The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: How do you keep your team motivated? is written by Dev Ittycheria, president and CEO of MongoDB.
Roll up your sleeves. Give your team a reason to believe they can succeed. Celebrate success. These are all standard principles of motivating your team. They are foundational, but still relatively basic. However, to drive a massive team to do great things, you need to do more. So here are four things you can do at your company that every employee can rally behind:
Make people believe in your mission
Your team needs to know what you’re trying to accomplish, and your mission needs to be compelling enough that they will want to be a part of it. So provide a clear purpose, and explain the “why.” Most importantly, your goal can’t be limited or obviously tactical.
Show how every employee can make an impact
Next, the team needs to understand the steps you plan to take to implement the mission. In addition to creating clear and winning strategy — that puts focus on the core (no more than five) initiatives for the year — you also need to ensure the entire company is aligned around the strategy, meaning everyone’s work plan can be tied back to your initiatives. One useful model is Objectives and Key Results (OKR), a method popularized by Google (GOOGL). The OKR process not only allows you to link all your employees’ work to the broader company critical initiatives, but it also allows them to see what other employees are working on, creating opportunities for alignment, collaboration, and cohesion.
Define your best
Once everyone sees how you plan to implement your mission and believes that they can be a part of it, they need to also understand how you operate. This is your DNA, something that can’t be replicated from one company to the next. Your culture is your company’s personality. Your values are the principles that guide how you operate — essentially how you work when you are at your best. When a company is very clear on its values, it provides a framework for employees to model, helps screen and recruit new staff, and effectively reward people who exemplify these values.
Provide opportunities for growth
Employees get motivated when they believe they are learning valuable new skills and building relationships that will span not only their time at the company but during the course of their career, and having the opportunity to take on bigger challenges than they ever had before. By doing this, you have a greater ability to grow and promote internal candidates for leadership roles. This is a positive way to retain our culture, create a meritocracy and keep our best people.