Note: This post was written pre-COVID and yet the message remains true.
I don’t need to know you to understand your workday is filled with anxiety and fear.
If that sounds dramatic, consider this. According to the American Institute of Stress, 82% of stress Americans feel is job related, and 65% of US employees say workplace stress had a major (damaging) impact on their lives. That includes health, marriage, and family.
Employees are feeling stress like never-before. If you are a leader of people, those feelings are greatly magnified. Leaders today are not only responsible for the bottom line, but also for more than 70% of their employee’s experience. Need I remind you that the #1 reason people still leave organizations is because of YOU. No pressure at all.
With workplace happiness at staggering low levels, helping people thrive is needed now more than ever. You are in the best position to make that happen.
Here are 5 practices that will help you be a beautiful leader. Not only will you change your world, but you will change the world of your employees and boost the results for your organization. This is called conscious leadership.
Get to know your team and make them feel welcomed and appreciated.
Knowing your team members as holistic beings reminds you that they are more than your employee. They have full lives with interests and responsibilities extending far beyond the workplace.
The fact they choose to be part of your team, share their greatest talents, and invest the majority of their day to help you be successful is a gift. Thank them for it.
Recognize when someone puts their greatest strengths to action while at work. Learn more about their interests outside of the office. When your employee feels seen and acknowledged, they will become more engaged. This is a guarantee.
Build empathy into everything you do, especially when it comes to your employees.
When you take time to understand what your employee feels, thinks, sees and does, I promise you will discover things you overlooked.
Whether you start a new project, conduct a performance review, introduce next year’s vision, announce change, (insert anything here), there is a real person on the other end of the conversation. Being aware of the impact you make on others creates inspiration, influence, and lasting relationships.
If you would like a free worksheet to help tap into this magic, you can reach me at Alyson@raisingbeauty.com. I would love to share this simple game-changer with you.
Allow your team to share their voices. Diverse perspective leads to ideas you would never consider.
Your team is a collective of experience, culture, family dynamics, skill sets, strengths, networks, interests, beliefs, and everything else beneath the surface. Those perspectives lead to rich conversation, healthy debate, and creative solutions when solving problems together.
Embrace the diversity of your team. Invite everyone to have a voice. Not only will everyone on your team feel included, they will feel like a contributor. Your team will be invested.
Delegate with confidence to avoid bottlenecks and inaction.
Do any of these statements sound familiar?
“I can do it quicker myself.”
“This is too complicated to explain.”
“I want to avoid any mistakes.”
“I don’t want to bombard the team with extra work.”
And, of course, there is the unmentioned feeling of — “What happens if my employee gets the credit and I don’t”?
What do your employees feel when delegation isn’t clear? If you guessed ‘fear’, you guessed correctly. They fear making mistakes, overstepping boundaries, and making decisions not aligned with objectives.
Employees become paralyzed, leaders become worn out, and team performance plummets.
Think of delegation, not as dumping or dictating, but as agreeing to how work gets done. It is very freeing when decision making and work happen elsewhere within the team.
When the team is clear about their responsibility, work becomes more productive, the team feels more confident in their ability, and engagement rises.
Everyone’s performance is elevated, including yours.
Plan for small tests and no one will be afraid to fail.
Fear of failure is paralyzing and yet all we hear in modern leadership is fail, fail, fail. What would happen if we removed the word ‘fail’ from our vocabulary and replaced it with ‘test’? It doesn’t sound as frightening, does it?
You can test just about anything.
Planning a product launch? Host a social mixer to gain feedback on the product.
Introducing a new platform? Plan a controlled user test.
Building a campaign? Run an A/B test on your small target group.
Creating a new service? Invite a select group to try it out first.
Tests are opportunities to see if something works, garner information, and measure outcomes. That insight will help you refine something to greatness. Don’t wait for perfection to take action.
And if you are feeling really brave after reading the above, stretch yourself and try this…
Allow your team to be flexible in the way that they work.
The corporate world of 9-5 was built in the industrial era of time cards and time sheets. Since then, technology has made work, collaboration, and decision-making accessible ALL DAY LONG.
Why do some leaders resist letting their employees work at their own pace and in their preferred locations? I’ll bet those are the same leaders who reach their employees after hours, on the weekends, and dare I say vacation!
What difference does it make if I wrote this blog post in my home, the library, my office or in an airport?
If your employee consistently meets deadlines and delivers value, why should it matter if they need to work outside of the office so that they can meet other needs in their life?
I realize there are many jobs that require onsite execution. But for job roles that don’t, what is holding you back from giving your employees flexibility to lead their work in the way that works for them?
Here’s one thing I know is true . If you count your employee’s time, your employee will also count their time. They will eventually become disgruntled by it. Once you give your employee autonomy to manage their work, the focus on time disappears and value becomes the measure for success.
Remember, flexibility allows your employees to win in ALL aspects of their life. Productivity ironically increases.
If you don’t believe me, read this recent article about Microsoft.
Building a beautiful culture is one of the greatest ways to eliminate stress, anxiety, and burnout on the job. I guarantee just one of these practices will ignite the change that is so desperately needed in the future workplace.
I have a lot of experience helping leaders turn workplaces into beautiful places that invite everyone to thrive. If employee well-being is part of your leadership strategy, it’s important we chat. You can schedule time here.
Let’s get started!