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‘Being good is good for business. If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just’ (Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop)
The concept of working human and bringing more humanity and social connection to the employees’ experience continues to gain momentum with forward-thinking business managers. According to a study conducted by Globoforce, employees are looking for meaning, value-based recognition, and positive manager-employee relationship. It is clear. Time for bosses is gone. The era of leaders has arisen.
Exceptional leaders care about their crew. They invest effort in creating healthy emotional connections with others and making a positive contribution at all levels. Striking the right interpersonal chord with your staff is crucial for both managers and employees’ fulfillment. However, managing the rights doses of friendliness and overall business and outcomes responsibility is not a simple thing. You want your employees to enjoy what they do but also to deliver. You want your employees to like you but also respect you. A successful team needs a confident leader, not a friend. So how can we then draw the healthy line between leadership and buddyness?
- Stop focusing on being liked and start focusing on providing guidance and support
According to the Gallup study, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, new workforce generations do not want bosses but coaches. Millennials will feel valued and cared about with managers that help them to understand and build on their strengths.
The trap of wanting to be liked is quite usual but requires to be suppressed to reach real caring. Caring is very different from wanting to be liked. Caring is non-conditional and applies to every employee. Caring will ensure that leaders are able to course-correct employees humanly for the good of them, the team and the company and without letting personal concerns get in the way.
- Show interest in who they are and what they do
Getting to know your employees on a personal level, while not getting too personal is a great way to show them that you generally care about them as people and not just as employees. Rather than focus on their individual tastes or needs, get interested in things inside their different circles of influence. Knowing about your employees’ kids graduation, a family funeral or the anniversary date when they joined the company are successful ways to show humanity that will not interfere in the in the seriousness of your professional relationship.
- Search always for a win-win situation
Asserting your role as a leader requires to make clear decisions consistently and communicate them effectively. You need to be open to all ideas, but sometimes it needs to be clear that you will make the final decision. This is part of the job. But getting into the decision-making process with a win-win approach will help you to keep your team always satisfied. It is not about making deals or letting things go in a way they should not. It is about clearly communicating your choices. Explaining to your employees the reasoning and goodwill behind your decisions will move them to support you as a leader even when going through the storm.
- Take ownership and responsibility for your team
As much as flexibility and humanity, authority and clear frameworks are vital for success in any proactive workplace. Being too friendly or getting personally too close to your employees could eventually jeopardize your authority. The best way to ensure that your role is well respected and understood is to really take ownership and responsibility for your team. With fair and self-sacrificing leaders, employees get to experience a state of wellbeing that makes them feel more loyal and committed to their leader and the organization.
- Create a workplace that respects and cares about employees’ life
One of Gallup’s study most important discoveries is that for the new workforce generations, a job is no longer just a job―it’s their life as well. More so than ever in the history of corporate culture, employees are asking, “Does this organization value my strengths and my contribution? Does this organization give me the chance to do what I do best every day?” New generations do not care about the bells and whistles found in many workplaces today. They do not need ping-pong tables to increase their level of satisfaction. What they want is a purpose and the possibility of holistic development.
Once they are fully developing their potential through their work, employees need to feel that their wellbeing is respected. Delaying half an hour their arrival working time to put kids at school, providing them with a special chair adjusted to their back problems, always respecting their working hours and rewarding any extra work or particular input are straightforward ways to make them feel that you genuinely care about their wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them.
- Lead on positive
Listen to them. Start easy without procrastinating. Let them get motivated by giving them the space to develop their own ideas. Work on their strengths. Help them to grow their leadership skills. Make them feel valued. People that are praise on a regular basis for what they do well are much more prone to accept constructive critic when needed without feeling hurt. Make of your workplace an island ruled by peace and harmony. Where everybody has an important role. Where they all row together against the cliff in the middle of the storm. Where they follow you because is on their own benefit.
- Give your trust
Trusting your employees is always the right choice. Just by trusting your team and giving them full responsibility for their job you can actually empower them. Trust always work. Well to define a team fully working independently and productively by entrusting autonomous and responsible individuals; well to get rid of those ones that are not responding proactively and honestly to this trust!
January 10, 2019 at 12:51PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs