It's never easy to keep your team focused, motivated and performing at optimum capacity. Flat-lining at some point seems to be inevitable. How can you prevent this ailment that costs the US economy up to $550 BILLION annually in lost productivity? More simply than you think.
Humans tend to flat-line when they become board and uninspired, be it at work or life in general. The sense of excitement and passion withers away through repetition and monotony. Corporate bureaucracy, leadership and culture are the guilty parties. Rigid corporate strategies, rules and tradition tend to stifle passion and motivation by slowing down the process of inviting and embracing the new, the different.
Here are the 7 steps to revitalize your workforce
1. DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP: The number 1 killer of innovation and employee engagement are controlling managers, rigid SOP's, un-defined cultures, and outdated strategies... "It's how we've always done it". By continually repeating yesterday's success formula, we plant the seeds of stagnation. Everybody within that static culture will disconnect from their original "why" and lose the growth mindset that keeps successful companies relevant and competitive. You risk inviting them to perform on auto-pilot. Keep them on their toes by consistently challenging them. Leadership must invite and inspire change.
Without being challenged we stagnate, GET BORED, become complacent.
The challenge is not in the form of peer rivalry and comparison, but rather healthy competition whereby they mutually encourage and elevate each other's game.
Challenge your team by inviting them to find a solution to a problem - allow them to flex their creativity and decision-making muscles. Empower them with added responsibility. Empower them by encouraging them to express themselves and in turn listening to their ideas, suggestions and solutions.
Once you've inspired and empowered your team, get out of their way, relax and enjoy their success.
2. PERSONAL DREAMS: Also, connect their personal aspirations/dreams to the workplace so they evolve as individuals within your company - yes, you risk losing them as they pursue their own goals - but on the flip-side, do you really want their unmotivated and disengaged persona to stay and contaminate your culture, your brand and your customer base?
3. AUTONOMY and INCLUSION: When you relinquish the reins and trust them with a project or the added responsibility, that project will feel like they own it. Ownership is powerful. They will carry that responsibility with pride because it belongs to them. They will nurture it like their own baby, filled with love, understanding, purpose, joy, commitment, passion, and fulfillment.
4. COMFORT ZONE: Make sure that the challenge is not overwhelming, intimidating or simply beyond their ability - it will trigger a fight, flight or freeze response. However, definitely push them beyond their comfort zones. Give them the gift of control. Get management out of their flight path - take away the roadmap. Let them figure out what the destination is and how to get there. Offer support and resources when necessary. Sit back, watch them grow and fly without a net.
5. OBLITERATE THE BOX: As a former Cirque du Soleil performer, team captain and recently as a consultant and facilitator for their newly created corporate training platform called CIRQUE SPARK sessions, I learned many invaluable lessons from Cirque's philosophy. They constantly push themselves and their team members - they encouraged us to extend our vision beyond the existing horizon and ignore the limitations of the proverbial box.
6. RISK | EXPLORATION | FAILURE: The side effect is the exploration and discovery of so many more options and possibilities. The freedom with which Cirque gifted its performers, allowed us to spread our wings, thrive and FLY WITHOUT A NET. They encouraged creativity: expression, exploration, risk-taking, and failure as an option. But without providing us the appropriate leadership, environment, tools and liberty (void of anarchy and chaos), we would flatline, become disconnected, and lose our passion, drive and commitment to excellence.
This philosophy of empowerment inspired us to explore, learn, grow in confidence, and remain focused and committed to maintaining and enhancing the expected Customer Experience that is synonymous with the Cirque du Soleil brand.
7. FUN: Bring it all together in an environment and culture that is fun. We learn more when having fun and are more receptive to change, growth and responsibility. Companies with fun, happy cultures experience on average 20% higher profits with elevated retention numbers.
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