Ten Ways to Help Your Team Love Work

February 14, 2023

by Stephen T. Messenger

It’s Valentine’s Day, and I hope you’ve done something special for your significant other. They’re the ones we spend much time with, love, and cherish. It’s our job as half of the relationship to work on improving it every day.

Your work team is also a group that you spend much time with. You love and cherish them, albeit in a slightly different way. Just like in a relationship, you have half—if not more—of the responsibility to help them love their work. Here are a few ways to make your team feel loved.

  1. Say “Hi” in the Morning. A simple, “Good morning,” goes a long way. Just walking around and saying hello is an important connection point to start the day.
  2. Smile. Nothing says you care like being approachable and glad to be at work. If you want others to love their job, you must show you love yours. And it starts with what’s on your face.
  3. Value Their Time. Meetings should start and end on time. Your people have important things to do. Every minute they spend waiting on you is one minute less of something they need to do.
  4. Ask Their Opinion. The project lead has the most knowledge of their project. Ask, value, and respect their advice and take it into consideration.
  5. Be Prepared. Always walk into a room prepared for the event. It shows you care about your people enough to prepare. Come ready to engage, not passively receive.
  6. Spend Time with Them. You should have routine one-on-one sessions with your direct reports to ask open ended questions like, “How’s it going?” and “What can I do for you?” These questions matter.
  7. Visit Them Where They Are. Summoning people to your office can sometimes be the equivalent of going to see the principal. Go meet them in their space and often wander the halls to engage people you may not normally see.
  8. Learn Their Job. I love seeing people in their workspaces and doing what they do for a few minutes. It gives them a chance to show off and you an opportunity to see the hard work your people do.
  9. Provide Growth Opportunities. Encourage people to take new classes, apply for promotions, try new things, and experiment. Most people want to grow—are you encouraging this?
  10. Appreciate Them. Give out awards, recognition, praise, thank yous, and many other ways to show you appreciate your workforce. They deserve it!

Relationships take work. That’s why Valentine’s Day is an over $27 billion industry. It takes just as much work to keep your team in love with their job. These ten items only scratch the surface. What are you doing to inspire your folks to want to come to work every day?

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