As the founder of Leadership From the Core, an organisation dedicated to helping leaders learn how best to inspire and engage human beings in the workplace, Marcel Schawantes has shared three practices that can help any leader become exceptional. The third practice is one that might surprise some readers.
1. Promote And Leverage Trust
Leaders who truly value people as their number one stakeholder work hard to promote trust. That means that they create an environment where risks are taken, where employees feel safe and motivated to exercise their creativity, communicate ideas openly, and provide input to major decisions without reprimand. Because there’s trust there.
Trust in corporate circles, however, remains a baffling stigma. In too many workplace surveys I’ve poured over, nearly half of workers, in some cases, say they don’t trust their employer and an equal percentage believe their employer is open and upfront with them. Too many to count also believe that their employer is not always honest and truthful with them.
2. Recognise Their People
While at one point in time fancy perks and unique benefits may have swayed employees to stay on the payroll, it just isn’t enough anymore. Achievers Workforce Institute surveyed more than 4,200 employees and 1,600 HR leaders across the globe earlier this year to find that the key to engagement and retention came down to two words: employee recognition. According to the survey results published in Achievers’ 2022 State of Recognition Report, 48 per cent of employees say culture has deteriorated during the pandemic, placing blame on a lack of communication, employee input, and meaningful connection. HR leaders should spend their time and resources building a recognition training program, leaning into how and why to properly send a meaningful recognition. By doing so, it will ignite a positive, retention-worthy culture and a brand that is attractive to new talent.
3. Place Employees Ahead Of Customers
Every leader’s role should be about serving the employees first – those closest to the customer experience. Great leaders realise that their number one customer is their employees. If they take care of their people, train them, and empower them, those people will become fully engaged in what they do. In turn, they will reach out and take care of their second most important customer — the people who buy their products or services. Now that’s valuing your people.