How Can A Manager Build A Happy Team?

It turns out that gratitude is the key
It turns out that gratitude is the key
Image Credit: Photo by Morvanic Lee on Unsplash

Ok manager, so you are in charge of a team. What would you like to do with that team? If you are like most of us, you’d like to be able to use your manager skills to create a happy, very productive team. The studies have shown us that happy teams score higher on productivity, engagement, loyalty, and creativity. They also take fewer sick days. Who wouldn’t want a team like this? Now, just exactly how do we go about creating a team like this without any manager training on how to do it?

What Role Does Gratitude Place In The Office?

Creating a team in which your team members are high performers is not an easy task to accomplish. However, managers need to understand that this is something that is critical to do. Studies have shown that companies that have top-rated work environments are the ones who are always outperforming their competition in terms of stock price and revenue growth. You would think that all of those high-flying companies out in California’s Silicon Valley would be models of happy, productive teams. You’d be wrong. Despite all of the perks that come along with those jobs, Silicon Valley workers always know that their job is not secure.

Let’s face it, managers have a lot going on. If all of sudden we now need to start to show our teams that we are grateful, then won’t this just become one more thing that is on our plate? It turns out that expressing gratitude can create a powerful high in us. When we do it, we can end up experiencing a happiness “high” that can last for as long as a month. If we take the time each day to create a list of the things that we are grateful for, then we’ll be able to show more enthusiasm and optimism and we’ll be able to make more progress towards our goals.

If you were to take a survey of the members of your team, you’d probably find out that the majority of them believe that gratitude pays dividends when used at work. Most of the members of your team would probably feel better about themselves if you would express gratitude for their work. Even more of them would tell you that they would work harder if you would be willing to express gratitude for their efforts. The problem that managers are running into is that work is the one place where people are less likely to express gratitude than anywhere else. Additionally only a few are grateful for their jobs.

How Can Managers Create More Gratitude?

As a manager, how can you go about building a grateful culture at work? One of the first things that you can do is to take the time to thank your employees. Another way that you can go about doing this is by talking about the company’s larger purpose. By doing this you’ll have the chance to convince your team that your company is a great place to work.

All of these ideas are great ideas, but they are not enough. What managers need to realize is that building a happy team is not something that can be accomplished in a top-down fashion. Gratitude and overall friendliness are things that have to flow in many directions all at the same time. All too often team members view gratitude as being something that only gets expressed at home. Managers have to be willing to build emotional bonds at work in order to make this whole gratitude thing work out. If you are not careful, trying to bring gratitude into the workplace might start to seem forced.

One powerful technique that managers might want to try out is to call a meeting where they simply express their thanks for the efforts that everyone has made. This is almost like team building. During this meeting, team members could use it to express their thanks for the contributions of other team members. This may seem silly to you at first, but you just might end up being surprised at how well it works. Giving the members of your team a chance to express gratitude is something that not only will make them feel good, but it will also improve communication and will allow the team to put more of a focus on what really makes your customers happy.

What All Of This Means For You

The ultimate job of any manager is to find out how to get the most out of their team. All of the studies have told us that a happy team performs better and creates better output. This is good news to have, but just exactly how is a manager supposed to go about creating a happy team that can have such high performance?

Managers need to be working with their team in order to find ways to get the most out of them. Studies have shown that the work environments that get rated the highest are the ones that deliver the best results. All too often we believe that these are the work environments that exist out in Silicon Valley; however, due to job insecurities this is actually not the case. Taking the time to show gratitude to our team will enable them to become more happy and productive. If we create a list of things that we should be grateful for each day, then we can become more happy and positive. If you asked your team, they’d tell you that gratitude goes a long way in making them feel better about their jobs. Managers can show gratitude by taking the time to thank their teams and by reminding them what the company’s larger purpose is. Gratitude is not something that happens in a top-down fashion, instead it has to flow out in all directions. A great way to bring gratitude into the workplace is to hold a meeting where you thank everyone on your team. Give your team members a chance to recognize the contributions of other team members and watch your team improve.

Gratitude seems like it is such a simple thing. However, it turns out that most of us only really take the time to express it at home – we don’t do it at work. Managers need to realize that gratitude is something that has been missing from their work environment and they need to start to make changes to bring it back. It’s not hard to do, you just have to be committed to showing your team some gratitude and then you can step back and watch your team become even better than they are today.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How often do you think that you should hold a meeting to show your team some gratitude?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Managers understand that when the job market becomes tight, employee retention is key. What this means is that they are going to have to get good at using their manager skills to detect when their team members are thinking about leaving. Managers need to be able to detect the tell-tale signs that highly valued team members may be considering moving on in order to get in front of staff turnover before it’s too late.