BY ROWENA CROSBIE, president, Tero International
As we near the end of 2020, many of us are reflecting back on a year that will forever be remembered as one for the history books. Change after change, challenge after challenge, the social, political and economical landscape will never be the same.
We can use this moment to think about what’s next and how to move forward. For many business leaders right now, strategic big-picture goals may seem too daunting when just meeting payroll and keeping the lights on another month is all-consuming. So where do we start?
The large, ultimate goals do matter, but what is our system for getting there? Research by Harvard professor Teresa Amabile shows that tracking small wins is the key to higher performance, intrinsic motivation and productivity (https://hbr.org/2011/05/the-power-of-small-wins). As leaders and managers, we can utilize this knowledge for how we guide successful teams.
Author and psychologist Daniel Goleman gives us four simple practices that we can start implementing immediately to track small wins:
● “Make time at group meetings for team members to share their progress and to publicly acknowledge employees’ small wins.
● “Create a space – whether a physical space in your office or a dedicated digital channel in your communications – where employees can visually mark their progress. Seeing a reminder of past accomplishments and public expressions of appreciation boosts morale.
● “End each week with a small gesture or celebration, whether that be providing refreshments in the office or calling it a day a bit early. This ends the week on a positive note and adds to next week’s motivation reservoir.
● “Let your culture shine through – when there is a big win, make a big deal about it. Don’t think about victory celebrations as an unnecessary cost, but an investment in the sustained achievement of your team for their next big win (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-small-wins-matter-daniel-goleman/).”
Even during difficult times, we make daily incremental decisions that lead to small wins that lead to major progress and achievements. Being aware of these micro-steps and taking the time to acknowledge their contribution toward our individual or team goals can help us on the path to success.