— July 20, 2017
Only 21% of employees in the U.S. agree that “their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work,” according to a Gallup poll. That means 79% of people in the workplace feel that leadership does not do their job effectively – to lead by example and help make the employee experience a happy and productive one.
Both employees and their superiors must work together to find motivation in the workplace. Employees need a passion for their work, time management skills, and a desire to help improve their company. Employees also need to feel appreciated and needed; leaving out any of these pieces makes a positive work environment difficult to achieve.
Leadership styles have changed significantly over time. In the past, companies often adopted a commanding, or “military style,” leadership, according to the WSJ. The modern workplace calls for different leadership approaches depending on the setting, project and employees involved. These include visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and commanding leadership, and each approach’s success depends on the business culture and environment.
Leaders should adopt a hands-on, engaged approach to maximize productivity and engagement. Companies should consider the following leadership attributes a requirement when hiring executives and managers.
A leader must be authentic.
Being an authentic leader accurately encompasses several other positive attributes. An authentic person is honest, does not exaggerate or lie, and strives to keep employees informed whenever possible. Authentic leaders clearly state what is wanted and needed, and provide honest feedback about what is working and what is not.
A leader must be open-minded.
An open leader who listens is a step ahead. Employees’ biggest complaints include not being heard, appreciated, or recognized – problems that are easy to remedy with some time and attention. Quality, engaged employees often have some of the best ideas for improving business functions and making changes. Taking the time to listen and consider is a win-win. Being an open-minded leader allows for positive changes in your company and makes employees feel both recognized and appreciated.
A leader must communicate – quickly and often.
Talking to your employees seems like an easy and fundamental quality for a leader to possess, but is often forgotten. The press of daily work can be so great that basic and timely communication falls down the list of to-dos. Inviting employees to lunch once in awhile, or requesting, and listening to, feedback on a project all reinforce that leadership is interested in and values employee opinion. Feeling appreciated improves your employee’s performance and well-being.
If only 21% of leaders fulfill employees’ needs, changes must be made. Without engaged leadership, employees seldom feel fully motivated or fulfilled. Employee engagement and performance directly impacts the performance of a business, and disengaged employees are not sticking around to deal with bad management en masse. Hang on to the great employees! Engage. Communicate. Listen. Value. Better leaders make better employees who make better companies.