Published date: April 5, 2019
Last modified: April 5, 2019

Inspiring your team to be the best that they can be

What inspires your staff? And what keeps them working for you and your organisation with enthusiasm, energy and engagement? And what makes a self-motivated workforce that is innovative, challenging and creative?

There are of course no simple answers, and in our experience at Join the Dots ( it is not something that can be achieved with a couple of team away days or motivational days, and it certainly cannot be manipulated.

We have experienced clients wanting to change peoples’ emotions, behaviours and results all in 3 hours!….really!!

Inspiring your teams and colleagues takes time, effort, trust and consistency, with a real attention to answering the question of ‘what makes you tick’? and what’s in this for you?

It’s about creating a culture that inspires self-motivation as well as the security to develop and innovate without fear.

Yes of course financial and benefits packages and training opportunities can contribute towards a productive team, but they will not turn individuals into an inspired team or make them stay with you and the organisation.

Creating a motivated and collaborating team is less about monetary rewards and more to do with leadership and management not as a position or a title but as an action and example.

Whilst there is no easy fix there are are plenty of ways to begin to create the ‘right’ culture. Trust and belief in your staff is vital, as is letting go and trusting that your team can and do have the ability. Of course you need to be a great coach, and to see coaching as a real opportunity to progress and not a real challenge that causes more issues. Many leaders and managers who have not developed coaching ‘skills’ hide behind their ideology that coaching does not work. It does! see Join the Dots Testimonials

Consistency is important as well. If you want to be an inspiration to your people exemplify what you want from them.

Moreover, communication is absolutely vital. Probably the single skill that many leaders and managers struggle with. FACT… communication is essential for creating a motivating culture. A system of regular individual and team communication, whether it be through appraisal, one to one or team meetings will articulate clearly what the objectives for the business are, and how colleagues can contribute. Teams need to know how they can contribute to the organisation, and how they can make a difference, whilst having their opinions, ideas and suggestions valued. It’s a great idea to consult with the team, develop great listening skill, and allow your inspirational culture to develop.

7 steps to creating an inspirational culture

1 Be an example

Be consistent, be a great time keeper, and if things do go wrong deal with it in a collaborative way. Exemplify the behaviour that you want to see in others. Make it ok to speak up without fear.

2 Trust and let go

Believe in the ability of your team. They have been employed because they are technically and behaviourally right. Let them undertake tasks, and allow them a level of autonomy that is appropriate to role, motivation and expertise.

3 Allow mistakes to be made…but learn from them

Important to recognise the Think – Act – Results model, whilst promoting innovation by allowing the team to make mistakes without retribution,. but with support. As Jack Welch CEO of General Electric once said it’s not about what went wrong, but that we get it right the next time’

4 Measure the results not the input

Because people do have different styles, different behaviours, different ways, they will do things differently to you. That’s ok assuming they reach the results or objectives needed. Always a good idea to assess if someone really has a great self belief and reason why for the task in hand, otherwise you are setting them up for failure.

5 Communicate

I have about 25 books in my office about this subject. Its vital, not just the what but the how!. Talking to your team regularly is virtual to engage emotions and behaviours. You’ll get to ‘understand’ not just know their needs, and ideas. Also you can more easily articulate the businesses objectives, and how individuals can fit in. People need to feel that they are contributing to something really great.

6 Treat people as individuals, yes…but ensure they are in the team

I worked recently for an organisation where certain members of the team clearly had so much more to offer, but were not given the ‘team’ opportunity, so instead of the organisation realising its people objectives it made it’s own people pain! It’s vital to regularly discuss performance, and to find out what individuals want, and what makes them tick. At Join the Dots we use behavioural profiling, TEIQ, and 360 degree analysis…it works as a platform to move forwards, and engages people into how they can really make the difference and use personal impact to greater effect

7 Celebrate success

An absolute must! As a minimum just remember top say thank you, but have a reason to do this. It is very easy to forget what gets you the results that you want…it’s your people. Saying thank you in the midst of a busy day reinforces the fact that each colleague matters. For many people, genuine praise is more important than financial rewards, but remember it is all about PEOPLE!

Martin Rafe is Leadership and Talent Business Partner at Join the Dots