As a team leader, one of the most important responsibilities you have is fostering an inclusive environment where each team member feels seen and heard. As the workforce continues to evolve with where and when employees are working, employees are also shifting towards a different set of wants and needs when it comes to vetting out a potential employer. According to company culture statistics, 79% of American workers say that company culture is an important job satisfaction element, and 86% of Millennials stick to their jobs because of training and development. Workers today are more community and relationship-driven versus work-function-driven when it comes to feeling good about their employment. Here are three ways you can make sure your team members feel fulfilled and valued each day they report to work.
Care About Wellbeing
The last year has brought change for millions of people. Some good, some bad, but it’s fair to say that everyone has dealt with challenges when it comes to their wellbeing. Whether your team is still fully remote, back in the office, or working through a combination of both, it’s important to take some time to connect with each individual on your team weekly or monthly to see how they’re doing in all areas of life. Being virtual and having less face time can present more difficulties when it comes to community and connection—which is all the more reason to carve out time in your calendar to make sure each team member feels acknowledged for the work they’re doing. Different tactics will work for different teams, but some ideas could be one-on-one catch-up dates, virtual or in-person bonding activities, or even a quick phone call to see how someone is doing if you haven’t had much interaction with them in the last seven to ten days. It’s important to remember there’s a lot going on in peoples’ lives outside of the computer screen or office doors, and asking someone how they’re doing goes a long way.
Connect to Purpose
Millennials and Generation Z are mission and purpose-driven individuals. They value knowing the work they’re doing and actions they’re taking in their personal lives are making an impact in their community. Knowing that it is important to recognize is a huge factor for them in their full-time work. They likely accepted the position because it resonated with their values and/or they identified with the position or company’s vision, but it’s important for you—as their leader—to know this about them as well. Identifying what your team members are passionate about will help you lead them, especially in performance-driven conversations or when a challenge comes their way. It’s human nature for people to get lost sometimes in the muck of work. As a leader, you have the opportunity to spark life back in them by reminding them of their why. When people feel seen and valued, they’re more likely to rally around the team’s mission and ultimately driving the organization’s end goal.
Address Growth Opportunities
Knowing that your team members are likely to be purpose-driven, it’s probable they also value growth opportunities. Positive feedback on work done is important, but acknowledging and coaching someone towards an attainable goal is inspiring and gives them a new sense of purpose. If you know a role is opening up in the organization that falls in line with their passions, let them know about it, even if it might not coincide with your personal career goals. Connect them with other decision-makers in the company to help facilitate well-rounded connections. Caring about your employees and investing in their careers even when it doesn’t line up with your career goals speaks volumes and sets you apart from just being a person with a title. You’ll earn their trust and the right to lead them.
These are small things that carry a big impact when it comes to serving others. By valuing your people, you’ll get their buy-in and be able to run hand-in-hand hard towards the goals at hand.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie