As a leader, what you say and how you say it matters—especially when your company is facing a challenge. In times like these, motivation isn’t about scaring employees into working harder with threats and blame, but inspiring them to “do battle” together—unified in purpose and determined to succeed.
When the pressure is intense, consider the following strategies:
• Anchor the organization. Focus people on what they need to do differently and why this is critical to your company’s success. Explain the changes you want to see, and lead people to think about how they can play a role in that transformation.
• Model the right kind of truth-telling. Encourage employees to speak frankly, without finger-pointing. Use clear, direct language. Don’t let fear or frustration creep in.
• Focus on the future. Explain that you want to hear ideas from everyone in the organization on how to do things better—from complex processes to innovation. Be clear that you’re open to two-way conversations.
Adapted from “The Right Way to Rally Your Troops,” by Judith E. Glaser.