A monthly leadership blog focused on transformational leadership, as well as leader engagement, courtesy of and authored by Phil Henderson.
For-profit businesses have focused on ‘what’ must be achieved for as long as there have been for-profit organizations. Revenue, customer satisfaction and loyalty, product quality, and profitability are five common top-of-mind business ‘what’ examples. Employee satisfaction and employee engagement are business ‘what’ examples that must also be top-of-mind, especially today.
Unemployment levels are at record 50-year lows. Securing and retaining wisdom, experience, skill, and talent must be a top priority.
Employee satisfaction and employee engagement in an organization starts with, and is dependent on, leader engagement. I’m talking about genuine engagement where leaders are comfortable sharing and expressing themselves. If leaders are comfortable candidly sharing and expressing themselves with and amongst other leaders, especially leaders senior to them, engagement can become a common thread to how the business operates and gets things done.* This behavior is a key contributor to higher levels of employee satisfaction.
*Culture: The collective accepted and expected actions, activities and behaviors of a team or organization. “How we operate and get things done.”
Let me remind you that creating and sustaining such a culture starts with Real Leadership (July 2019 blog). Real leaders are self-aware. They’re introspective and behave in a way that draws people in and builds them up (engagement). Their leadership is rooted in trust and respect. Engagement, satisfaction, and performance are directly related. If you increase genuine and meaningful engagement between leaders and employees, then you will see their satisfaction rise and their performance improve.
…what does this cost the organization? In dollars, nothing.
It would be easy if we could buy behavior change, but we can’t. It just isn’t that simple. Changing culture requires changing behavior. How we operate must change in order to achieve true and lasting change and impact the ‘what.’ The ‘what’ is no less important. In fact, the ‘what’ remains vital to business survival and is increasingly more challenging year after year. It is a moving target, but it is far more easily achieved when you practice real leadership.
How people make other people feel is a ‘thing,’ and more specifically, how leaders make other people feel is an especially important ‘thing’.
Phil Henderson is a former Regional VP of Manufacturing Operations at Harland Clarke Holdings. He is a Designer of Self-Directed, Team-Based Work Systems in manufacturing environments over the course of 26 years. He served 8 years as an Air Traffic Controller and Officer in the US Army, and with distinction as a Captain in the First Gulf War. He currently provides leadership development and self-directed work team design assistance to Trenton For inquiries, Phil may be reached at (210) 316-3212 or at firstname.lastname@example.org