Whether you’re a long-time leader or dealing with a transition, here’s what your employees hope to see.
Leadership is never a one-size-fits-all-skill. Whether you’ve been working toward a leadership role for years or find yourself there unexpectedly, meeting the unique needs of your team requires an open mind and willingness to learn.
For this week’s edition of The Filter, we’re doing something a little different. Instead of scouring the web and researching trends for top tactics, we’re turning to our own teammates for first-hand insight.
Ready to hear what employees like yours actually want from their leaders during tricky transition periods?
Here’s what our iProv teammates have to say!
From Sarah Olds: Empathy is Key
Empathy is a crucial trait for effective leadership, especially in today's fast-paced and interconnected world. It involves understanding and connecting with others on an emotional level, which can lead to better relationships, increased trust, and improved team performance.
Actionable tips for leading with empathy include:
- Actively listening to your colleagues and demonstrating authentic interest in their opinions.
- Putting yourself in their shoes to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences, challenges, and motivations.
- Creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment or reprisal.
- Showing compassion by offering support during difficult times, celebrating successes together, and providing opportunities for personal growth.
- Encouraging empathetic behavior by treating others with kindness, respect, and fairness not only towards your direct reports, but also towards colleagues at all levels of the organization.
Patrick, the CEO of iProv, has long leveraged these traits to support his people:
“When I started as an editor with confidence issues, he helped me build skills, pushed me to grow, and guided me with empathy. Now, five years later, I'm the VP of Product, and I know I wouldn't be here without his support. Whenever I felt unsure, he was there to help me through constantly teaching and explaining. Patrick's leadership has made a big difference in my career and in our company.” – Sarah O.
From Pete McIndoe: Honest & Frequent Communication
Transitions, whether personal or professional, are unsettling. The nagging question for everyone involved is, “what is going to happen to me?”
When that uncertainty begins to creep in, the #1 thing leaders can do is to communicate frequently, honestly, and empathetically.
A great example of this is how Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati office transitioned its warehouses from people to automation. To ease the tension, the Operations Leader made it a point to go to every shift meeting around the clock at 7a, 3pm and 11pm at least once a month to provide updates on the automation and, most importantly, what was being done to ensure they had a job elsewhere in the manufacturing operation.
As a result:
- Some workers chose to retire, while the rest retrained in a new department
- NO UNION GRIEVANCES were filed, and NO UNION STRIKES occurred
- The Operations Leader grew in credibility and trust.
From Jake Whisenant: Don’t Forget We’re People, Too
At iProv, we do our best when leaders:
- Talk to Us: Regular chats and honest talks help us feel in the loop and build trust.
- Share the Vision: We're curious about the big picture! It's awesome when leaders can lay out their grand plans and how we fit into them.
- Get Where We're Coming From: When leaders get what we're going through, our worries, hopes, and dreams, it creates a real sense of togetherness.
- Everyone's Invited: When they make sure all voices are heard and appreciated, it makes us feel valued and brings fresh ideas to the mix.
- Grow With Us: We want chances to learn, develop skills, and climb that career ladder. When leaders invest in our success, we're all in.
- Decide Together: Being part of the decision-making crew gives us a sense of belonging and makes us care even more about where we're headed.
- Cheers and Tips (Big Wins): When leaders notice and celebrate our wins, big or small, it fuels our motivation. And hey, some pointers for improvement never hurt, either.
- Keep It Steady: We crave some stability. Leaders who can steady the ship earn big points in our book.
- Come Say Hi: An open-door policy makes us comfortable sharing our thoughts and worries.
- Walk the Talk: When leaders lead by example and do what they say they will, it shows they're the real deal.
- Live Outside Work: We're not just workers; we're people with lives outside the office. Leaders who get that and support our work-life balance are golden.
- Spread Positivity: Leaders who bring positivity and make work enjoyable create an environment where we're excited to come in every day.
These traits come together with our routine “iProv Days,” where leadership presents the team with an opportunity to grow. They include us in the process, ask for feedback, and want to hear our ideas.
From Sarah Epperson: Authenticity
One of the most admirable yet rare qualities in a leader is when they demonstrate an authentic interest in their teammates’ professional and personal development – without the expectation of how it can be used to benefit them.
At iProv, leaders make it clear that growth is celebrated not just for internal reasons, but for external and future opportunities as well!
“That servant leadership is why I continually choose to stay and trust our leadership.” – Sarah E.
From Gavin: Lead by Example
Effectively leading by example is all about open communication, caring for your team, and giving credit where it's due. In best case scenario, this also means giving teammates the freedom to make independent decisions!
Even when issues arise, leaders worth looking up to are good at handling problems so quickly and fairly, a positive atmosphere is always maintained.
“Stay consistent and show that you're a problem solver. Make meetings count, and delegate tasks wisely based on strengths. Remember, leadership is a journey of learning!” – Gavin.
From our Coordinators:
Recognize Each Person’s Value
Happiness and satisfaction are abundant when leaders encourage their teams to find their purpose and honor their unique values. Feeling valued is essential for employees at all times, but this is especially true during transition periods.
On top of demonstrating genuine concern for an employee’s well-being, ensure your team knows how much you appreciate their skills. Do your best to give them autonomy and trust when delegating a task – two essential ingredients for taking ownership of projects with confidence!
“Having leaders who actively listen to my ideas, concerns, and feedback and make me feel that my opinions matter adds to my sense of belonging and empowerment within the organization.” – Grace.
Promote Professional Growth
Promoting growth shouldn’t just be a priority when it comes to the business as a whole – employees also need to know that you support their own professional growth too!
For example, take the time to explain changes instead of just imposing them. By teaching your team something new and investing in their skillset, you can more easily foster inclusivity and boost morale.
“This openness not only cultivates a collaborative work environment but also encourages individual contributions. It’s a quality that empowers everyone on the team, making us all feel more engaged and appreciated.” – Janela.
Prioritize Emotional Intelligence and Self-Improvement
Emotional intelligence goes a long, long way when it comes to leadership. It can take many forms, but generally includes an active determination to understand your teammates’ POV, an authentic interest in employee wellbeing, and an overall empathetic approach.
This pairs well with a commitment to continuous learning – by striving toward self-improvement, you can prove to your team how open you are to growth and change.
Persevere Despite Adversity
Resilient leaders inspire confidence within their team by handling difficult situations with ease. Even if they’re stressed, they don’t let it show, instead making the choice to persevere through adversity. They are problem solvers, adapt well to change, and view challenges as opportunities for growth.
“Resilience enables leaders to maintain focus on long-term goals even in the face of setbacks and distractions, fostering a positive work culture and enhancing overall morale. Additionally, resilient leaders handle pressure gracefully, preventing burnout and ensuring sound decision-making.” – Princess.
Schedule a Call Today!
Our approach to leadership doesn’t just set us up for success during transitional periods – it also enables us to show up for our clients each and every day!
Want to see what our strategic leadership style can bring to the table at your organization?
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