How to Inspire your Team as a Government Leader

Culture starts at the top of any organization. The tone set by leadership trickles down through government agencies and makes an enormous difference in the motivation and productivity of agency staff.  Did you know that managing and motivating staff was cited as the biggest challenge by government leaders in a recent survey from the Center for Creative Leadership?  Here are some inspiring ways we are seeing government leaders invest in their team’s success:  Leading with context, not control As a government leader, you are responsible for making and communicating decisions out to your organization. In turn, you expect your staff to make informed decisions that reflect the priorities and goals of your agency.  Reed Hastings, the former CEO of Netflix, often emphasizes “leading with context, not control.” Leading with context means making sure your team has all the information they need to make smart, aligned decisions. Here are some simple ways to lead with context:  Dedicate the first or last 10 minutes of your staff meeting to give a “state of the state” and share how your agency is performing  Circulate a monthly memo that reflects on the peaks, valleys, and curveballs of the last month. Encourage your team members to respond and add to it.  Dedicate time in every 1:1 meeting with your direct report to discuss agency objectives and how their work is directly tied to the organization’s goals. By making sure your team can connect their responsibilities to the overall mission of your agency, you are better setting them up for success. Emphasizing training & education Where is institutional knowledge stored in your organization today? Is it readily accessibly and easy to read and understand? Policy sets the bar for expectations in any organization, but too often policy is buried on hard drives or in paper books.  When a new employee starts on your team, set them up for success with a modern, digital employee handbook and policies that are regularly updated. Spend time going over these policies together, and consider giving a mini quiz on the policies and procedures as part of their onboarding.      Esper’s Policy Library is a modern, digital way to create and publish all of your agency’s policies from a single source of truth. By centralizing and modernizing your policies, you’ll reduce administrative overhead and make it easier to train and education new team members.  Encouraging accountability & trust  At its core, culture is about showing up and doing what you say you’re going to do. With the rise of remote work, this accountability can easily slip through the cracks. Do you have a technology system in place that helps you easily establish deadlines, project owners, and transparently track all work across your agency?     Esper’s project management dashboard makes it easy to see who is working on what, upcoming deadlines, and the overall status of your policy projects all from a single place.  Investing in tools  “A craftsman is only as good as his or her tools.” Take stock […]

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