A good leader is one who builds more leaders. In today’s competitive working environments, emotional support is also essential to build a successful team and future leaders. Despite the office politics and ego clashes at workplace, a true leader will be able to keep sanity in their team by following a few rules.
Identifying & solving a problem
Employees often perform poorly due to low performance at work, pressure at home, bullying by co-workers or seniors, or even lack of direction from the team lead/founder. Make an effort to find it out through open conversations. Call the employee in for a meeting, show them you are concerned and listen to them while they speak about the issue. After identifying their problem, make sure that they get the help needed.
Also check if you need to tweak your culture a bit or reprimand your managers. Revisit the conversation you had with the employee in question, ask them for feedback, and trace changes in their performance.
Regular performance appraisals
A pat on the back might let your team know that you care; it’s even more effective if you tell them what you specifically liked about their performance. Equally important is giving them new opportunities for career growth; it shows them that you are not letting their hard work go unnoticed.
Additionally, an honest appraisal can help an employee come to terms with their weaknesses so that they can work on it. Further, it motivates them to meet the standards fixed by the company. Through performance appraisal, employees can set their own scalable goals and the company can then compensate the employee on the basis of the performance.
Disgruntled employees often lack motivation and tend to be lousy at work. Pairing them with a co-worker or senior manager who can inspire and guide them to perform better can lead to a change in attitude and bring about positive outcomes. According to a Durham University survey, one-on-one mentoring assists with problem-solving, develops a supportive relationship, improves self-confidence, offers professional development, and encourages reflection on work practices.
With the help of the mentor, you can also decide if an individual needs to be put in a new project, or if their schedules demand more flexibility. It is the duty of a team-lead to empower the team with everything they need to give their best to the company.
Hold weekly meetings with staff members and update them on the latest developments concerning the organisation. Applaud the success of various individuals and allow seniors to give constructive feedback to those working under them.
Transparency has to work both ways: encourage your team to communicate without fear. Having an open dialogue also means to allow your employees to talk back to you. When your employees feel like their opinion is valued, they'll be motivated to make bigger and better contributions. A lot of people, when faced with challenges, think they are helpless; it is up to the team leader to encourage employees to take charge of the situation and prove themselves.
Nobody likes to be holed up within four walls for eight hours a day, week after week. Allow your employees to enjoy flexibility at work. If an employee wants to work out of a local cafe one afternoon instead of his cubicle, give him the flexibility to do so. Similarly, if an employee wants to work four hours on one day in order to meet personal commitments, allow him to take leave and complete the work the next day. Human Resources department has a major role to play here, in terms of work-from-home options, maternity and sick leaves, and health benefits.
Encourage team activities
Your team spends 40-45 hours every week together, and it is only right that they get to know each other on a personal level. Keeping professional and personal boundaries in mind, socialising with your employees away from the office environment can help escalate your staff's happiness by creating opportunities for team bonding, which are sure to reflect in team work. Organise a team lunch every now and then to allow your employees to see each other in a different light.
Kevin Kniffin, a researcher of organisational behaviour, has said, “Eating together is a more intimate act than looking over an Excel spreadsheet together. That intimacy spills back over into work.”