What we need to feel to be part of the team
Sudenpentujen käsikirja esimiehille
THE FEELING OF SAFETY
One thing in common for effective teams is their ability to make every one feel safe in their team. Safety in a team creates an open space where everyone can be themselves and openly discuss their ideas. The team members are actively listening to each other. It is clear, that not everyone thinks alike and that is the amazing thing about teamwork. Every team member has different ideas and ways to solve problems, when they feel like it is safe to bring up those ideas, great things are born. If all team members would just agree with the first idea someone says, there would be no innovative ideas at all in the world.
The feeling of safety has everything to do with trust. If you do not trust your team members, this can not only cause personal irritation between you but can also have an impact on the outcome. For example, at a construction side, if the team does not work together, it can lead to serious mistakes that can create big harm in the future. You must be able to others when you think they are making a mistake and vice versa. Open communication is the key to any project to success.
It is important to notice that there are different types of personalities in one team. Thus, to create a team where everyone feels safe, everyone must know the fact that people are all different. It is easy to fair the differences in a team. If someone is not thinking exactly like you it can seem first imitating. As a leader the goal is to know your team. Are they idealists or rationalists? How can I create an environment where everyone feels appreciated? The environment where everyone can shine their best way.
The team leader must try to show that openness’s and honesty is rewarded in a team. To create trust and safety in a team, the leader must be consistent on these matters. It is not enough to tell the team that feedback and opinions are welcome, the leader needs to show that his/her reaction to those are positive and that there are open themselves. If a leader is praising on about importance of feedback but then acting mean or hostile when being on the receiving side, this will shut the team down.
THE FEELING OF BEING APPRICIATED
To begin with, we all have the need to feel appreciated. We want to feel like we are doing something that matters. Being an active part of a team at work makes us feel appreciated and needed.
One important way for a team leader to show appreciation towards a team member is encouragement. When you tell someone, they are doing a good and important job, it gives them a positive emotional charge that they will then pass on to their work. However, the leader of the team needs to make sure to give that encouragement and cheering to all team members and not just focus on one member. If one gets always positive feedback on their work but one gets nothing, it will cause unmotivated feelings and affect the results of their work.
Listening is one of the most crucial thing good leadership includes. Just by listening to your employees, you can create a feeling of appreciation. You can do this in many ways. Naturally, the best way would be sitting down with everyone and really listening to them but if this is not possible, just to show that you are there to listen if something comes up is important.
Recognizing your employee’s capabilities is another factor when looking at workplace appreciation. Knowing what they can do and what they are willing to learn is important for them and for you. If a team leader is only giving the employees task that anyone could do, they will start feeling unmotivated and not appreciated. Like mentioned in the beginning we all want to feel like we are doing something that matters. If your employees feel like you don’t trust their capabilities, will that feeling disappear very quickly.
As a leader you need to show your employees your own vulnerabilities. Show them that you are also human and make mistakes. This will build trust in a team and being vulnerable will make them feel appreciated.
THE FEELING OF BELONGING
Like mentioned in the previous part, we all want to be an active member of a team. The feeling of belonging to a certain group will thrive the members towards a common goal. It is the “us against the world” attitude that will bring your team forward.
Building this feeling starts with creating that common goal. The leaders need to decide with the team what the goal is and how will the team get there. With a clear goal in mind everyone will feel like part of the group and do their best to achieve their part in it. Everyone has to own the goal and it´s shared vision.
The feeling that you can rely on your team members if anything happens is an important factor of belonging. Wanting to support and help your team creates trust and feeling that you are in this together.
From the business point of view, it is important that your employees are sticking together. When one has a great team around them it will lower the stress levels and reduce the risk of burn outs. This will decrease sick leaves.
All in all, the feeling of belonging brings joy to the team. Employees will be happy to come to work and will be motivated to work in the best way they can. This is dream state for the team leader. When your employees are happy and motivated this usually brings great results with the business itself.
THE FEELING OF HAVING AN INFLUENCE ON SOMETHING
Like with the feeling of being appreciated, having an influence on something is important on daily basis at work.
With the feeling of having an influence on something listening is again an important part. When one has the feeling at work that someone is listening and taking your comments in, makes a big difference on employee satisfaction. A leader must show their employees that they are listening to them and trying to understand them.
The employees must have the possibility to influence decisions in order to trust the leaders. This shows specially in times of change. The big changes usually involve mostly the employees and if they do not have a say in those decisions the trust will disappear. When the leaders want to have engaged employees, giving them a change to give their opinions is crucial.
As a team leader, make your team feel involved already in the beginning. Give them the opportunity to start change, comment on change and influence change. Have them with you during change all the steps. This will create a solution that will suite you and the team, and thus give the business the best results.
THE FEELING OF FAIRNESS
We want to be treated fair with everyone else. This can be seen already with small kids. For example, if mom gives a treat for the other kid but does not give anything to the other, it feels unfair and might make us mad. If we can see unfair action around us, it will make us question all the actions that person takes. In working life, if the employees are seeing that someone is trying to benefit without taking the whole team into account, this can create a hostile environment where effectiveness is lacking. People get jealous and that is toxic in work environment.
As a team leader clear and same rules for everyone must apply. It does not matter if it’s about doing the dishes or work schedule, the rules need to be the same. If there are unfair decisions in any areas, it can create little clubs and eventually turn your employees against each other. Having your employees turn against each other can not do any good to your company. A good team leader gives time for everyone in the team, not just the ones that think the same way.
Acknowledgment of the social skills can’t be emphasized enough in leadership. Social intelligence and empathy are key elements of a successful leader. Bringing these skills into your work and team will create markable results.