With the ongoing rise in opportunities and availability to switch jobs, roles, etc., it’s gotten a little challenging to know if you can provide the correct elements to your team or not. Even after getting reasonable compensation, you will see many people switching jobs. Do you know why? Most people in authority think it’s because of higher compensation; it’s not true at all. It’s an issue with the people in authority.
People in authority are not always a leader, and that’s where the problem lies. Leaders don’t think of ‘how would I manage the workload when a team member gets sick’ instead, they think, ‘how can I help that member to feel better?’
We can indeed know when someone is a leader or someone with authority but no leadership skills.
Recently, a friend mentioned how her manager shut her down when she asked to switch departments in the same organization. She expected support from her manager because that’s what a leader is supposed to do, but all she got was a solid reason to move to a different organization altogether.
An excellent example of leadership is NextJump. A few years ago, when companies were laying off their employees, NextJump implemented the lifetime employment policy - which means they don’t fire people because of poor performance but coach them to do better.
But why did they do it?
It’s merely to make the employees feel safe - so that they can experiment, try and fail without getting scared. Not every leader needs to do that. It shows that the organization trusts the employees, and they can provide resources and guidance to do better for themselves, the team, and the organization.
And that’s what an employee wants to feel - safe within their organization.
Organizations with happy employees (who love their work) have 3x more revenues, outperforming the stock by a factor of three. The exciting thing is you don’t have to spend million to make it happen. It’s not about the perks. But then what should you do?
Suggestions to get your team to love to work -
The ideas are simple and well-hyped, but hierarchy takes the front seat when it comes to implementation, and people in authority ignore what needs to be done.
#1 Trust & Respect
Employers often say, “we trust our employees,” but when making a simple decision, they ask their employees to create a whole e-mail chain and add four different people to the loop.
What does this represent? Employees feel that maybe they are not trusted.
There are plenty of other examples. But what can an organization do? Provide freedom to the employees for them to experiment. Yes, discipline your employees when needed.
For example, famous hotel company Four Seasons’ employees are told, “Do whatever you think is right when servicing the customer.”
This represents that the company trusts its employees and respects their decisions. It also allows employees to do their best and change whenever the situation requires.
Treating employees with fairness is needed. When employees feel they are being treated unfairly, it leads to bias and eventually affects the organization's growth.
For example, paying less to the people in the same job because of gender, race, etc.
A few organizations have changed accordingly and opted for policies to make their organizations fair.
This is an essential skill needed in every role. Expectations from the leaders are high when it comes to listening. Listening doesn’t mean ‘repeating what other person is saying; it’s coming up with the best solution to the problems that employees are going through - which should also favor the employee, not only the organization.
Everyone wants to feel heard and seen. For that, the actions should match the words. The point of conversation is to find an intersection between the favor of the organization and the employees.
Another one that is hard to acquire and easy to talk about. How you treat your employees, respond to their problems, and support them shows how much your employees are emotionally invested.
You get your employees' loyalty when they can see the vision, pain, and change that which organization requires.
Feeling of belonging to the place and knowing that their managers (leaders) would go to lengths to help them out when needed help the employees to stay loyal.
You have to be clear about your expectations and be human while talking about them. I have noticed people in authority forget that they need to have a conversation about what they want; instead, they dictate what they want. And it leaves employees with unsolved questions and almost no understanding of the expectations.
Transparency leads to better team bonding and an opportunity for employees to discuss the underlying issues without fearing losing their job.
Employees need to feel like they belong, but that won’t happen with your words but by your actions.
An inside story of Peerlist -
Whenever we (the Peerlist team) talk about anything going to go live on the blog, we have the conversation in the group - not in personal chats. I see the changes Yogini and Akash suggest to each other; I see how they see the Peerlist, their vision, and how they think - it’s super fun to read the chats. I feel my opinions are valid and essential. I feel like I belong, and that’s what any team member wants to feel.
A leader is like a parent; they provide better opportunities, teach them, help them learn, discipline their employees when needed, and make the workplace happy.
Leadership is not about authority or having all the answers, and it is about having the ability to inspire.