verywhere I go on the planet, I will invariably hear a company executive tell me that they just got their Employee Engagement survey results.
I will then ask;
“Let me guess. Your team is telling you that communications suck. Company leaders are too distant (do not spend enough time with the frontline), they do not know the strategy and direction of the company and they do not know how they contribute to the success of the business. Am I right?”
The executive in front of me, looking puzzled and bewildered, will then incredulously say; “My god, how did you know?”
The answer is simple… Leadership. When I tell the executive that, they will roll their eyes and tell me that they are growing tired of hearing that. Therein lies the problem.
If you as a leader or business owner, want to engage the minds as well as the hearts of your stakeholders (And by stakeholders, I mean employees, customers, vendors, partners, etc.), then you need live, sleep and breathe genuine, authentic leadership.
Driving data, analytics, metrics, market numbers is management and it is what most managers think is leadership.
Genuine leadership is all about connecting emotionally with people and involves:
- Investing time in and with them
- Working to understand what drives them
- Sharing the organization’s goals and objectives
- Helping team members understand how they contribute to the success of the business
- Giving team members meaning and a sense of control over their world.
And this isn’t a one-time exercise. It is like brushing your teeth; it has to be done everyday.
The payoff… Higher levels of engagement, belief in leadership and the direction of the organization, lower levels of absenteeism, higher levels of customer satisfaction, higher levels of productivity, lower costs and… higher profits.
Now, is leadership still an over-used topic?