In my most recent post, I wrote about seven deadly sins that kill team spirit. Now that we’ve discussed what not to do, I’d like to talk about what you should do. We all know that good leadership isn’t just about showing up and punching the clock—
Being a leader requires a balance between challenging your employees and supporting them.
If your employees are struggling, you may be missing one or more of these seven crucial habits.
1. Supporting. Support is crucial to a positive workplace, and I don’t just mean an excellent IT department—support can be as simple as offering a deadline extension, or as involved as providing paid training opportunities for your employees to learn new skills and challenge themselves.
2. Encouraging. Encouragement comes in many forms, from a verbal acknowledgement of an accomplishment to a paid incentive or a bonus for good work. The bottom line is that you set the tone for your company—when the employer encourages employees, the employees begin to encourage each other, and everyone wins.
3. Listening. It might seem beneficial to have employees who are workaholic robots, but they’re people with ideas, personal lives, and ambitions—and the truth is that they do better work when their lives are balanced. The best way to show them that you care is through active listening—listening to their concerns shows empathy, listening to their ideas can lead to innovative new gains for your company, and listening to everything they have to say shows that you value their input.
4. Accepting. Acceptance is the key to loyalty. When employees feel accepted for their unique skills and personalities, they’re more likely to embrace teamwork, engage, and remain with the company for the long-term. As a leader, your acceptance includes everything from acknowledging an employee’s special skills to providing adequate benefits so that your workers feel cared for rather than expendable.
5. Trusting. Employees that feel trusted show greater loyalty, and are more energized and committed. You can show your trust by resisting micro-management, being transparent about your objectives and ideas for the company, and also by trusting in the ideas and projects that your employees bring to you.
6. Respecting. A recent Harvard Business Review study states that when employees report feeling respected by their bosses, 89% say they felt greater job satisfaction, 55% report feeling more engaged, and 92% say it was easier to focus at work. As the leader of your company, you can show workers respect by treating them fairly, expressing gratitude for their good work, and treating everyone you encounter with civility.
7. Negotiating Differences. Successful negotiation in the workplace is a challenge because it requires you to use all six of the aforementioned caring habits. There are bound to be disagreements, and the only way to negotiate a win-win is if you focus on the people, not the problem. By using the other six habits to reinforce your relationships with your employees, you set yourself up for successful negotiation.
Can you think of another helpful habit? Let me hear from you in the comments!