With summer fast approaching, it means one thing: wedding season. Yes, weddings take place throughout the entire year, but there seems to be something about summertime and warm weather that has brides and grooms running to the altar.
Whether it’s a beach wedding or a two-hour traditional catholic affair, all weddings are showcasing commitment at its best.
Well, if there’s one thing you can take from wedding season, other than the fact everyone loves to play the song “Shout!”, it’s that marriages need a hefty dose of commitment to be successful. The same thought applies to your team at work.
General morale is highly correlated to the commitment of the work group. When people feel supported, acknowledged and respected for their work, they are likely to be committed to reaching their goals and remain loyal to the organization.
Obviously, you want your team to be dedicated to their work and the company, but this doesn’t just happen on its own, managers have a major impact on the behaviors that increase commitment. Your team members look to you to set the pace and provide a role model for hard work and quality. So if you want your team members to be fully on board and committed, you better make sure you are just as committed as well. The problem is that after so many years at the same company, it’s easy to get in a rut and just do the minimum. If you think you and your team are going down that path, it is time to rigorously pursue the reasons for low commitment. Why have your team members given up? Are you contributing to the problem? What are the core issues? How will you address them?
When people are committed, they will work hard because they like the organization and are challenged by the work that they do. Some key ways to showcase your own commitment is to facilitate an atmosphere characterized by trust, honesty, frequent and direct feedback, fair evaluations, and recognition and respect for one’s contributions.
Believe that you have the power to make a difference, and accept the responsibility of trying. Here are some others ways to make sure you and your team are truly committed:
Discuss with your team members how the team or organization can improve. Ask people to challenge assumptions, identify root causes of problems rather than symptoms, and think through all the implications of the solutions they propose.
Focus attention on the areas where you’ll get the most leverage. Too many changes may make the work environment unstable, and people may find it difficult to focus because they’re trying to do too many new things.
Help people on the team see themselves as winners. Set goals to be the best and celebrate accomplishments.
If people have low expectations and minimal hopes, learn why. You may be dealing with a history of low expectations, cynicism, a lack of resources, or a perception of impossible odds. These issues will always stand in the way until you address them directly.
Show your enthusiasm as you talk about the team’s goals and vision, and indicate how pleased you are that people are willing to pitch in and work together. Your personal commitment to the team will inspire others to strengthen their commitment.
Establishing a committed team may enhance your reputation as an excellent leader. Your contributions will be perceived as making a difference to the whole organization, not just your own group. That is something everyone should strive to commit to.