Do you have a favorite song that makes you feel instantaneously uplifted? Recently, everytime I listen to “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, I feel infused with an infectious positive energy.
Consider what you could do as a leader to tap into this type of positive energy to engage your employees to maximize their potential. During my career as a corporate leader and executive coach, I’ve experienced that when a leader is brimming with energy and is capable of energizing his followers, half of the effort of making things happen is done.
There are many motivational techniques and reward models for creating these types of positive vibes.
Design Energy Rituals
Recently I came across a New York Times article, which uncovered a lesser-known factor attributing to the Chicago Cubs’ success of breaking a 108 year championship losing streak. Prior to practice, the team’s conditioning and strength coach, Tim Buss, calls the players into a circle formation. A team member is randomly chosen to stand in the middle of that circle, and each person then goes around and says something positive about the selected person. Third Baseman, Kris Bryant, shares “There’s times throughout the year where I need them to say something positive about me and I feel better. ” Buss is also known for showing up to work wearing quirky ensembles. Team members delight in this and concur that the more positive energy, the higher morale is boosted and elevates the team as a whole.
These energy rituals, including similar team-building exercises or bonding experiences, help to motivate and build a connection and sense of common goals. As you get employees more intimately involved, their job becomes more like a shared experience that they connect to on an emotional level.
Increase your “Relational Energy”
In a study published by Harvard Business Review, it was shown that “relational energy” in the workplace, the energy that comes from interacting with work colleagues, has a direct effect on employee performance. Some people have an innately positive outlook towards work and their everyday tasks at hand. Simply by being around such people, your mood and work approach can be elevated, and thereby your work performance. As a leader, you can motivate and inspire your team on a regular basis by imbibing them with a healthy cup of affirmation and positivity. The research’s empirical evidence found that a manager’s relational energy “increases one’s motivation at work, attention to tasks, and absorption in work activities.”
Create an Inspiring Workspace
Although your firm may not be a hip start-up, there’s no reason you can’t adopt some of the attractive bells and whistles that deliver the creativity offered by such glossy tech companies. Create a culture that is inspirational and fun. Add a ping-pong or foosball table to the common area as an alternative to gathering ‘round the water cooler or stale vending machines. Designate workspace areas designed for engagement and coworking. By investing in a work atmosphere and culture that is inspirational, people are incentivized to come together and collaborate. This also lends itself to a renewed sense of enthusiasm and commitment to their job.
Whether you start the ritual of a monthly flash mob on the company roof terrace, or a meditative, kumbaya fireside sit-down, think about ways in which you can deliver inspirational energy to your team. Look for out-of-the-box approaches to invigorate the daily humdrum and infuse with creativity. And as Timberlake reminds us, be sure to bring some of that “sunshine in your pocket”.
Leticia Hartmann is a Certified Executive Coach who specializes in leadership and career growth. She is the founder of Exploritat.