No benefit, salary or gain will ever offset poor leadership in an organization or a bad work culture. Building good engagement with employees comes from having a clear strategy. This strategy should be setup so that it helps them succeed and generates ongoing successes. This is what will cultivate a culture of engagement between leadership and team members.
One way to engage team members in such a manner is to acknowledge their humanity. That they have lives outside of work. That they have families and obligations that may not directly or at all benefit the organization.
It is important to understand that these things matter to everyone from a gas station attendant to a high-level project manager making six figures. To ignore this is to ignore something very basic about humanity. Also, use caution when using family et. al. as a motivational tool—the line between motivation and manipulation feels different for everyone. What is in your comfort zone may not be in someone else’s.
Benefits and perks regarding giving team members room to live their lives and have time for family aren’t strictly speaking free; however, the benefit typically outweighs the cost in terms of team member wellness.
Being with a Focused Plan
In the beginning stages of building a business it is essential to have a focused approach to avoid wasting time and resources. Know what your plan is upfront and act on. You’ll experience less frustration if you are ready with a plan of action.
Wherever your money is coming from make sure you’ve got it for sure. While there is some truth to the adage you have to spend money to make money, if you don’t have it you can’t spend it.
Keeping up a simple, professional online profile is a start; however you need to be in personal communication with local officials like your city chamber of commerce and others. Social capital is important. While the corona virus has canceled most “shoulder rubbing” events there are still ways to get connected with local officials and other business owners through online events.
Figure Out What Makes Your Business Unique
Knowing what makes you special is important. This should be integrated into many aspects of your business without over doing it. Asking your costumers and employees can help with this.
Be Ready and Willing Accept and Adapt When Change Happens
The corona virus pandemic is a perfect example. Whatever your business is, some kind of large change outside of your control will happen at some point in the lifetime of your business. Be ready for it, accept it and move on to planning to adapt to these new challenges.
As a leader it is good to know if someone is thinking of leaving the organization. Listed below are some behaviors that may indicate someone is planning on leaving. As a leader, you can address these behaviors calmly and rationally.
They have shown less interest in working with clients than usual.
They have left early from work more frequently than they normally do.
Their work productivity has gone quite a bit recently.
They don’t seem interested in upholding the vision of the organization.
They have spoken more about not being happy with other team members.
They have been much less of a team player lately; they keep to themselves.
They have just been doing the “minimum” frequently as of late.
They have said they weren’t getting along with their co-workers recently.
They haven’t be interested in long term goals and projects.
Generally speaking, their attitude has been negative.
They have been a “low effort” “low motivation” team member lately.
Addressing these issues will be necessary as a leader whether they problem is the team member is planning on leaving or not.
W.C.H. Prentice in a landmark article defined leadership thusly: “the accomplishment of a goal through the direction of human assistants”
Prentice believed a successful leader is one who understands people’s motivations. They are someone who enlist organization members’ participation in a way that brings together the interests and needs of individuals to the group’s purpose. Prentice believed in a democratic leadership that gives organization members a space in which they can learn and grow. Yet, this space needs governed so there is not anarchy.
Prentice’s ideas about how to motivate people to support the organization’s purpose is timeless.
Leaders should always be getting to know their group’s members so they can understand their motivations. And one learning about those motivations using them as impetuous to spur that group member into action for the benefit of the organization and themselves.
Material rewards are important but there should also always be room for personal growth, and it is the leader’s job to create that opportunity. This personal growth should be linked both to the group member’s motivations and too the goals of the organization.
The pandemic has put many leaders in tough positions having to hand out various kinds of bad news to the members of their organizations. So, what can leaders do to stay focused and mentally healthy during the pandemic?
Choose to be compassionate towards others but also yourself. This doesn’t mean making up excuses are letting yourself get away with things. But it does mean you should address yourself kindly. Let yourself have an extra fifteen minutes for silent contemplation or meditation during the day to relax you. Take this lens of goodwill and apply it everything you do and everyone you interact with.
When the future is so uncertain it is hard to hold onto what we are working towards. Take some time to sit down and consider what is important to you and how your work helps you hold on to that. Consider what energizes your and inspires you and why.
While it is easy to look at Covid-19 through a lens of fear and uncertainly it may help to look to at it as an opportunity for innovation. Thinking positively can be difficult in times like these but if you accept what you can’t change and look towards what you can affect positively it might help frame things in a new, refreshing light.