There are countless ways to inspire your team. However, I have listed what most would agree are the top three ways:
Lead by Example
There was a pastor of a large church in the greater Phoenix area and at a particular service he was asking (not telling, simply asking) his congregation to consider donating the shoes they were wearing, as the church was going to bring them to those less fortunate. While it can be argued that those people may not need a pair of heels or fashion boots, that was not the lesson. There were five services, and hundreds of people walked out of those services barefoot or in socks. The pastor gave away five pairs of shoes that weekend. Talk about leading by example! As a manager, this is the number one thing you can do to establish trust with your team. Anything you expect them to do – you better be leading the charge. Your team should never question your work ethic or loyalty. If they do, you risk a loss of productivity. Lead with authority, not fear, and you will earn, and keep, their respect.
Be a Coach
Once your team has the tools needed to succeed, they need to know you are available if they need you. Have an open-door policy and be approachable. Listen to your team’s concerns, as well as any ideas they may have. They are on the front lines, so to speak, and can often provide you with valuable insight.
Treat every opportunity as a coaching moment. When an employee does something wrong, show them how they can do it better. You will increase their confidence, resulting in increased productivity and a more satisfied employee. When their performance is worthy, recognize it. A simple thank you is fine; if they went up and beyond, perhaps a gift card or certificate. Positive reinforcement can be one of the most effective leadership tools.
Learn about the members of your team. What are their interests? Are they from the area? You do not have to get overly personal but let them know you understand they have a life outside of work. Getting to know them, and opening yourself up a bit, lets them know you are not just their manager, but a human like them.
Every manager wants to be a great leader, but you have to be willing to put in the time and effort it takes. Be the example, coach them through the rough times, and show a little human kindness. So, unlock that office door, invite your team in, and watch the morale sky rocket.