How the Best Leaders Inspire Their Teams


Nov 04, 2022

Why is encouragement important in the workplace? Encouragement from leadership draws people to give more to their daily work and enhance their talents week by week. Employees view themselves as more competent and valuable when leaders convey a deep belief in their abilities. 

Just 16% of employees feel inspired to go above and beyond in their jobs, a Gartner study found. By just “pushing” people to work harder or relying on external incentives like bonuses, many managers are missing the mark. Encouraging leadership helps people tap into their passion by inspiring them every day. Inspired employees feel driven to excel rather than just coaxed to achieve.

10 Ways to Be a More Encouraging Leader

What does it mean to be an inspiring leader? Let’s explore how to be encouraging by implementing some crucial tips and strategies. By embodying the qualities of an effective leader, you’ll help your team become more driven to achieve your high-level goals.

  1. Communicate openly and honestly

Communicating openly and clearly builds trust with employees, conveying your deep respect for them. Being transparent with your team will also help them feel in tune with the inner workings of your company and, thus, more central to its operations. Likewise, frequent feedback will make them feel supported. Keep them apprised of major developments in the pipeline and share constructive feedback that will benefit their growth, as well as plenty of praise. 

  1. Connect to vision and mission

Inspiring leaders help people find meaning in their work. This begins with connecting to the broader vision and mission of the organization, then focusing on how their role fits into it. Understanding your own purpose as a leader is absolutely crucial to helping employees connect with purpose. The best leaders show their implicit belief in the cause they serve, as Simon Sinek says, motivating others to join them.

Keep in mind that people sometimes understand their purpose clearly but start feeling less emotionally connected to it in their day-to-day work. Hearing stories from clients about how the team has served them can strengthen that emotional connection and inspire employees to give their all.

  1. Stay flexible and open to adaptation

Leaders must frequently change course, adapting in the moment to unpredictable changes in the world around them. Strive to stay mentally agile, ready to adapt your plans when needed. Instead of viewing change in a negative light, look at it as an opportunity to exercise your creative muscles. Then lead through change to inspire growth as a team, providing direction and reassurance.

  1. Encourage people to be their best selves

Help people understand what makes them unique. What do they look like on their very best day when they’re performing at their peak? Help them see and believe in that version of themselves, understanding what allows them to feel their best, be their best, and truly thrive. 

How to do that? When they display their best qualities, let them know. Show gratitude for the energy they bring and the contributions they make. And find out what will help them be their best selves, whether it’s more collaborative work sessions or time for independent thinking. 

  1. Set stretch goals that motivate them

Learn what motivates your employees and help them to drive toward that goal. They’ll feel more engaged and inspired when they’re moving down a clear path to that objective. Likewise, help them set stretch goals that expand their capabilities. Working on your team should be a learning experience that helps them to grow professionally. Most importantly, set goals collaboratively with them rather than imposing goals upon them.

  1. Make sure they do work they enjoy

Ask each employee what they enjoy most about their work, and make sure they’re engaging in those activities regularly. Granted, there will always be tasks that we don’t relish as much as other elements of our work. But if they’re spending much of their time doing what they love, they’ll feel more inspired by their daily work.

  1. Reach out to them regularly

Talk with employees one-on-one about their challenges, accomplishments, and growth process. Listen closely to their concerns, showing empathy. While you may not solve every problem for them, you can provide vital guidance about how to approach challenges. 

  1. Ask for their input

People will feel like a more valuable part of the team and find more meaning in their work when you ask for their input. Seek out their ideas and perspectives, asking thoughtful questions that leverage their specific areas of expertise. After all, they each bring valuable insights informed by their distinct combination of experience and training. 

  1. Stay centered

When you maintain a calm, steady presence throughout tough times, employees will continue feeling driven to give their best effort. Rather than faltering, the team will continue to believe in themselves because of their leader’s confidence in them.

  1. Celebrate small and big wins

Celebrating milestones on the way to success will keep employees feeling capable and motivated. Gather the team together to acknowledge small victories and the progress they represent toward a larger goal. Recognize individual and team contributions, sharing abundant praise.

By putting these tips into practice, you’ll learn how to be a more encouraging leader. You’ll show employees how integral they are to the success of your organization and how they can expand their impact. And you’ll make sure they’re gaining more satisfaction from their work every day. In turn, your inspired employees will be more likely to stay with your company for a long time to come.

  1. About the Author:

  2. About the Author:

    As Principal with Valesco, Patrick Floeck’s primary responsibilities include business development strategy and investment origination. Patrick received his Master of Business Administration from the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business, with a concentration in Finance.

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