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- Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Make your Employees feel they are Important

Tony ReynoldsTony Reynolds says, if you want employees to feel they are important to business growth - genuine, authentic leadership behaviour, messages and resource alignment consistent with that belief - is the only route to real engagement.

If you believe that central to effective leadership is being able to serve your employees (getting the best out of them, empowerment, developing them etc), rather than your employees serving you...you'll be in a good place and this thinking would certainly help with your challenge of ensuring staff 'feel important'

As a related aside, we have seen the top-down change management methodologies and over engineered change architecture of the past 20 years+ pretty much collapse in recent years. Whilst there are still geographic /cultural differences in implementing change - the old-school style of launching a business strategy at a conference and then trying hard to align all services and employees through a head-office centric, top-down, through the line change approach - simply doesn't work...

If you could start from a blank sheet of paper, I'd suggest painting a picture of the future for your employees, a genuinely exciting story / journey, demonstrating your personal passion - being clear about why employees might want to be part of it etc and then 'inviting' them to join you on the journey - providing opportunities and incentives to 'write themselves in' to the story, showcasing success stories - both small and large so that people can quickly see examples of desired change & alignment with growth objectives.

Nigel CopseyNigel Copsey talks about what produces great results is what I call "Leading from behind". I have been coaching a senior manager on this and it appears to be working very well indeed. I will quote from what he said in another forum....

"I had to deal with such a situation very recently (a few months ago) when I was asked to take over the management of all people in the production site of the company I am currently working for.

"What was the situation? People with very low morale, many of them disengaged, worried etc etc etc. A very difficult situation I have to admit. "

"I spent many days and nights thinking and planning how to improve this situation.

"Apart from my own experience in managing people I very soon realized that another approach was essential in order to achieve a turnaround.

"I was very fortunate to get to know Nigel Copsey (by the way, I am very glad to see his contribution to this topic!) who is very experienced with these situations. With Nigel's assistance I "worked hard" in order to apply "leading from behind" and a lot more than that also using my own creativity and flexibility whenever this was necessary. "Leading from behind" is a very powerful leadership style!

"After about 3 months I was pleased to observe remarkable improvements and results.

"First of all the morale of the people improved very much. A team was built which consisted of people who became committed to a common goal and willing to support each other. They even started taking initiatives which improved a lot in their work. Not to mention that we achieved remarkable cost reduction results within 2-3 months! Trust and mutual respect has been an important prerequisite among the team members in order to achieve all this and more...

"So, I can confirm Nigel's statements because I have a first hand experience with this approach and it works and has results!

"If you are interested, I will be glad to share my experiences with you (or your managers) and I am confident that they will help you to make a difference.

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