“Take risks now and do something bold. You won’t regret it.” – Elon Musk
The Value of Inspirational Leaders & Managers
Inspiring others is an important personality trait for leaders. Inspirational leaders and managers can revive burnt-out employees and peers. Inspiration significantly raises employee performance and commitment and can even encourage innovation by appealing to internal motivation and creativity. When managers inspire team members, they motivate them to be and do better. On the whole, Inspired people set higher standards, achieve goals and go the extra mile. This blog discuss five useful tips managers and leaders can apply at work to inspire, employees and colleagues. Let’s get started!
“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet… Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other… A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” – Adnan Al Noorani
Build up Employees by noticing the little things.
The goal of building up employees is show that they are valued, to build confidence and to encourage employees to take pride in their work. Part of making people feel valued is by noticing a job well done. Unfortunately, many managers are quick to criticize.
In the same vein, many managers take good work for granted, based on the idea that if people are paid to do a job, they should do it well. However, the reality is different; when the boss doesn’t appear to care, the perception is that she doesn’t.
Take the Quiet Quitting phenomenon, for example; these attitudes toward work and organizations didn’t occur overnight. Quiet quitting became a thing because managers stopped noticing and appreciating. Part of being a leader means paying attention to details.
- 87% of employees want to “be developed” in their job, but only a third report receiving the feedback they need to engage and improve. (Strategy+Business)
When leaders see good work; they should notice it, then make the extra effort to find out who was responsible for completing the report, task, project, or duty and let them know. Tell them exactly what they did right and that this is how (the task, job, report) it should be done in the future.
“Thanks to the feedback, we can become more than simple programs with simple reflexes and develop more complex responses to the environment… Feedback allows (people) us to follow a purpose.” – Dr. T. Stafford, University of Sheffield.
Motivational research has shown that feedback for desired organizational behaviors helps people learn from mistakes and learn when they’ve done something right. When an authority figure reaffirms good work, if it is genuine, it will build confidence and inspire self-improvement and excellence.
Lead with Integrity and consistency, and keep your word
Integrity is a culmination of honesty and strong ethical values which make individuals strive for excellence. Hence, integrity in the workplace is the unsaid trait employers expect employees possess. Survey studies conducted by Integrity Solutions of American organizations found that:
- 95% of those surveyed said integrity is one of their organizational values. (Integrity Solutions)
- 72% agreed that employees at all levels (should) operate with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.
A good example of integrity in the workplace is when on company time, it is essential to be honest and productive and to hold oneself to a high standard. When managers demonstrate integrity by supporting subordinates, sharing their duties, and helping them achieve excellence, they earn respect and trust.
People with integrity are interested and unafraid of the truth. What’s more, they are willing to stand up for their values and principles. Leaders who consistently act with integrity inspire employees, peers, and colleagues.
Practice Gratitude when they go the Extra Mile
Psychological studies at Harvard University have found that gratitude is strongly linked to happiness and appreciation. Thus, when gratitude is expressed consistently, it promotes positive emotions in the workplace.
“No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead.
Furthermore, studies conducted by the Clinical Psychology Review found that gratitude leads to higher levels of motivation to achieve business goals. Achieving those goals, in turn, leads to increased happiness and organizational success.
- The Robert Half study showed that 66% of employees leave their job because of a lack of appreciation
Examples of how to demonstrate employee appreciation
- Acknowledge accomplishments right away
- Write a personal thank-you card
- Thank the team publicly
- Give a financial incentive
- Offer extra time off
- Treat the team to coffee & donuts or lunch
Gratitude has a vital role to play in organizational success. The practice of expressing gratitude in the workplace leads to deeper employer-employee connections and stronger inter-organizational relationships
Show Empathy and be Positive
Empathy is the capacity to understand another person’s emotional state in a given situation from their point of view rather than one’s own. Being empathic is different from sympathy in that one almost shares the thoughts and feelings of another but at the same time maintains an emotional distance.
- 84 % of CEOs believe empathy drives better business outcomes. (leaders.com)
- 72 % of employees believe empathy influences employee motivation.
In organizations, empathetic managers know that employees are different and must share in their personal problems while maintaining professional boundaries and responsibilities. And these managers recognize that it is their responsibility to lead, support, and motivate those team members when burnout sets in or morale is low.
Empathic leaders can spot signs of low morale or employee fatigue, and do something about it. For instance, empathic leaders:
- Watch for signs of burnout in others.
- Display sincere interest in other people’s needs, hopes, and aspirations.
- Demonstrate a willingness to help an employee with personal problems.
- Show compassion when other people disclose a personal loss.
- Command the trust, confidence and respect of those around them because they know she cares.
Set Expectations: be assertive, and learn to say yes & no
Assertive managers know how to communicate clearly and respectfully. They are not afraid of speaking their mind and highly value expressing their expectations in authentic and powerful ways. When managers act assertively with employees, they are neither aggressive nor passive; instead, they are honest, direct, and skilled at articulating views and giving instructions. Assertive managers inspire through integrity and command the respect of their colleagues and team members.
“The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people say no to almost everything.” ― Warren Buffett.
Managers must also learn when to say “yes” to an employee request or suggestion and when to say “no.” Balancing empathy and professional responsibility is critical and a boundary every manager must enforce.
Even so, when managers are too strict and deny every request or suggestion, employees will disengage, lose interest, and eventually adopt quiet quitting as a coping mechanism. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, employees respect managers who can effectively say “no.”
“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.”
– John Maxwell
As a leader or manager, if you can inspire others to be their best selves, you have taken the first step in creating an outstanding team—the entire team benefits when employees are revived and working at their full potential. Inspiration is one of the most significant motivators for employee performance and should not be underestimated. It’s time to start looking at inspiration as an essential component of leadership and management practices. So how will you inspire those around you today?
Thank you for reading our article!
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