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How Do Leaders Maintain Strong Teams?

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Some say people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. If this is true, then managers have a large responsibility to retain their hard-working employees and maintain their team as a whole. But how exactly can leaders foster an environment that supports this? It starts with hiring with intention. When you hire people you believe are the best fit for the job, you lay a foundation for success. Let’s say you already have a solid team — it’s equally important to strive to keep this team, making sure they’re satisfied and want to continue working for you. I find that employee satisfaction stems from a few key factors: their engagement in their daily work, encouragement from their manager, and their connection to their team. Here are a few areas I focus on to keep my strong team together:

Support and encourage your team

The best leaders are the ones who set their team up for success. This starts with giving them the framework and training necessary to do their jobs well. Employees will be much more apt to feel motivated if they’ve been given the right tools to tackle their work. Managers should have their employees’ backs, helping remove obstacles that come their way and aiding them in their self-improvement efforts. I recommend meeting regularly with employees and helping underperforming ones create new goals that are motivating and achievable.

Resist controlling every detail

If you’ve hired the right person for the job and have given them the framework they need to do their job well, it’s time to take a step back and give them space. Managers who fall into micromanagement habits will often send their employees looking for new work. Remembering to give your employees some free reign will help foster the kind of environment of trust and encouragement you want. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely hands-off, it just means you’re not taking control of their every move. Trust that they’ll fulfill their role, and offer assistance when they need it.

Create an environment of trust and communication

Fostering a healthy work environment is one of the biggest responsibility a manager has. And while encouraging employees and setting them up for success both contribute to an environment of trust, there’s even more you can do. I’ve found that satisfied employees are ones who feel connected to their team and their company. They should feel comfortable coming to their manager, and an open-door policy is an effective way to support that open communication. Regular one-on-one meetings, as well as team meetings, are important, and employees should also feel connected to their fellow employees. Managers can foster these connections by encouraging team bonding. Create more opportunities for team-building through group outings and planning activities. All of these things are an investment in the strength and longevity of your team and individual employee happiness.

Offer incentives

Employees are often most successful when they’re motivated, whether by internal or external motivators. Managers should show appreciation for each employee through simple recognition or even through incentives and rewards. There are plenty of ways to demonstrate this, but one of the most basic is by giving them some public recognition of achievement, maybe during a group meeting. Managers can also offer incentives and rewards for their hard work. For example, if an employee reaches a goal, they could be entered into an office raffle for a reward like a gift card. Whatever kind of positive reinforcement you choose, these small actions help your employees feel that their role is important.

In the end, a business is only as strong as its employees. It’s up to managers to lead with intention and help maintain the strength of their team. Earning respect takes time and effort, but it pays off tenfold when those employees continuing working hard year after year. Do you have practices that help you ensure your employees are satisfied? Share some with us in the comments.