4 simple but effective strategies for motivating a weary team

4 simple but effective strategies for motivating a weary team

Leaders and managers must nurture psychological safety, foster a culture of open communication, and commit to progress over perfection.

The question of how we continue to motivate our teams and grow organisational resilience has never been more prevalent.

Over the past few years, I have seen more and more cases of employees wanting to show up to work and give it their all but not quite being able to, due to a lack of confidence or not wanting to upset the status quo.

Until we address underlying workplace issues, we may find ourselves navigating a landscape where full potential remains untapped, where creativity is stifled and where the true value of teamwork is under-utilised.

The reluctance to challenge the norm can significantly hinder growth of new ideas that are vital in a competitive media landscape. So it’s time we start looking inwards.

The 2023 State of the Global Workplace report by Gallup highlighted that 38% of Brits experienced significant stress during most of their previous workday. When Jon Clifton of Gallup was asked what leaders could do to change the world, his response was straightforward: “Change the way your people are managed.”

Read that again.

Isn’t it time that, as we step into a new year, we shift our focus from “what if” to “what now”?

Should we not be correcting past mistakes, rather than living with them?

Should we not be carrying forward valuable lessons and committing to changes that foster a more dynamic and thriving workplace?

Importance of psychological safety

In a survey by Slack in August 2023, employees who felt trusted in their workplace exhibited double the productivity of their less-trusted counterparts.

The move up to a managerial role warrants new skills and brings with it a host of challenges. For example, managers often find themselves dealing with a steady stream of resolving conflicts, extinguishing crises and fielding enquiries.

Yet, throughout the process, they are expected to manage not only the team but the feelings these responsibilities bring up — sometimes with zero training.

The phrase “psychological safety” came up time and again when I was training to be a coach and it’s never been more relevant.

Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership at Harvard Business School, explains psychological safety as a “belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes”.

Where was she when I needed her all those years ago, starting out in my first media planning role?

It was ingrained in me, and the rest of the sales team, that we had “two ears and one mouth — use it in that order”. Any ideas I had were quickly quashed for fear of being mocked; it was only the most supportive and empowering bosses who gained my trust and led to my ideas — good, bad, indifferent — being shared.

Commit to progress

Back to Gallup’s research — the report showed that 42% of the reason people are quitting their job is linked to how they feel about their boss or team culture.

The journey to effective leadership is multifaceted, involving not only trust but delegation, understanding, adaptability, communication and a focus on wellness.

By staying committed to learning and growth, and by fostering a culture of trust and open communication, you can lead your team to new heights of success and fulfilment.

So, as we move forward, let’s do so with intention and a commitment of progress over perfection.

Collaborative strategies

In recognising the essential role of leaders and managers in nurturing psychological safety and embracing diverse viewpoints within teams, let’s explore ways to integrate these values into our daily practices.

Consider these collaborative strategies to support our collective wellbeing and growth:

  • Cultivate a team culture that values curiosity, openness and learning, moving beyond scepticism to foster a more engaging and supportive environment.
  • Encourage participation from all team members in creative brainstorms or idea-generation sessions, valuing the wide range of perspectives this brings.
  • Make it regular practice to connect with each team member — not only to understand their feelings but to garner suggestions for enhancing their sense of security and belonging.
  • Openly discuss any challenges the team might be facing, including how external responsibilities might be creating barriers, and collaboratively explore solutions.

Stefanie Daniels is the founder of Life Begins at Menopause and and worked in media sales for two decades, including at Wireless Group (News UK), Bauer Media Group and GCap Media (now Global). 

Career Leaders: The Media Leader‘s weekly supplement with thought leadership, news and analysis dedicated about media careers, training, development and wellbeing.
Sign up to our daily newsletter for free to ensure you stay up to date and receive Career Leaders every Tuesday.

Mediatel Jobs banner

Media Jobs