Ways you may be fail­ing your em­ploy­ees

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

WE spend so much time fo­cus­ing on the nu­ances of lead­er­ship that we of­ten for­get about the very def­i­ni­tion of lead­er­ship and what we – as business own­ers, CEOS, ex­ec­u­tives and man­agers – should tan­gi­bly be do­ing to help our em­ploy­ees grow into the best ver­sions of them­selves pos­si­ble.

Lead­er­ship is not a one-way street – it af­fects ev­ery­one.

Are you fail­ing em­ploy­ees by wast­ing their time?

Un­for­tu­nately, we – as lead­ers – don’t al­ways con­sider what lead­er­ship ac­tu­ally is. It isn’t telling peo­ple what to do in or­der to make you feel good or help you ac­com­plish spe­cific goals. It’s push­ing past your own self­ish­ness and putting em­ploy­ees in the right po­si­tions so that they can help the com­pany grow, while also grow­ing per­son­ally.

With this idea in mind, are you fail­ing your em­ploy­ees? Are you wast­ing their time? Let’s take a look at some of the top ways business lead­ers are lead­ing their em­ploy­ees astray and how you can over­come these er­rors.

1. You aren’t be­ing trans­par­ent enough.

In or­der to max­i­mize the value of your em­ploy­ees, you have to align in­di­vid­ual work goals to the larger goals of the com­pany. This en­sures em­ploy­ees are mo­ti­vated in a way that drives pos­i­tive business out­comes. Sadly, many busi­nesses don’t open up enough about the com­pany’s “big­ger pic­ture.”

Ac­cord­ing to a Gallup Sur­vey of more than 3,000 em­ploy­ees of var­i­ous com­pa­nies, only 41 per­cent of em­ploy­ees un­der­stand what their com­pany stands for and what sets them apart in the mar­ket­place. That means six out of 10 em­ploy­ees have an in­ad­e­quate view of the big­ger pic­ture and don’t have the right goals.

You owe it to your em­ploy­ees and your business to do bet­ter. As a leader, you must make trans­parency a pri­or­ity. Oth­er­wise, you’re do­ing ev­ery­one an in­jus­tice and, quite frankly, wast­ing your em­ploy­ees’ time.

2. You’re us­ing un­nec­es­sary bu­reau­cracy.

Business own­ers, ex­ec­u­tives and man­agers across many dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries fre­quently fall for the idea that rules, or­ga­ni­za­tion and reg­u­la­tions are the keys to suc­cess­fully lead­ing em­ploy­ees. And while there is some value in es­tab­lish­ing and main­tain­ing a struc­tured en­vi­ron­ment, too much ul­ti­mately weighs em- ploy­ees down and hurts your abil­ity to lead.

Stop bur­den­ing your em­ploy­ees with un­nec­es­sary bu­reau­cracy. Re­mem­ber, lead­er­ship is not about be­ing in con­trol. If you have a long list of rules and reg­u­la­tions that em­ploy­ees are be­ing forced to fol­low, chances are pretty high that you’re con­fus­ing the idea of lead­er­ship with con­trol. As a re­sult, you’re push­ing em­ploy­ees away and pre­vent­ing them from hav­ing an op­por­tu­nity to grow the com­pany. 3. You aren’t ap­proach­able. Think back to when you were an en­try-level em­ployee at a com­pany – per­haps even the com­pany where you’re now a leader. What did you want out of your man­agers and su­pe­ri­ors? In other words, what was it that you longed for out of your lead­ers? In most cases, ap­proach­a­bil­ity comes to mind. As a sub­ordi- nate, you want a leader to be ap­proach­able so that you can pick their brain, get feed­back and gain ac­cess to new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Are you ap­proach­able? If you aren’t, you’re wast­ing your em­ploy­ees’ time once again.

There are many dif­fer­ent ways to be ap­proach­able, but we’ll just high­light three spe­cific and prac­ti­cal tech­niques to give you a clearer idea of what this looks like in ac­tion. Keep your door open (lit­er­ally). When court­ing new em­ploy­ees or in­ter­view­ing can­di­dates for a new po­si­tion, busi­nesses like to brag that they have an open door pol­icy. You may have even bragged about it in the past. But do you re­ally? The most tan­gi­ble way you can tell em­ploy­ees you’re ap­proach­able is by phys­i­cally leav­ing your door open so that peo­ple can stop in. Smile and make eye con­tact. When you walk through the halls of your com­pany, do you keep your eyes peeled straight ahead with a scowl on your face? Whether pur­pose­fully or in­ad­ver­tently, this tells em­ploy­ees to leave you alone. One way you can hu­man­ize your rep­u­ta­tion is by smil­ing and mak­ing eye con­tact with peo­ple as you pass. Again, this is sim­ple, yet ef­fec­tive. Give ad­vice freely. Em­ploy­ees – specif­i­cally pas­sive ones – rarely con­front peo­ple and ask for ad­vice. If they do, it takes some time to build up the courage. As a leader, you should take it on your­self to be proac­tive with ad­vice. Start con­ver­sa­tions with em­ploy­ees and give them pos­i­tive tips. In turn, em­ploy­ees will feel more com­fort­able ask­ing in the fu­ture. — En­tre­pre­neur

COM­PA­NIES should tan­gi­bly help em­ploy­ees grow into the best ver­sions of them­selves pos­si­ble.

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