A skilled leader understands the importance of leadership, teamwork and culture. Here’s a look at five powerful things leaders can say to inspire and motivate employees.
1. ‘This is our new project, and here’s what it means for you.’
When you share a new project with your team, how do you communicate it? Do you inspire your team and help them move out of their comfort zones? Many employees want to do rewarding work that challenges them, but they also want to feel safe. They need to know how a project impacts their work and the role they play.
This is why how you communicate your company vision and new objectives is just as important as the news itself. If you aren’t clear you’ll trigger uncertainty and panic. Clearly communicate your goals, anticipated challenges, and benefits the team will gain by bringing your vision to fruition.
2. ‘Help us create value and make lives better.’
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson once said, “A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.” This is true. Profit is important, but so are people. The people you hire and the people you serve are foundational to your company culture. So remind your team of your “why” often.
3. ‘Great work, everybody!’
Great leaders share recognition and praise. One simple fix with high impact is to leverage the power of praise. A Gallup survey of over 10,000 business units across 30 industries found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:
- increase their individual productivity
- increase engagement among their colleagues
- are more likely to stay with their organization
- receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
So, let your team know their efforts don’t go unnoticed.
4. ‘Our customers are counting on you.’
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos says, “Customer service shouldn’t be a department; it should be the entire company.” Sometimes people simply need a new way of looking at things. Inspire your employees to meet the needs of their customers. When customers are happy, the company and everyone in it should benefit.
5. ‘What do you think about this?’
As FoundersGrid shares, “Having a sense of personal involvement in the decision-making process will solidify individuals’ connection and investment in the team, making them feel like they are an integral part of something rather than just a piece of the puzzle.”
The best leaders are great listeners. But many employees are afraid to speak up. Minda Zetlin, co-author of The Geek Gap explains, “If your workplace doesn’t foster the free sharing of ideas, and especially if you yourself tend to shut down discussion quickly if an idea seems unworkable, you’re not likely to get employees to tell you what they’re thinking, especially if what they have in mind is groundbreaking or unorthodox.”
What you say, and what you don’t, can make a huge impact on your team. If you’re looking for the right thing to say, start with phrases that empower your employees.
This article has been edited.
Paula Hicks is an editor from Romania, currently working in the U.S. as a freelance blogger and volunteer. Connect with @paulaahicks on Twitter.