Workers today seem to place a greater value on respect and appreciation and that change may require a shift in leadership style from management. Some managers may expect employees to follow their every command simply because they are the boss. But this approach is unlikely to foster an atmosphere of collaboration or create an environment that allows employees to openly share thoughts and ideas. Instead, it can create a toxic workplace in which employees do not feel respected or appreciated.
A manager who keeps a close eye on employees and micromanages every detail most likely leads by intimidation, communicating a lack of trust in team members by overseeing every aspect of their performance. With today’s emphasis on workplace engagement and culture, a leader who intimidates or micromanages may want to evolve his or her leadership style in order to attract and retain top talent, enhance productivity and remain competitive.
Successful managers typically guide and support their teams, working with employees to help build expertise, gain confidence and reach goals. Attributes of successful managers include:
Practicing servant leadership
Organizations that invert the traditional hierarchy model emphasize the importance of serving workers, which can result in increased job satisfaction and employee engagement. These companies place the responsibility of supporting workers in the hands of management, adopting a style of servant leadership.
Although every employee has his or her own definition of success, the servant leadership style is best suited in today’s climate of helping workers achieve and even exceed their individual goals. If employees are not meeting individual objectives, senior business leaders may want to observe the managerial style of those employees’ supervisors and make suggestions regarding any necessary changes.
Investing in relationships
When leaders develop and nurture relationships, they lay the groundwork for enhancing business performance. Investing in relationship building, whether between colleagues or workers and managers, can yield a greater sense of teamwork that also drives productivity and profitability.
With the high cost of employee turnover and the direct link between job satisfaction and retention, it is worth considering how managers interact with employees and evaluating ways to improve key relationships.
Recognizing the impact of technology
Previous generations may have more readily accepted intimidating leaders, but younger generations are less likely to tolerate them. In addition, the rise of the internet has created an atmosphere in which private matters now may become public. Disgruntled employees can gain exposure about grievances by venting online, which can result in negative reviews that could impact recruitment, new business or client development efforts, among other critical areas.
Employees want to feel valued and trusted by management, and leadership styles should continue to evolve in order to recruit and retain top talent, thereby maximizing productivity and enhancing profitability.
Eric Bonugli is a district manager and Kay Oder is a Certified Business Performance Advisor for Insperity. They are located in the company’s Austin office. Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 32 years provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance.