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One of a leader’s main responsibilities is to motivate and inspire their team.

This is often done by sending a note or letter, especially at the start or end of the year or as a way to give updates.

Here are five ways to create an effective message that connects with employees and motivates the team:

Be Real 

People want leaders who are authentic and real. Your company and your employees may be going through changes and struggles right now. Acknowledge those difficulties and your own struggles. Being real builds stronger bonds and shows employees you’re human and really care about them.

Be Grateful

No matter what you’re writing to employees about—good news or bad—always be grateful and thank them for their efforts. Employees appreciate being appreciated. Starting your letter with gratitude sets the tone and lets employees know you see them and value their work. Being grateful is especially important in our current climate when things are likely more difficult for employees.

Be Proud Of Success

Share what has gone well for your company and be proud. Success in 2021 may look different than it has in the past, but there is always something to celebrate. Your success might have been surviving a pandemic or pivoting to better serve your customers. Be proud of what you have accomplished and endured and share that with your team.

Be Empathetic

Chances are employees have it worse than you do as a leader. Don’t downplay their difficulties. Acknowledge their struggles, especially in the current pandemic. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they’ve gone through and how you can help.

Be Hopeful

The last year has been rough. But don’t focus on the negative. Your job as a leader is to be optimistic and set a hopeful tone for the future. End your message on a hopeful note and share optimism with employees. Being hopeful doesn’t mean being fake or sugar-coating difficulties. It means finding the positive and holding to hope that things will turn around.

Creating a message for your team is your chance to share news and your vision for the future.

Follow these five steps to draft a message that connects with employees, motivates them, and helps them feel seen and connected to the company.

It isn’t easy to be a leader or employee right now, but real communication can improve the situation for everyone.

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