Vincy Workplace
January 11, 2013

Make your employees feel like superheroes in 2013

Just about everyone loves superheroes. They swoop in to help the citizens, always seem to know what to do and when to do it, and for that they are celebrated and applauded. Superheroes just continue to show up and outdo themselves each time, and everybody wants to be a superhero because they make things happen. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a legion of superheroes on your team to get the work done? Well, you can, and here’s how:{{more}}

Set clear expectations. All superheroes know they need to reach out to people in distress and fix the wrongs, but your employees can only be superheroes if they know what you want. With a new year kicking off, this is the perfect time to review expectations. Be very clear about what you require, the results you want and the behaviours that are necessary to make the year a successful one. Have a discussion with each employee and let them tell you in their own words what they understand to be the expectations, so everyone leaves on the same page and nothing is left to vague misinterpretation. When expectations change, communicate that immediately to avoid confusion, mistrust and frustration on your team.

Model the behaviour.

We all love superheroes because they don’t instruct the citizens of their city to be good guys; they themselves get in the trenches and perform heroic acts. As a leader, are you making an effort to ensure that you follow the standards and behaviours you are expecting? Audit yourself with feedback from your employees. You should be the model for what is expected, which can be difficult, as it is easier to say it than it is to do it.

Show your appreciation immediately.

When a hero saves the day, they never have to wait 6-12 months to be appreciated. The response to their deed is swift, positive and it works; so why do some leaders wait until an employee’s evaluation time to commend a job well done, which can be weeks or even months away? Make an effort this year to make employee rewards quick and done publicly, as it boosts morale and serves as a benchmark to be achieved.

Take care of the villains.

When villains come to town, the superheroes work diligently to get rid of them and they are usually successful. Your workplace has villains who sabotage your people and projects in so many small ways; yet in some instances they are given license to continue, because no one says anything. This is where true leaders step in to ensure that the people who are not productive on a team are addressed. The action, too, has to be swift on the first offense, so the standards are maintained and the issue is not left to fester.

The majority of people who come to work come because they enjoy the work, the people or the purpose behind the work. They want to feel valued and respected, and the leader who knows how to nurture and develop these dedicated individuals will feel like he/she has a legion of superheroes in his/her arsenal on a daily basis. What do you have—a legion of superheroes or rogue villains bent on revenge?

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to
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