Encouraging team spirit is undoubtedly commercially smart. Capable people, purposefully doing things well, inevitably leads to better results. It also has a positive impact on the quality of people’s working lives.
That means every leader has a double-edged opportunity to achieve better outcomes for their organisation and staff by influencing the strength of their team’s spirit.
Here are six critical steps to doing that:
1. Get to know your people
Each person in your team is unique, and to influence their spirit requires an understanding of what makes them tick. Spend time with your staff and listen to what they have to say. Listen deeply and observe ‘who they are’, know what they want to achieve and consider the role they need you to play to enable them to succeed. Understand what energises their spirit as well as the things that typically drain them.
2. Encourage enjoyment
While not every aspect of someone’s role needs to be fun, the draining impact of doing a job we don’t enjoy can be profound, and people need to be energised to enjoy what they do. Enjoyment and being energised are closely linked.
3. Inspire optimism and belief in the future
How people feel about the future, and their ability to influence it, are vital sources of strength and resilience. Feeling hopeful, encouraged and empowered is energising to most people.
4. Influence a strong sense of personal value
Our sense of personal value is based on how we feel about ourselves and how we believe other people feel about us. Which factor has a stronger influence varies between individuals, but they are both important to most of us. Feeling valuable, respected, trusted and accepted are energising attitudes and emotions.
5. Help people find purpose and meaning in their work
Doing a job with an altruistic purpose energises many people. For others, purpose and meaning are derived from the harmony between their values and those of the organisation they work for. And many people like to feel part of something bigger than themselves by contributing to their organisation’s success.
6. Build strong relationships
The quality of relationships at work can have a very big impact on a person’s spirit. Begin by setting clear expectations of how people behave towards one another. Hold people accountable to behaving in ways that have a positive impact on their colleagues and team as a whole.