Most small business owners have seen teams and companies that seem to skyrocket to the top in practically no time flat. Inspired employees bring their best to the table with enthusiasm, innovation and dedication to reach and exceed even challenging projections. As a small business leader, the following six tips can help you grow in your ability to inspire others to reach goals more easily as well as to create a fun and successful work environment for you and your employees.
1. Mission and Vision Orientation
As a leader, you are uniquely positioned to inspire others through getting them on board with the mission and vision of your company. When you wholeheartedly believe in the direction you are headed, it is contagious and comes through enthusiastically in every communication. Some specific tools can help you inspire your team to take ownership of the mission and vision:
- Collaborative vision boards where each person contributes an image that represents the future.
- SMART goal setting that breaks the vision into steps that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time sensitive.
2. Nurture Positive Relationships
Inspiring others to succeed has a lot to do with having an established and trusting relationship with them. This means being intentional through efforts like:
- Coaching calls
- Healthy communication
- Strong listening skills
- Honoring confidentiality
- Regular team celebrations
- Employee recognition
- One-on-one conversations
- Modeling a healthy work-life blend
When your employees feel like they know you as a person and that you care to know them, they are more likely to pay attention to what you do and your guidance.
3. Model and Embrace Essentialism to Inspire Others
It's tough to feel inspired when you are bogged down by trying to do too much and tackling too many priorities at once. Instead of staying on that hamster wheel, learn how to focus on doing what you do best and guide your team to do the same. Your employees are more apt to be inspired to offer their best when they regularly feel successful and accomplished.
Consider some of these concepts from Greg McKeown, author of "Essentialism":
- Take time to escape
- Value exploration
- Reclaim the power to choose
- Work within your purpose
- Focus on only a few things
- Go in one direction rather than several
- Embrace trade-offs
- Say "no" to what's not essential
- Get proper rest
- Design routines for success
4. Value Personal Growth
In the world of business, growth often happens best and most easily when you focus on personal growth. You are more likely to be successful at inspiring others to succeed and grow when you are also continuously engaged in growth. Stress can impede optimal brain function, so focus on your personal health and wellness with things like:
- Physical activity
- Coaching or therapy
- Time management
- Continuing education
5. Prioritize Clear Communication
Communication helps all the employees on your team to work as seamlessly as possible and cuts down on busywork and frustration. You can help inspire others through:
- Lovingly sharing constructive criticism
- Practicing active listening skills
- Communicating in written, visual and auditory form
- Showing empathy toward your team
- Making your case in fair, fact-based ways
- Practicing responsible emotional management
When you are known as the boss who listens, respects and cares, you are also likely inspiring others to succeed and work with you instead of against you.
6. Create an Enjoyable Work Environment
Creating an enjoyable work environment can inspire others by causing them to look forward to the workday. Consider incorporating natural lighting, plants, cohesive decor, comfortable furniture, cold water, hot coffee and nutritious snacks. Even creature comforts like a massage chair in the break room or occasional on-site yoga and tai chi can inspire your employees to bring their A game to help get you where you are going.
- Inc.: 11 Surprisingly Powerful Ways to Be a Really Inspiring Person
- Forbes: How To Motivate And Inspire Your Team To Achieve Better Results
- Entrepreneur: There's a Difference Between Your Company's Vision and Its Mission. Here's How to Achieve Them Both.
- Sloww: 10 Life (& Work) Hacks from "Essentialism" (Book Summary)
- Inc.: 5 Personal Development Strategies to Grow Your Business
- Forbes: Strong Communication, Strong Company: How To Advance Workplace Culture And Strategy
- Business News Daily: 4 Ways to Improve Your Office's Work Environment
Anne Kinsey is an entrepreneur and business pioneer, who has ranked in the top 1% of the direct sales industry, growing a large team and earning the title of Senior Team Manager during her time with Jamberry. She is the nonprofit founder and executive director of Love Powered Life, as well as a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, certified HRV biofeedback practitioner and freelance writer who has written for publications like Working Mother, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle and Our Everyday Life. Anne works from her home office in rural North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three children.