Employee Engagement; A Must Have Leadership Responsibility

Source: Linkedin

One of the key characteristic of a successful sales person is to let the customer buy things. As Jeffrey Gitomer wrote in his sales bible “People don’t like to be sold-but they love to buy”. It may sound simple but in real life many sales people take the pleasure of buying from their customers. When you let your customer “buy it” means you are empowering him/her to decide what’s the best for them. Let me explain a little about the buying motives. People buy things either because of their needs or for emotional reasons. However, when they buy things for emotional reasons, they justify the reasons by using logic.

In a similar way employee “buy-in” is when employees are committed to the mission and goals of the company, and also when they find the day-to-day work personally resonant. Buy-in promotes engagement and a willingness to go the extra mile on the job. The number one prime motivating factors of buy-in for an employee is trust. Trust is the foundation of every relationship and one of the top reasons for an employee to follow a leader. There are three ways for a leader to build the trust:

  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Competency

Compassion

We have been taught on the business schools to lead with our head and not with our heart. Leaders are expected to be strategic, rational, tough, bottom-line business people who focus on results. No time for listening to employee’s personal or work related issues.

Compassion is not just about being nice, it is about recognizing another human being who deserves care and respect. It’s about seeing things clearly through another person’s perspective and walking a mile in another person’s shoes. Annie McKee, and Richard Boyatzis, in their book, Resonant Leadership, argue “Research shows that positive emotions such as compassion have a decidedly constructive effect on neurological functioning, psychological well-being, physical health and personal relationships.”

Compassionate leaders are flexible and adaptable, willing to set aside rules, regulations and traditions for the greater good. They manage their emotions positively and are mindful to the effect their words and actions have on others. The results for organization will be positive relationships, increasing optimism and hope, and builds resilience and energy levels.

Integrity

Integrity begins at the top. It’s about walk the talk. Leaders must set the example, inspiring employees to do what is right, rather than what is easy. We must clearly define what is expected throughout the organization, ensuring integrity is first and foremost in our decision-making. Successful leaders know that integrity is not optional.

Leader with integrity are consistent during tough time and show consistency in their words and actions. Leaders with integrity act with authenticity and honesty by speaking the truth, presenting themselves in a genuine way with sincerity and taking responsibility for their own feelings and actions. Integrity is the most important character strength for the performance of employees and an important contributor to leader effectiveness.

Self-awareness is very important to effective leadership and increasing self-awareness on integrity means to ask yourself if the behavior you are about to engage in would be approved by your mother.

Competency

Leadership competencies are leadership skills and behaviours that contribute to organisational performance. There are three essential leadership competencies required to ensure if the leader is fit to run the organization; leading the organization, leading the self and leading others in the organization.

When it comes to leading others, you need to communicate effectively, value diversity and difference, and building and maintaining relationships. This means being courageous, humble and influential.

Courage is to take calculated risks and being brave to stand up for what you believe and do the right thing. Courageous leaders continuously confront with reality, seek feedback and take action on performance issues in problem situations, making decisions and moving forward.

Successful leaders must shift from focusing on the “self” to the “self-less” to keep their organization operating smoothly and effectively. When you are humble and listen, you not only make an instant impression, but you also build a solid bridge for lasting connection with your team. You let go of the need for praise and instead give the credit to those around you.

There can be no leadership without influence. Leadership is about influencing others, so a great leader is a master of social influence, and able to wield power effectively and fairly. To be influential you need to hold yourself and people accountable. Remember that accountability begins with you, holding yourself responsible for modeling the behaviors you expect of others.

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Thank you for reading my post. Please feel free to drop me a note if you would like to connect or have any suggestions.

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