An organizational newsletter is effective if it shares valuable information. Information and stories about successes set examples and give recognition to individuals, teams and divisions. Information about the work and projects of each division keeps everyone on the same team. Chronicling important events and examples reinforces culture. If employees read it, you have hit pay dirt.
The goal is to hold meetings that people feel are worthwhile. Be guided by the principle that everyone should gain something of value to do their job better. Meeting agendas should be shared beforehand, necessary information should be forwarded, and meetings should start on time. Meetings should be organized, follow the agenda, promote participation of all in attendance, and genuinely answer questions.
Building a culture of shared communication is not easy or quick. Many experiences in life have taught people to guard information; that information is power and is not to be shared. Leadership will have to deliberately work overtime and long-term to build an organizational culture that values and practices sharing information. A culture of shared information will empower each employee and the organization.
Build more effective business plans three ways; top down, bottom up and sideways. Use traditional top leadership involvement. Provide opportunities for people at the bottom to bubble up their ideas. Bring different divisions together to hear each other’s ideas and foment creative synergy. Have everyone answer, “Where have we been?” and “Where are we going?” Broader engagement strengthens buy-in and powers implementation.
Grow and promote your employees. This has a much higher return than hiring new employees. Retaining high-performing employees begets more high performers. Keep your eyes on your top achievers; others are trying to recruit them. Do your employees see a pathway to success and betterment? People want goals and pathways to get ahead.
There are three general ways to motivate a team: through incentive motivation (“If you do this, you will be rewarded.”), consequence motivation (“If you do/don’t do this, there will be consequences.”), and attitude motivation (giving them opportunities to do more).
Unfortunately, even with great leadership, some teams are difficult to manage. In such teams, the team dynamics will be dismal and results will suffer. The most important thing is to look for the causes of dysfunction. Troubleshooting such teams can be difficult, and I recommend use of SYMLOG to perform a collective 360 where everyone rates everyone else.
Calling out possible obstacles and identifying workarounds disempowers doubt. So, try to identify them during the planning phase. Don’t be afraid of finding too many obstacles. When you identify all obstacles you can think of (involve the team in this process as needed), work on a plan on how to address each and every one of them.
All this talk of social media--how can you benefit from it? Encourage collaboration using Facebook, Instagram, blogs, Skype, etc. Offer training and participate. Define and explain do’s and don’ts. Make sure that team members’ strengths are leveraged through use of these instant communication channels.
The money your team members earn is not always the most important reward they get out of their jobs. Money is a good thing, but there is more, such as safety, recognition, personal and professional growth, great working conditions, supportive team culture, as well as interesting work. Make sure that you understand your team’s individual motivations.