I was incredibly flattered a few weeks ago to be nominated as one of the role models on the Inside Out Leader Board, which is an organisation whose aim is to smash the stigma of mental health in the workplace and it stimulated me to record this episode too.
I won’t go into a huge amount of detail here, but I had two miscarriages a few years ago, which, let’s be honest, wasn’t exactly easy to cope with. As a result, I did suffer from depression.
Now what did help me, alongside family and friends, was the support I got from work, and since then, I have wanted to develop a supportive and open workplace culture for our team to thrive in.
It’s something we have been working on extensively here at Excel, and the first part of the process was identifying what the team wanted from us.
We identified what was important to them if they were truly going to thrive and show up as the best version of themselves at work.
Today I want to share a few ideas with you which, when you implement them, could make all the difference.
So, let’s get into it.
Hi there everyone, this is Rachel Hewitt-Hall from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast. Today our topic is something that when ‘done’ well, can shift the levels of productivity and engagement in your team…. while at the same time make your work environment a truly pleasant place to be…… and that is giving your team what they want from you.
…… by the way, it’s not giving them the biggest salary increases in the organisation either.
I’ll explain more in a moment……
First though, if you are new here… welcome 😊!
You will always find a transcription of our podcast over on the Excel Communications website, which is also full of different resources for you to develop your leadership capability plus several reports blogs and podcasts, on how to develop an outstanding team too.
If you head over to Excel Communications forward slash resources, you will find a selection of white papers to download and past leadership webinars to watch.
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So, let’s talk about what our teams want from us in today’s podcast.
Let’s start with something key.
One size doesn’t fit all, and your different team’s members want you to recognise that.
Now I appreciate many of you listening to this will have gone through group training programmes or leadership courses, and as you cast your mind back, I am sure it will ring a bell that you are dealing with a team of people that are all individuals too.
This means they have individual needs and wants and ways they communicate. As a leader, it’s down to you to identify their different styles and work with it, so you have the best chance of getting on their wavelength.
Otherwise, they are going to get frustrated and…. Drum roll… so are you!
Over the years we have delivered hundreds of leadership programmes to the people in booking.com and one of the revelations their managers get in the first few days is how different we all are and that by tweaking their communication style what a difference it can make.
Remember people want to be heard.
OK, now we have established this foundation; the next step is being optimistic and having a positive outlook.
Our employees are looking to be led and want to be part of something that is moving forward and growing. If you haven’t read any of Maxwell Maltz’s work, I highly recommend it. He talks about human beings having, at their core, a need and desire to be successful, so tap into this.
Let them know all the positive things going on in the company because they want to be part of something successful.
A question for you; how are you doing this currently in your organisation?
Here is an example from our process at Excel.
Our training team are based all over the world so every month I record an update video on what is happening, successes, updates and this list goes on. Guess what? Every time we do this, we get a ton of positive feedback.
With the technology at our disposal today there is no reason to not have a regular communication process like this with your team.
Now let me share a particular favourite of mine, and that is encouraging autonomy in your team.
Now, I am assuming you have a recruiting strategy that delivers the quality people you want and that within your organisation training and development is in place to build your talent pipeline too?
So, logically you have people in place that ‘should’ be able to deliver in the role so…… let them do exactly that.
An employee whose every move is questioned and each action micromanaged becomes cheesed off with the constant checking and nitpicking of their manager.
Not only are they spinning plates in their day job, let’s be honest we all have a lot on, don’t we? But they also have to constantly justify their every move, which adds to their day-to-day stress and aggravation.
Something else for you to consider….
There is a famous quote that goes along the lines of “the way you do anything is the way you do everything”, which suggests that you or other managers in your organisation are micromanaging everyone in their or your team.
As this scenario carries on, the continual second-guessing and over-the-shoulder style erodes people’s attitude to you, their manager, and the company as a whole.
Uncomfortable though this may be to hear, globally we are in what is known as a ‘skill short’ market, which means that good people really can pick and choose their employer and poor managers, or an atmosphere of autocratic micromanagement, are common reasons people leave.
Are these ideas all making sense? I suspect so. As leaders in organisations, it’s easy to plough on and forget the simple strategies like this that make a huge difference to people.
So, before I wrap up one final suggestion and this is to listen, be flexible be fair and transparent
I appreciate that we are all leading our businesses to make a profit and some requests we might get aren’t always practically or profitably viable.
….. but at least listen and validate them.
People want to be heard.
The fact that you listen and consider ideas from your team in the first place makes a huge difference to them.
OK, I appreciate if a suggestion is made by someone that only benefits them individually, then it’s absolutely cool to point this out to them!
As we finish off today think about how you are currently putting today’s ideas into action. You might be able to give a big thumbs up for some, though not all.
If this is the case, you know where to start.
So, this is Rachel saying bye for now.
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