Evolving your leadership style for today’s workforce

September 18, 2018


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.

About Insperity

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.

Kay Oder


Kay Oder has owned six companies, has been a resource to thousands to businesses and brought solutions to help business owners minimize risk, improve business performance and navigate today’s highly regulated and complex “business of being an employer”.

Today, Kay uses the insights gained throughout her career as a speaker, business owner and business advisor. Audiences enjoy her candid, informed perspective on HR related topics as well as her razor-sharp southern wit.

Kay is also a Certified Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, the $2.6 billion business performance solutions provider she has called home since 1993. Kay has consistently been among the company’s top producers during her 20 plus years with the organization, earning Insperity’s highest honors, including the Top Volume, Circle of Excellence and the Chairman’s Club awards.

Prior to Insperity, Kay was the President and Co-founder of Texas Valve Specialists, a supplier in the oil and gas industry. She has also owned companies in the construction, demolition, machining and promotional apparel arenas. She spent four years as a client of Insperity and upon selling her last venture, joined the Insperity team.

From an early age Kay demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, beginning at age six when she sold cantaloupes from her parents’ front yard, which she offered three for fifty-cents, with a free puppy.

Kay and her husband, Dale, relocated to Austin from the Houston area in 1996 when a theft occurred in their family: their granddaughter was born and stole their hearts, so they had to follow.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2016 revenues of $2.9 billion, Insperity operates in 61 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.

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