Being able to keep individuals and groups committed to a common goal requires a few things: a shared vision, your own commitment and mutual support.
Feeling appreciated and supported in daily work life is an important factor for generating a healthy, satisfying workplace environment to avoid toxic negativity spreading through teams like a cancer.
Also, if you as a leader work with people that are engaged and ambitious you can find more efficiency in results through their attitude than in the contribution of highly skilled, but less committed, talents.
1) Provide Training and Support
The precondition for a positive output is the possibility to develop talents within their capabilities. That means that good leadership starts with encouraging training and offering support for employees.
People working with a company mission should be able to get comfortable with their environment and tasks through training and development. Further, internal traineeship, courses or on-the-job trainings are helpful to form a team spirit and help to familiarize them with new colleagues or industry co-workers.
Depending on the company size job rotations are to be recommended. Providing insights into other departments creates the big picture of the company’s mission and vision and enhances the comprehension of the entire circle of work, tasks, goals and leadership.
Making these things possible for on-boarding processes and employee development is not only done by putting the newbies into courses but being at their side and make time for their comments, questions, hesitations and insecurities to improve collaboration.
2) Encourage people to speak up
One of the biggest enemies of progress is fear. Fear to speak up. Traditional hierarchies had and still have a structure in place that would not even make leadership accessible. Frustration and demotivation spreads in their own teams, creating a negative spiral for oneself and others. Communication and demands basically are going only one direction: from top down to the bottom.
The big advantage of flat hierarchies is fewer walls and more collaboration instead of one-sided communication and demand structures. Leadership is then approachable for their most valuable asset in the company: the employee.
Encourage people to share their values, anxieties, fears and insecurities knowing that you have their back since you believe in them (otherwise you wouldn’t have hired them 😉).
Allow them to criticize where they see your failure or where you might be on a wrong path – and work on a solution together. Create a positive feedback-culture on both ends.
There is no point in believing that leadership is infallible.
3) Plannable Meetings
There is no better way to disrupt productive work or hinder progress than being locked in a meeting room…with topics that don’t even concern you and arm-waving monologues about being more productive.
Some meetings are important to get everyone on the same page, but it should be enough to do that at the beginning or the end of the day, probably not more than once every other week.
All other kinds of meetings require preparation as a factor to hold yourself and employees accountable and contributing to your mutual goals. And, as much as you have to prepare the points to be discussed, you should get only the people that are directly involved to be invited and prepared.
Plan the meetings so detailed that the attendance of only those people concerned is required for a specific discussion and that everybody can leave as soon as their area is completed.
4) Time off means not being available
Time off concerns each and every minute after leaving the office, logging out of the computer and having family time. Only a fully committed time-off from your and your employees’ side guarantees a fully recharged battery for the next workday to start through again.
For the workaholics amongst us: Keep yourself away from sending emails at night!
You as a leader should be a role-model: even if you fight with the feeling of the urgency of sending off an email when you have finished your workday, save it as a draft and send it off in the morning instead. Otherwise, it generates stress for the colleagues and employees by giving them the feeling they are meant to do the same. And nobody wants to go to bed with the guilty feeling that they should have replied tonight if they did not. That certainly creates a bad sleep at night. The next day at work might suffer from a lack of productivity since the battery would be not at all or only half recharged, other than after an entire evening with time to unwind.
Time off means time off that all parties commit to – in order to commit to a fully capable working culture.
Commitment by Design
You see, there are a few little things that you as a leader can change for big results towards the work ethic in your company. You automatically manage to lead by example and help people in contributing to your shared values and efforts. And these shared values are leading to the fulfillment of a shared goal.
Communication, development and the balance of giving yourself and others a break are only some examples to be best incorporated into your core values that define the level of commitment you want to achieve around you.
>> If you have any comments or questions about how to implement commitment in your company, please let me know.