Anyone who has experienced an iron deficiency knows that it can have some debilitating effects. You feel lethargic, you lack stamina, and it may even affect your heart.
If you have tried to lead an anemic team, you know the effects can be very similar.
How do you know your team is anemic? Look for these signs:
- Do they lack energy in their work?
- Are they just showing up for a paycheck?
- Have they lost their enthusiasm?
- Do they lack the stamina to stick with a project until it is completed?
- Do they appear to have lost heart?
- Do they complain more than work?
- Does the quality of their work pale in comparison to normal?
If this describes your team or anyone on it, it is your responsibility as a leader to do all you can to bring the energy back.
How do you create positive energy on your team?
Realize the definition of deficiency is “lack or shortage”.
Ask yourself if recent changes in your organization have created a shortage of resources, thus increasing the load on those who remain. This is common in an era of extremely tight margins and can result in diminishing returns if you as the leader do not monitor the level of the workload on your team. In a situation where team members are taking on extra duties, be sure to acknowledge their added contributions. Being sincerely recognized and appreciated as a valuable member of the team creates energy. It may be that you need to re-prioritize your goals in order to accomplish the main priorities without depleting your team.
Go back to center, and the center is vision.
Communicate that vision with purpose so each team member knows his or her contribution matters. Let them know they are more than just employees, they are partners with you in the work of making a difference in the lives of others. Being a part of a common goal is energizing.
Determine the cause of the deficiency.
Has a member of your team, or your team as a whole, suffered a recent failure? Help them work past the failure by learning from it and moving forward. Show them you support them as long as they are willing to give it another shot. Overcoming failure – and succeeding – provides a great energy boost.
Is each member of your team working in their strengths zone?
One of the biggest energy drains is one where someone is doing work that just not fit them. No amount of character can totally bridge that gap. One of the greatest boosts comes from working in your strengths zone. If you’ve ever worked on a project and been so absorbed in it that you’ve lost track of time, you are working in your strengths zone. As a leader, make it your business to know the strengths of each team member, and assign work that fits those strengths.
If your team is anemic, know that you, as the leader, can bring the energy back. In fact, that is exactly what a good leader does.