In an Inc. article, Jason Selk writes that to maintain profitability during times of adversity, leaders need to emphasize improvements and progress in their team. He says that while it may be easy to focus on the shortcomings of your team, this kind of thinking is detrimental to a business, especially in times of adversity.

“Getting the momentum moving in the positive direction during times of adversity is 90% of the battle,” Selk writes. “Once it is started, it will become much easier to sustain.”

He provides two methods leaders can implement to drive their teams to focus on the positive. The first is, “emphasize improvement, rather than perfection.” He says driving your team to focus on improvement will help drive further improvement. But this can be easier said than done and Selk says it is something you have to work at every day.

“At the end of each day, ask you team to write down quick responses to three questions. What three things did I do well today? What is one thing I want to improve tomorrow? What is one thing I can do that could help make that improvement?” he writes.

Asking questions like these will help nudge your team to recognize what they’re doing well and look for ways to improve further, Selk says.

Selk’s second method is to reward progress, even if it is just a small victory. He says rewarding progress helps motivate your team to thrive and suggests rewarding one member of your team at least once a week for some kind of victory.

These rewards don’t have to be extravagant, Selk says. “Little celebrations like treating your team to a Happy Hour, bringing in breakfast or a congratulatory email go a long way toward making your team feel valued and encouraged to continue producing,” he writes.

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