Get your pom-poms out, because sometimes you have put the cheer in leader.
We all experience setbacks throughout our careers. After investing hours of your time and energy into a project, business, or client, it's disheartening to fail. You feel defeated. Your confidence level plummets. You start to doubt yourself. It's a slippery slope, which is why leaders need to be on high alert when an employee experiences a similar setback.
Now is when your leadership skills have to kick into high gear. It's your responsibility to not only give them a morale boost, but also find out what happened. You have to take the appropriate steps to prevent a similar fate from repeating itself. With effective leadership, you'll be able to turn failures into future wins.
While it's your employee's responsibility to perform, as a leader it's your job to make sure they can. By practicing these techniques, employee motivation will increase, and you'll promote a culture that everyone will embrace.
1. Talk about what happened.
It's important to acknowledge the situation and recognize any shortcomings. They may feel ashamed or embarrassed, but talking it out is a necessary step to move forward.
If this setback was experienced on a team level, be sure to include everyone involved. Addressing the situation openly helps avoid the blame game and encourages dialogue. When team members support one another and collaborate, they can gain insight on what to do differently in the future. Plus it may be just what you need to rebuild camaraderie.
2. Reflect on mistakes.
Ask them to reflect on what went wrong. Leaving the ball in their court forces them to think critically about the next steps instead of waiting for you to tell them what to do. Always listen to their take and never shame them if they admit they had fault.
Recognize the downfalls that occurred. Encourage them not to dwell on the issue and instead learn from it. The most successful leaders know how to turn failures into successes.
3. Show your support.
A supportive work environment is crucial to keep employees productive. Simply letting your employees know you support them will go further than you may realize. When they know they won't be penalized for making a mistake, their confidence will increase.
However, you also want to keep them accountable. Every situation is different, so you'll have to gauge how much the setback was simply out of their hands or due to their errors. If it's the latter, screaming and suspending them is not the answer.
You're there to help them improve and move forward, not strip away their responsibility and demoralize them further. It's clear they're feeling down, so there's no need to make them feel worse. An employee who is feeling bad about a work setback is clearly invested in the company and their performance.
4. Do a little cheerleading.
If someone didn't hit their target, lost a client, or is battling other professional obstacles, ignoring the issue and hoping they figure it out is not the answer. Pay a little extra attention until they're back on their feet.
That doesn't mean you need to do back flips and throw pep rallies in their honor. Instead, remind them of their strengths and the reasons why they were hired. Everyone thrives when they know someone believes in their abilities and is rooting for them to win.
This extra motivation will help restore any confidence that may have been lost with a previous setback.
5. Recognize their accomplishments.
Celebrate the victories, big and small. Recognition shows employees you appreciate their work; rewarding people shows you're paying attention.
Everyone wants to be recognized for a job well done. A valued and appreciated employee is more likely to bounce back should the cards not fall in their favor.