Having team members who bring their hands, minds and hearts to work daily– and inspire others to do the same leads to higher staff morale, increased productivity and ultimately, higher profitability.
For example, based on global research by Cicero, Dr. Trent Kaufman, Tyson Chapman and Jacob Allen state in their White Paper on The Effect of Performance Recognition on Employee Engagement that well-recognised employees have:
- More drive and determination.
- Better work relationships.
- Improved personal standing.
- Stronger connections to their company.
- A higher inclination for considering innovation.
- Increased efficiency at work.
As a leader, you have the responsibility to impart your wisdom and experience to empower others and to be an example to your team members. If you set the example by implementing the following daily practices, it could go a long way towards building a positive culture and a robust talent pipeline which would support your business to reach the next level:
To draw on the old saying, Live and let live, connecting in the business space is essentially about this: Learn and let learn. It means that the commitment and the benefits are two-fold.
Connecting with your team members entails listening and learning from them as well as imparting wisdom and encouraging them to learn. This builds trust and establishes the relationships that will support your culture and your bottom line.
If leaders take a genuine, heartfelt interest in the development of their team members, they will be more likely to utilise opportunities to learn and to contribute, which builds their skills and your business at the same time.
Leaders should be the go-to people for advice on current topics of interest in the global arena and how these impact the business. Being a trendsetter means you are informed of factors that could influence your business and you set an example of staying positive and focusing on the solution.
As Dr Steve Maraboli said: “If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.” Trendsetters surround themselves with the right people who will inform their strategy and their leadership and act as magnets for like-minded talent who are also eager to set trends. In so doing they set the business apart from others – building an innovative work culture and contributing to its competitive edge.
Leaders must empower themselves and their team members to have conversations that they might not have otherwise had, not only within the workplace but also with clients. For example, imagine how impressed you would be if a store-level employee at a hardware store was able to engage you on the impact of building material waste on the environment.
Having the conversations that really matter to your stakeholders engages your team members and inspires them to empower themselves. This builds an interest in further learning and an empowered culture, which establishes your business as knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Being recognised by a well-respected leader builds confidence to do even better and inspires others to do the same. A pat on the back from a fellow team member is always great to receive but if it is received from someone with great stature and whose opinion really counts throughout the organisation, it is even better! This also sets the example for team members to recognise each other’s efforts.
All leaders have the opportunity to entrench thought leadership as a way of working, fostering other potential thought leaders to step up and do the same. While these daily practices can improve work culture, there will be little followship if you don’t lead with heart. Those whom you lead need to experience your passion and see your example to truly get their buy-in.