Discover more from The Manager’s Prism
From Little Things, Big Things Grow
How Leaders Foster A Winning Culture
Many organizations have a tendency to throw teams into the deep end, assigning them extremely complex projects and measuring success based on the outcome of the entire project. The expectation is that the team will do everything in their power to survive and, in the process, gain valuable experience that will allow them to deliver high-quality results in the future.
This has proved to be successful, but could be extremely stressful. There is an alternative. Great leaders have embraced this alternative approach early on in their careers to build happy and motivated teams. So, what do they do?
They celebrate small wins.
Celebrating Small Wins
Our lives, be it personal or professional, in a way, is a pursuit of finding solutions to problems. And we as humans are thrilled when we find these solutions. No matter how simple(small) or complex(big) a problem is, we experience a dopamine rush, the moment we solve it. And this experience is amplified if we have someone to share our success with.
As a leader you are always in search of different ways to keep your team motivated along with building and preserving a cohesive culture. Celebrating small wins is a good way to bring your team together and align them to the team’s and organization’s goals.
As a leader you should try and create an opportunity for a small win. Leaders have the tendency to spend most of their time thinking strategically, which is a good thing. When you have a strategy and you and your team are all-in working towards it, identify a few tiny milestones that you think will play an important role in achieving your strategic goals. When your team achieves them, ensure that they know the importance of it and take the time to appreciate their efforts.
Small wins are especially important when you have new members joining your team. You want them to have their first victory. Ensure that you have tasks laid out for them that they can execute faster but important enough to give them the feeling that they have contributed to the team. This immediate ability for them to deliver something for the team gives them a boost of confidence and the enthusiasm required to take on tasks that get progressively more complex and harder. They will always look back at their success and look forward to another instance of the same feeling.
For a leader it is equally important to have these wins celebrated as a team. This builds camaraderie. Choose your own organization's method for appreciation for e.g. emails, shout outs, spot bonuses, announcements within team meetings and other such forums.
Encourage your team to celebrate and convey the message that you see tremendous potential in them. Let them know that this is just the beginning of many more wins to come.
Small Wins Over Time
As your team matures, as a leader, you should progressively redefine what constitutes a small win for team members who have been with the team for a while, when compared to someone who has just joined. This is crucial. The tasks for people with tenure should get progressively challenging to achieve as they will start getting comfortable with easier tasks and the actual thrill to solve problems will diminish. They need to be kept interested.
So, start with small wins and gradually increase the unit size of a small win.
These small wins slowly will lead to larger wins. It is a snowball effect. With the confidence they have received by bagging small wins, the team pushes themselves to achieve bigger goals. The team banks on these small wins they have had over time to give you all they have when the times are tough.
If you are a manager, experiment with this approach and evaluate to see if this works for you. There is a good chance that you may see an increase in motivation within the team. And what follows is a sense of ownership and commitment with better teamwork.
It is from such little things, big things grow!
I would love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts!
The Manager’s Prism is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.