How do your employees see themselves?

Do they see themselves as mere cogs in a machine—or do they feel empowered? Do they feel competent? Do they feel like rock stars?

As a keynote speaker focusing on the fields of leadership and engagement, I’ve always been amazed at the numbers of teams I see that seem to have no sense of pride, no confidence in their own ability. And let me tell you something: It’s not the fault of the individual team members. It’s the fault of the team leader, who has somehow failed to make his or her best employees feel like the superstars they really are.

See, the way to build coherent teams and high-performing company culture isn’t to intimidate your employees. It isn’t to make them doubt their own skill or to shake their confidence. It’s to empower them. It’s to make them feel like they can do anything. It’s to give them faith in themselves to dream big, take risks, and solve problems.

Empowering and Engaging

Easier said than done? Not necessarily. There are several strategies you can use to make your employees feel like rock stars. Let me share just a few:

  • Give your employees a sense of purpose. Let them know that their work is important, and that it’s about more than getting a paycheck or bringing more money into the company. Connect them to a social purpose, a cause, or simply a key role in the team dynamic.
  • Include other voices and opinions in your decision-making. Solicit feedback and ideas from your team members. Ask them what’s working and what’s not. Consider what they have to say, and even if you don’t act on a piece of feedback, express gratitude for it. Make your employees feel welcome in sharing further insights and ideas in the future.
  • Give public praise for the employees who do well—but when it comes time to offer constructive feedback or rebuke, make sure to keep it private and discreet.
  • Create new opportunities for your employees to shine. Don’t ever let them get bored! As you see your employees master their work, consider new ways to expand their responsibilities.
  • Invest in team training, providing your employees with opportunities to develop their skills and to become even more confident in their abilities.

Invest in creating a work environment that empowers your employees. Make them feel like rock stars—and don’t be surprised when they continue to perform like rock stars!