How are you going to inspire your team in 2016?

The fun and excitement of Christmas is over and we’re all back at work again looking forward to the year ahead. As a leader you may have spent some time over the holidays reflecting on what has gone well in your company and what you want to improve in 2016. As part of your reflection did you consider how you’re going to inspire and motivate your team throughout the year ahead?

Have you heard this quote from Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President of Apple? ‘Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employee first’

This is certainly a refreshing way of ensuring that your business is a success. If your team is motivated and feels valued then this will be reflected in their productivity and behaviours. There will be a direct knock on effect on customer satisfaction as well.

So going back to the original question how are you going to inspire your team? They may all be working hard and you may feel they are moving the business forward in the way that you want. But if they’re not, what can you do about this?

At Penny Strutton Ltd we have worked with leaders in a range of sectors and industries and we have found that they all have one thing in common. They want their team to be motivated, enjoy what they are doing and perform to their best ability. But the reality of actually making this happen for everyone can be challenging. A leader that genuinely wants to inspire their team needs to invest time in developing the best strategies that will work not only for the team and company but also for their own individual style of leadership.

We want to cover here three different ways that you can approach this challenge in 2016. You may find that a mixture of all three will give you the best results.

  1. What is your Leadership Style?

Before you start thinking about your team and what you can do differently to inspire them, think about yourself. It may be worth taking a step back and reflecting on your own role, vision and purpose. As part of this process, think about your leadership style and how you want to convey yourself to your team. When you start researching how to inspire others you will come across lists of different ways to do this, ranging from setting clear goals, interacting and listening more to your team as well as giving them more autonomy. These types of strategies will help, but only if they sit well with you and your leadership style. For example if you have an authoritarian style of leading you may struggle to give your team autonomy, even if you know this will help to inspire them. Accessing executive coaching or mentoring for yourself will definitely be a good first step towards developing your own confidence, clarity of vision and exploring ways you can inspire your team effectively.

  1. Internal strategies and programmes.

Another approach you may take is to look at extrinsic factors that support motivation. These are external factors, which can be implemented across the company and will encourage the team to be more productive. There are a number of strategies that companies adopt which help to develop a culture, which is positive, and allow people to feel valued. For example you may decide to create an ‘Employers of Choice Programme’, which will help you to attract and retain the right type of people for your company from the outset. Or you can develop a reward strategy that helps to motivate staff and make them feel more valued. Strategies like these are generally viewed as good practice, so if you haven’t got anything in place already or want to review your current programmes in 2016 the team at Penny Strutton Ltd could certainly help.

  1. Think about the individuals.

Finally and probably the most important of all approaches is to remember that every member of your team is different, a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ doesn’t tend to work especially when you want to inspire individuals. You may decide that holding regular brain-storming sessions with your team and getting them more involved in decision making will help inspire them. But think about each individual in your team, will this approach really work for him or her? So before you get started with implementing lots of new ideas to inspire think about the intrinsic factors that motivate people. Spend time getting to know your team better and listening to them. People want their leaders to know them, understand their skills and behaviours well enough so that they can motivate and inspire in the most appropriate way.

Inspiring your team and helping them to achieve the best they can at work is certainly an exciting and challenging way to start the New Year. If you need any advice on which approach would work best for your company please do get in touch with us by email on or call us on 0115 8800 098.