By setting goals, sharing progress, and fostering meaningful connections, leaders facilitate the creation of a highly resilient team.
No matter who you are or what kind of company you find yourself leading, the impact of the pandemic on employees across the globe cannot be overstated. From a disrupted routine to a new kind of burnout, the last two years have caused the workforce in every industry to examine their priorities in life and the workplace. Though many companies are returning to a “new normal” after years of uncertainty, a significant number of individuals across industries feel their work lacks meaning or their employers do not provide the support they need to truly thrive. This lack of fulfillment is causing many to leave their current jobs in search of purpose and support in a different career.
Fortunately, leaders who understand the importance of creating meaning and value in daily operations have the power to lead employees to a sustainable, and productive, future of work. From creating meaningful relationships to valuing diversity, organizational leaders have the power to create a dedicated, resilient workforce.
As the founder of Aerie, ensuring my team is happy and challenged is an important part of my job as a business owner. Below are distinct ways I work to create a resilient team. No matter your industry, and regardless of the size of your team, connecting with the motivations of your workforce can create an environment dedicated to growth and success.
Measure What Matters
Setting realistic expectations and business goals is a critical part of ensuring your company stays engaged and encouraged. While it may be tempting to set big, aspirational milestones that will “wow” stakeholders, inaccurate or consistently unattainable goals harm employee morale.
The key to setting expectations without creating undue anxiety, stress, or employee burnout? Using data-driven KPIs for goal setting. Tools such as Microsoft’s Power BI allow our team to see a complete snapshot of the company from every department, and create measurable goals that are attainable, timely, and beneficial to the company as a whole.
Connect Employees with Managers
For small teams, an all-hands meeting to align on strategy may be a common occurrence. Yet for larger corporations, ensuring leadership is on the same page with all levels of employees can be even more challenging. Incorporating methods for improving transparency, allowing employees to share skills and ideas, and providing a platform for employees across the company to connect can do wonders for building a resilient workforce.
Microsoft's employee experience platform known as Viva allows managers to connect with employees on a deeper level, and ensures concerns are heard (and wins are celebrated!) While leadership may be making final decisions, making sure your workforce feels empowered to share ideas is a crucial part of employee retention and resilience. After all, lower-level employees are the leaders of tomorrow! Shouldn’t they be kept up to date on the details of your company?
Prioritize Learning, Growth, and Having Fun
Passion is often an overlooked aspect of creating a strong and well-bonded team. However, ensuring employees are engaged and passionate about the work they do is often key to reducing turnover and creating a team primed for growth. The best way to do this is to sit down with employees and have a conversation! Ask them the type of work they have found particularly exciting, and areas they find challenging. Understand what motivates them and how they define success. Managers who work to ensure their employees retain a passion for the job remain actively creating a resilient workforce.
While every job comes with required tasks, providing employees an opportunity for continued learning in the form of certifications, training, and more can keep their job duties fresh and ever-expanding. Not only does this keep employees motivated, but it can also provide your team with diverse skill sets necessary for continued growth.
Lastly, have fun! Employee satisfaction skyrockets when they are enjoying work. Take breaks, play a game of ping pong, take a client to lunch. Keep up with your mental health. Make time for fun, yes, even at work.
Embracing the Challenge: Preparing Your Workforce for Success
In today’s world, employees are not only working to make a paycheck, but also prioritize being part of a community that values their unique skill set, and respects their goals and motivators. For leaders of organizations, this means it is crucial to make decisions in strategy and technology that not only enhance your bottom line but also highlight the diversity of their greatest asset: employees!
As a leader at Aerie, I am honored to lead a team of such powerful individuals with big ideas on how to impact the future of work. I look forward to continuing to learn how I can build a resilient workforce that paves the way for leaders of tomorrow while keeping innovation and growth at the core.