The HR Digest - - Success Story -

Ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion has peo­ple who are not liv­ing up to their full po­ten­tial. There is enor­mous amount of en­ergy flow­ing, which the lead­ers are sup­posed to chan­nel into the right di­rec­tion. It is in the leader’s hands to di­rect the en­ergy ex­ter­nally and help shape the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s brand iden­tity.

A leader is like a so­cial worker, who pro­vides a sense of se­cu­rity, in­spires trust and con­fi­dence and cre­ates a safe en­vi­ron­ment. Here, emo­tional in­tel­li­gence is the much needed trait that dis­tin­guishes ef­fec­tive from in­ef­fec­tive lead­ers.

The most ef­fec­tive lead­ers rec­og­nize that

lead­er­ship means build­ing a safe haven where peo­ple can be cre­ative and be­come com­pletely im­mersed in what they are do­ing. Richard Bran­son has cre­ated an or­ga­ni­za­tional struc­ture where peo­ple have a sense of own­er­ship over what they are do­ing. Th­ese are the three traits of charis­matic lead­er­ship - en­vi­sion­ing, em­pow­er­ing and en­er­giz­ing – which are es­sen­tial to ad­dress peo­ple’s la­tent ta­lent and bring them out in the open to make the world a bet­ter place.

Bran­son ap­plies his phi­los­o­phy re­li­giously – his or­ga­ni­za­tions ex­ist as small au­ton­o­mous units which are run by self-man­aged de­part­ments made up of peo­ple who work au­tonomously. At such or­ga­ni­za­tions, peo­ple set their own stan­dards and re­wards, and are ea­ger to learn and know how to adapt. They go to great lengths to change the mind­set of peo­ple who aren’t com­mit­ted to the or­ga­ni­za­tion to achieve com­mon goals. Vir­gin At­lantic, for in­stance, is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of this school of thought. Here, ev­ery sin­gle ef­fort is made to sur­prise the cus­tomer in an en­light­en­ing way. First class pas­sen­gers re­ceive free

ac­cess to in-flight aro­matic re­lax­ation mas­sage. There’s car ser­vice at both ends of the trip, all in­clu­sive in the price of the ticket. In fact, Richard Bran­son him­self is known to per­son­ally meet flights that ar­rive late or ex­pe­ri­ence de­lays.

At or­ga­ni­za­tions like Vir­gin At­lantic, per­for­mance is not merely an ab­strac­tion. All the pro­cesses are di­rected to­wards pro­vid­ing the best cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and to en­hance the pos­si­bil­ity to im­pro­vi­sa­tion through feed­back loop.

At Vir­gin At­lantic, ev­ery em­ployee is fa­mil­iar with the cor­po­rate cul­ture of their or­ga­ni­za­tion. The val­ues are fos­tered through work­shops, meet­ings and sem­i­nars. Peo­ple are ex­pected to in­ter­nal­ize the val­ues and be­have ac­cord­ingly. In other words, Vir­gin At­lantic has never lost touch with the im­por­tance of hu­man cap­i­tal. All em­ploy­ees are well treated and re­main at the core of its suc­cess.

In the world of busi­ness, where share­hold­ers con­trol ev­ery­thing, Vir­gin con­tin­ues to grow by do­ing things that are im­por­tant to its em­ploy­ees and the cus­tomers. It puts em­ploy­ees first, cus­tomers sec­ond and the share­hold­ers third be­cause they see the won­ders en­gaged em­ploy­ees can make in an or­ga­ni­za­tion. This is em­ployee en­gage­ment – Richard Bran­son way! He may not have writ­ten books on HR and lead­er­ship, but he has built suc­cess­ful global busi­nesses on the prin­ci­ple of putting em­ploy­ees first. The ap­peal of his com­pa­nies is down to the lead­er­ship style which rec­og­nizes that happy em­ploy­ees equal more prof­its.

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