It is no secret that an engaged workforce leads to an increase in efficiency and productivity.
Amongst the daily demands of running a business this can often drop in the list of priorities.
It is in times of busyness when sustaining and facilitating the creation of this type of environment is vital as it encourages creativity, autonomy and efficiency. Yet the challenge for business leaders is not only the pressure of day-to-day work deadlines. There is the added challenge, that in workplaces, there are very often people from different backgrounds (be it socioeconomic, educational, religious, cultural etc.) All with different ways of communicating and expressing themselves. To top this off there are often up to three generations of workers with wildly different expectations of the working world, that make up these organisations. The baby boomers, the generation X’s and those from generation Y.
The answer is for organisations to go beyond the superficial ‘fix’ of team building days, offsite weekends or pizza lunches for example.
Here are some key tips for business leaders to implement that will make an impact and does not cost a thing.
Nurture and leverage strengths
Working to deadlines and juggling multiple projects is stressful. It does seem like a waste of energy to add to that stress by forcing a square peg into a round hole. Help each individual identify and leverage their strengths.
If you are putting a team together then communicate the whole team each individual’s strengths. Once a team knows what specific skills their colleagues bring to the table, they can set-up projects and sub teams in such a way that allows each person to make the most of their strengths. When we work to our strengths there is a sense of achievement and pride.
This works in the same way as if you were to give one person a specific task to complete. If this person is a natural “sales person” and “big picture person”, forcing them to complete tasks that are admin heavy and isolating will only leave them feeling dissatisfied and frustrated.
Empower your team
Once you give your staff clear guidelines and boundaries to work within, then give them the space to make decisions, if they simply do what you tell them to you are not giving them the space to use their initiative. By all means have your team check in with you if and when needed. After all you have a wealth of knowledge and experience that they can leverage, resist the temptation to take control of everything. If you let them know you are there if they need you then you become a leader, they respect and not fear. This gives staff a sense of achievement, builds trust, commitment and loyalty.
Communicate with compassion
Communicating with other human beings with compassion and empathy takes the sting out of difficult conversations. We then give space for something new to be formed. The conversation is transformed from destructive and stressful to constructive and generative. We are al born with a capacity for love and empathy, it is usually drained out of us as we go through life. That capacity is still available to us and it is possible to exercise your empathy and compassion muscles, by learning to stay grounded and step into another person’s shoes when communicating. If your staff feel they are valued and respected, they will show this same level of respect and value to your customers.
If you want your business to be successful then help other people be successful by reaching their potential. This creates a network of support, creativity, collaboration and innovation. Create a culture that you and your team can be proud of.
About the Author:
Kavitha Chahel is the founder and MD of Compassionism Ltd, a leadership coaching and training company focusing on helping business leaders create profitable businesses through highly engaged teams and by getting comfortable with their fear and vulnerability to connect with their compassion.
She is an experienced business coach and company director. For nearly 20 years she has worked in business development, marketing, business leadership and strategy across the corporate, public and charitable sectors. She is also a non-executive director of Asha Projects, a charity that provides safe housing to women and children fleeing domestic violence. She has worked with clients across EMEA, the Americas and APAC. Recently Kavitha published her new book ‘Compassionism’ which you can find here: https://goo.gl/2DTkE4