Anyone who has built a successful company knows well the importance of hiring employees who will support his or her vision. Goals and objectives are defined, timelines are set, revenues are projected, and business is done every day to satisfy customers’ needs and demands and to generate profits. To ensure that this happens consistently, proactively and effectively, it’s crucial to build a team of employees who will serve as an extension of the executive whose name is on the letterhead.
To accomplish this, a leader must inspire action.
John Fielding, a Toronto businessman who founded the company Array Marketing with his brother Bill back in 1981, has often said that he attributes his success to the people who surround him. Starting out with a good idea, John Fielding’s company, which launched as a specialty advertising firm, is today a highly successful enterprise that counts many of the top companies in the world of retail among its clientele.
When asked for his views on hiring and inspiring his employees Fielding says, “I think it’s important to treat others as you want to be treated and to encourage employees to be collaborative.” Realizing that everyone is different and that every situation is unique, he adds that. “When hiring, you have to realize that everyone on your team brings different strengths, weaknesses, skills, and talents. A good leader will recognize them and help each person develop his or her talents as well as new skills.”
Many leaders say you can tell, depending on how you interview staff members, who will fit well into your company and share your entrepreneurial vision. For example, there’s often a level of excitement present in them as you tell them about the company’s mission and values, and what they’ll be expected to accomplish. Then, once they’re on board, it’s important to create an environment and culture that makes them look forward to going to work each day. In many cases, it’s good to have a strong level of vibrancy.
“A dull office is highly unlikely to inspire your staff to give their very best,” writes AJ Agrawal, founder of tech firm Verma Media. “Try to create a warm, welcoming environment where people want to work. Building this kind of atmosphere is dual – you need a physical space that is appealing, comfortable and favorable to work, and a working relationship with your team that promotes voluntary excellence. Make sure that you do what you can to create a cool space and collaborative work environment and your team will want to work harder for you.”
Another tactic to help you connect effectively with and inspire employees is to create a culture of transparency. Too often, top-level decisions are made without employees’ knowledge. If you keep employees informed about new developments and those that are in progress, as well as planned changes, it helps them to perceive you as an open, honest leader, and one not only trusts them with important information but also invites them to weigh in with their opinions.
“I am very open with employees about what’s happening at the highest level so there are no surprises and everyone has a chance to ask questions and give feedback,” says Martina Welke, co-founder, and CEO of tech company Zealist. “I want employees to feel included in big decisions and committed to the direction our company takes. This has helped to sustain motivation and increased company loyalty and pride.”
Of course, one of the most effective ways to inspire employees is to let them know how valuable they are to the company. “People crave recognition,” says Charleston, South Carolina-based performance coach Liz Guthridge. “Recognition serves a worthwhile purpose. Recognition confirms you’re doing the right thing and encourages you to keep doing it. Plus the act of giving and receiving recognition makes both the giver and receiver feel good, thanks to the hit of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter.”