Ambition in the workplace can mean anything from creating work you’re proud of and going the extra mile for a promotion, to competing against colleagues for employee of the week.
There’s no doubt that a motivated, ambitious workforce are more productive and eager to succeed. So how do you encourage this culture?
Today we’re looking at some of the ways you can help to create an ambitious workforce, as well as the leadership and IT Project management skills required to nurture and develop it.
Why ambition is a key ingredient to success
Ambition is defined as a strong desire to do or achieve something. Determination, drive, enterprise and initiative often go hand-in-hand with ambition, and these are all positive traits in the eyes of a successful business owner.
There’s no denying the link between ambition and success, as ambitious employees are less likely to give up on their goals, and more likely to strive for more.
The most important thing you can do is to support your staff to ensure their ambition doesn’t fade over time and is recognised, appreciated and rewarded.
Leadership qualities to drive teams forward
Managing an ambitious workforce starts with getting to know the individuals. Everyone’s different, so identifying their specific needs will allow you to customise your approach.
Clear communication and honesty is an imperative leadership and team management skill when working with ambitious staff and driving teams forward. Other important qualities include confidence, understanding, respectfulness and integrity.
A good leader of ambitious staff must also know when it’s time to outsource or delegate work. Your employees do their best work when provided with the tools and time to do so. It’s important to acknowledge when you’re wasting their time on boring tasks that are below their capabilities.
Think of some of the world’s great leaders: Tim Cook (Apple), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code), Jan Koum (Whatsapp) and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn). They each have the ability to motivate their employees, help others to see and believe in their vision, and lead innovation in their companies.
Ways to improve team morale and motivation
Creating a positive atmosphere at work is a key team building technique that will improve morale and motivation – particularly when you’re managing people with low ambition and you want to boost their confidence.
There are several different ways to create an environment at work that is focused on positivity, such as:
● Fun-filled activities and games for staff including treasure hunts, themed days, trips out etc.
● Regular rewards to celebrate good work and project wins.
● Ice-breaking exercises for the team to get to know each other better.
● Sprucing up the office with bright and energising décor.
● Providing positive feedback and encouragement even for smaller tasks.
Whatever you choose to do, positive psychology should be at the centre of your strategy for leading your team. By creating a positive environment using the above techniques, you’ll encourage a sense of community and, in turn, hopefully improve team morale.
Communication is key
Whether your team work in the office, from home, or a combination of both – clear and open communication is an incredibly important tool for managing ambitious staff.
There are a lot of tools out there that can help teams to better communicate amongst each other both from the office and at home. Whether you use team chat apps such as Slack, video call software like Zoom, or project management platforms such as Trello, Wrike and ClickUp.
Whatever method and technology you choose, ensuring your leadership communication is strong will be so important, particularly when learning how to manage remote teams as well as ambitious staff.
As a team leader, you should make sure you’re setting a good example by fostering good working relationships amongst all your staff. Show your team how you expect them to communicate by leading the way.
Ensuring a healthy work-life balance
Our final point for ways to create ambition in your staff is to ensure they enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
Getting the balance right between work life and home life can be the key to better mental health and reduced stress. Too much stress can lead to burnout, demotivation, fatigue and irritability. All these things can result in decreased productivity.
The concept is constantly evolving, but one thing we do know is that good work-life balance looks different for everyone, so the key is to remain as flexible as possible.
It is really important to put safeguards in place to ensure your staff enjoy a healthy balance. This helps them to stay motivated and ultimately leads to better productivity and output for your company.
There are a few ways you can encourage your team to switch off and avoid unnecessary stress, such as:
● Guilt-free breaks. Make sure your workforce knows the importance of breaks and holidays, and never feels guilty for taking one.
● Boundaries. Don’t send emails or texts outside of work hours. Let your staff have their nights and weekends off. Don’t set an expectation that anyone should stay later than their usual hours.
● Move more. Encourage your team to get up from their desks regularly to stretch their legs and give their body a break from the seated position.
Now you have a better idea of how to create an ambitious workforce, it’s time to make sure you’ve got the foundations and infrastructure set up to make it a reality.
At Dr Logic, we have technical consultants who can ensure your business provides everything it needs to attract and maintain an ambitious, motivated and successful team.
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