Guest post written by Riley Anne Jenkins
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Leaders do more than just ensure that projects are completed — they're crucial for employee morale too.
Studies by Humu show that disaffected management contributes to employee dissatisfaction. They surveyed 240 full-time employees and 58% said the biggest contributor to burnout was having a bad manager.
At the same time, employees with a manager who makes an effort to help them combat burnout are more than three times less likely to feel exhausted or overwhelmed. Employees who notice their managers taking action are even 16% happier than their peers, and as many studies have consistently shown, happy employees are productive employees.
In times of crisis, a good manager can often be the key to better performance despite any setbacks. How can these resilient leaders overcome challenges and help their employees do the same? Keep reading to find out.
Flexibility with Change
Employee priorities have shifted. Leaders that are out of touch with the hardships that their employees face, stand to lose a lot more than popularity. In the same study by Humu, the top desire of employees now is flexibility.
After all, the business world is constantly changing. In 2022, organizations will spend nearly $2 trillion on digital transformation. Failure to align this digital transformation with employee values and behaviors can create additional risks to an organization’s culture, like low morale and an inability to attract talent.
The best leaders are leaders who are able to adapt to change, and this skill is something that’s often taught early on in company training programs and educational courses. The curricula for modern organizational leadership programs teaches leaders how to manage organizational change and provide superior employee training. Beyond finances, modern leaders are taught to blend human resources and leadership with psychology to better lead teams and act as an agent of change.
Demand for graduates with an organizational leadership qualification is already increasing faster than the 8% average growth rate forecast for all occupations. With the role of leaders coming to the forefront, we can expect more flexible and resilient leaders in every industry by 2030.
In line with flexibility, leaders must be able to keep up with the changes. We've previously described agile leadership as a “tightrope walk needed for success in the fast-paced, ever-changing business world, particularly when multiple crisis’ are in play.” In a tsunami of challenges, leaders shoulder the weight of supporting their entire team and acting as a bonding agent.
Depending on their level of agility, leaders can solve key problems, accomplish desired outcomes, mobilize breakout endeavors, realize a shared purpose, and evoke unexpected possibilities. Throughout, it's important to always check in with team members for any recalibrations or readjustments along the way.
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It's easy for leaders to not trust their employees. Especially with the growth of hybrid work models, leaders tend to fear that employees will become complacent, leading to a dip in productivity.
It goes the other way around as well. Only one in three employees trust their leaders, and this lack of mutual trust ultimately causes a breakdown in workplace dynamics and contributes to the increase of employee resignation.
Managers must proactively work to increase trust, and this can be done in various ways ranging from agreeing to expectations to requesting feedback, and accepting any with gratitude. Shows of vulnerability and responsibility create an environment where everyone feels safer. In these environments, employees can better communicate their concerns to leaders who can then take them onboard when they consider adjusting their plans.
Active Listening and Empathic Communication
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It’s all about communication. Analytical leadership is no longer enough to guarantee business success in the long run. Effective employee engagement — making employees feel heard and valuable — is what motivates and inspires a team. With that, it is possible to foster a culture of deeply focused, value-added thinking, compassion, and resiliency in the workplace. Here, not only do leaders look out for their employees, but employees also look out for their leaders and work together to collectively overcome challenges.
Guest Blogger: Riley Anne Jenkins is a long-time business consultant, and part-time writer. She dedicates her time to learning about the latest business trends and strategies. Her spare time is spent contributing to blogs and baking.