Have you ever heard the old adage “people leave leaders, not companies?” How true it is! After all, who would want to work for someone that is rude, dictatorial, or doesn’t value their employees? Conversely, leaders who encourage and help employees to grow and to feel valued find themselves surrounded by staff that would do anything for them! Applying the following two strategies will cause staff to love their leaders and their jobs.
Empower employees to make decisions
When an employee comes to a leader with a question, how often does the leader simply give an answer rather than helping the employee to find their own solution? Of course, some situations warrant a quick answer. “What time is the meeting at?” or “How much are we leasing that apartment for” are some examples. However, much of the time leaders can empower employees to find their own answer.
Consider the following example: a budding young employee asks their leader what should be done about a resident with a complaint. A great leader will help the employee come to their own decision. They might say “That’s a great question, let’s talk about it. What ideas have you already thought of that might resolve the problem?” The leader then listens carefully to the employee’s ideas. Depending on how they answer, the leader might help the employee to keep in mind important principles and ask them which idea would work the best. At this point the leader could offer some advice and invite the employee to roll with one of their ideas and later let them know how it went.
They may not always choose the best option or do things how you would do them. That’s just part of the learning process. This strategy helps employees to feel empowered and become self-sufficient. They will appreciate that you are helping them to grow and solve their own problems.
Give employees meaningful feedback
Imagine if your high school basketball coach only gave you feedback on your performance once at the end of the season. Would you improve very much? Would you wonder if your coach really liked you, or if he would kick you off the team next season? Similarly, employees whose leaders don’t tell them how they’re performing or how they should improve don’t particularly love their leaders.
Leaders should regularly meet privately with their employees to review their performance, ask how they feel they are doing and give constructive, meaningful feedback. These brief, private interviews will cause employees to know that their leader cares about them and wants them to succeed. They will have a concrete idea of how they are doing and what needs to be done going forward.
In addition to private interviews, give positive feedback to employees in front of others. Let them know what a great job they are doing or congratulate them on the accomplishment of a specific task. Generally, correction should be given either privately or indirectly in a team meeting. Otherwise, employees may resent you for embarrassing them in front of their coworkers.
When giving either positive feedback or correction, it is important to uplift your employees by letting them know how much you appreciate their efforts, how much they are progressing and how much potential you see in them.
Stay tuned next week to learn more strategies that will encourage employees to love their leaders, not leave them!