You can feel energy in rooms. It radiates. When teams are energized, they feel like they can achieve almost anything.
But when there’s an energy gap among your people, it’s up to you the leader to set the tone for the level of energy that is expected. You have to exude the kind of energy you want to see.
Here are a few tips to get your team more energized for better days ahead:
• First calibrate where you are. What’s the highest energy level your team has ever had? Have you had a ‘10’ day? What’s an average day like? What’s today? Knowing this will help you know what to do to move forward.
• Celebrate the wins that exist. Do fun things with your team. Take a break to treat your team to a movie, or do some charity work together. It can be simple: at LiveOps we had random Nerf arrow attacks and paper airplane contests. At AdMob and Everwise, the sales teams ring a gong when a big deal is done. It’s especially important to do this when times are hard. When I first joined eBay, nothing was working very well. Nine days after I started we did a free listing day, in which normal fees lifted for 24 hours. The community loved it—they stayed up all night posting listings. This sparked such an increase in volume that day it put us a year ahead on volume projections. But while this was a great marketing ploy for the company, it was a nightmare for the people running the system. We worked tirelessly to make it through the capacity problems, and when we did everyone shared a collective sigh of relief. We had a parade and turned the relief into positive energy.
• Honor special occasions. Welcome everyone and celebrate every new hire. Acknowledge special occasions, such as anniversary dates. IBM used to give a gold watch to celebrate 25 years with the company, but most people don’t stay that long anymore. You don’t have to wait 25 years! You can celebrate every year and other milestone anniversaries in small ways by recognizing people’s achievements in all-hands meetings or writing them thank you notes.
• Treat setbacks as learning experiences. If there are problems, address them candidly and openly. Let people ask questions and then enlist their support to fix things.
• Personally model the enthusiasm—even when it’s hard. At eBay, some days were hard and people could tell when I was troubled by something – even without me saying a word. They would get worried and ask what was wrong. I would say, “Wow, just because I wasn’t smiling you think I’m angry, or someone is in trouble.” But I had to accept that my actions were leading them to worry. I had to maintain more of a sense of calm even in an urgent situation. I learned from Meg Whitman’s leadership. She made me laugh every day and that helped me get through the chaos. As a leader you need to model courage, candor and resolve.
• Spend time engaging with people. Say hello in the morning and goodbye at night. Be approachable. Ask about their families and show them you care about other things besides work. When they miss work because their baby is sick, ask how the child is doing when they come back. Also, enable your teams to enjoy and get to know each other. One great and very simple way to do this is through team lunches and dinners.
• Extend inclusion beyond your employees. It’s important to include the families. People work hard and their families miss them when they are away working for the company—you need their support too. Include them in special events. At eBay, we took every vice president and above away for a weekend with their families. That resonated greatly with employees and their spouses.
This article was written by Maynard Webb from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.