Before 2014

10 Most Mesmerizing Leadership Moves To Make Before 2014

It may be hard to believe, but that doesn’t make the fact that the year is coming to an end any less true. With the rush of the holiday season it’s easy to let active leadership go into hibernation. However, instead of starting off the New Year groggy, take these 10 most important steps toward mesmerizing leadership. With a fresh perspective and some active participation, you can close this year strong and blast off into 2014 with some glimmering insight.

1. Fulfill promises

As a leader you do your best to motivate your employees and push them toward success. Promises like title promotions, salary increases and the potential for bonuses can push employees to keep going and keep trying. However, if as the year is winding down, you realize those commitments were never made good, then it’s time to reassess your promise practice. Sure, some employees may have missed the mark, but what about those who actively tried?

Make sure you keep good on the promises you made earlier this year. More importantly, show your employees the figures and measurements that lead you to your decision to reward or not. By proving that you are on top of the commitments you made and haven’t forgotten about them, employees will still strive to improve and reach those set goals.

2. Deal with dead ends

No doubt this year in business has been a busy one. And while you may have let certain non-pressing issues slide by, it’s important to tend to them before the New Year’s ball drops. Your first step to dealing with dead ends is to understand why you avoided the issue(s) in the first place.

Perhaps you hate confrontation, perhaps you felt like you didn’t have the time to deal with X issue back then: whatever your reason just be honest with yourself and make an effort to catch your avoidance patterns. No one wants last year’s issues lingering onto a fresh calendar. So have that tough conversation with your lackluster employee, cut ties with the vendor that provides more headaches than headway, and start the New Year off right.

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3. Stay accountable

It’s likely that while this year was filled with successes, there were some bumps and missteps along the way. Strong leaders will take a moment to pause and reflect on the mistakes they made in 2013. Accountability is important, especially in a leadership position, and even if you didn’t deal with things correctly in real time, self-reflection can better prepare you for the inevitable issues of 2014.

Pro-actively plan how you’ll commit to staying accountable in the New Year. Be prepared to acknowledge your mistakes as they come, and more importantly, commit to moving forward in a way that puts lessons learned into action and a positive attitude on the horizon.

4. Be present

You may be slightly shocked that you’re reading a “before the year ends” post. In the blink of an eye it probably feels like this year has come and gone. Why? Because you’re so busy multitasking. Leaders often capitalize on their ability to juggle multiple projects, tasks and goals at once. But one thing you should stop juggling is people.

Make a commitment to better your behavior and be present before the year’s end. Stop texting, surfing and emailing when others are trying to interact with you. Whether they are partners, customers or employees, the people who depend on you as their leader are thirsty for your undivided attention.

Of course you’ve got to keep working and still have a lot on your plate, so set mental time limits on conversations and make a promise to follow up in a time-effective way (like emailing). But stay willing to pause in time and space. Not only will it help you focus, but it will make the people around you feel fulfilled because they will feel heard.

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5. Communicate with care

Leaders communicate with others so often that it’s easy to forget the potential power of a carefully crafted message. You can have a basic thought or idea that needs to be received, but how you choose to deliver that message will determine the level at which it is absorbed.

For example, a sluggish comment lacking eye contact, proper tone and slouched posture is not going to resonate when compared to an empowered delivery wrapped around a motivated message. Consider taking a few extra minutes to share a story or anecdote that will relay the powerful emotions and ideas behind your intended message. Take some time to put some care back into your communication so you and your team can embrace 2014 as active and engaged participants.

6. Practice what you preach

You can preach proper practice all day long, but the employees that you lead are going to follow your actions more than anything else. If you want proper behaviors and attitudes at the kick start of the New Year, then start practicing what your preach.

Whether it’s coming into work on time, maintaining health and safety codes in the break room, or standard operating procedures, no employee handbook is going to speak louder than your own actions. Become empowered by employees’ close watch and act in a way that you want emulated.

7. Actively seek out talent

With the daily demanding routines and procedures of your job, you probably only seek out talent when necessary. After all, accepting applications and interviewing others is time consuming and costly. However, what about the talent you’ve already captured…are you capitalizing on it?

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Take some time to reassess the current talents on your team. Make a commitment to pull out strengths and utilize each team member to their utmost ability. Before the year comes to an end, take some time to have a conversation with yourself, make a list or do some observing—anything you can do to open your eyes to the current strengths of your team. Do your best to recognize this talent, nurture it and put it to good use so that 2014 can start off with a talented bang!

8. Be fluid

With advancements in technology it’s now easier than ever to get work done in a variety of ways, at both different times and places. That being said, however you chose to work, assess before the year’s end whether your current method is both effective and efficient, and tweak as necessary.

In whatever changes you make to your working routine, see what work-life balance you can afford yourself. Maybe you can get home sooner by saving non-pressing emails for later that night. Maybe you’ll feel more healthy if you commit to stretching and lifting light dumbbells at the top of every hour. No need to wait for your New Year’s resolution to make these types of changes, commit to being more flexible and fluid now. That way when January is upon you, you’ll already be feeling more balanced and light.

9. Follow up

Remember those changes and tweaks you made at the start of this year? How are they doing? Before this year comes to a close, its important to follow up on any shifts or major moves you’ve made in the last 365 days.

A leader who follows up displays active participation pertaining to the effectiveness of the overall workplace. Employees appreciate someone who not only “makes moves,” but is determined to make sure that those changes are still working for the ever-evolving workplace.

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10. Reflect

In the blink of an eye 2014 will be upon us all. Don’t let the end of the year slip away before carving out some time to reflect. Reflect on the year past: what were the biggest accomplishments, pitfalls and moments of perseverance? What was the biggest lesson learned and what will continue to stay at the forefront of your focus in 2014?

More important, what goals do you have for the upcoming year? What changes are you committed to seeing take place? January 1st is the time to declare your resolutions, not to come up with them. Determine now how you plan to carry out your leadership skills in 2014 as effectively as possible, so that when a fresh calendar is upon us you dive into your active achievements on day one.

What leadership moves will you make before 2014? Let us know in the comments below.

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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