I hate my job. Work sucks. I can’t wait to quit.
Have you ever said that? Ever felt that an employee was thinking it?
Too many people in the American workforce feel that way. They are not supported by management and feel completely disempowered at work. And when they go home at night, that disempowerment creates a detrimental impact on familial relationships and society at large.
The good news is that there is a movement rumbling across the country — one where supportive leadership is replacing soul-crushing management. Here are the top July articles on the subject and a kickass video on how to empower and support employees to be their best.
By Bob Chapman
The video begins with the ominous statistic that 88% of the American workforce works for an organization that doesn’t care for them, contributing to broken marriages, broken families and broken lives. As a manager, Bob learned to focus on shareholder value and profits. He learned to manage people but was never taught about the awesome responsibility of leadership.
Most people go to work, get told what to do, and nobody asks their opinion. They get 10 things right, and don’t hear a word. But get one thing wrong and they never hear the end of it. They go home feeling terrible about themselves, and put up walls with their families.
But not all is lost. We can solve this problem by creating environments where people can discover, develop, and share their gifts and be recognized for doing so. Utilizing the principles of continuous improvement and people-centric leadership, employees can contribute their gifts, improve their role and the company, feel appreciated and go home happy.
Leaders have an obligation as stewards of the precious lives of their employees to continue to allow them to be everything that they were meant to be towards the common vision of the organization. By recognizing and celebrating the goodness in our teams, we can all create successful lives of significance.
By Claire Zillman
What could be more empowering than choosing your own leaders? W.L. Gore & Associates, maker of Gore-tex, asks employees for input on a variety of issues including potential CEO candidates. Soliciting employee feedback is extremely valuable in situations such as these. Gore’s philosophy holds that the ultimate measure of leadership is the ability to develop strong “followership”. This peer-driven approach ensures that leadership is earned and not appointed.
By Andre Lavoie
Micromanagement is the most counterintuitive management style. Productivity decreases and managers hover even more. This frustrates and annoys employees who are even less engaged and productive than before. Instead of being omnipresent, be transparent. Be open with roles, responsibilities and expectations during the hiring process and throughout the employee’s tenure at your company. Providing real-time feedback and having open communication breaks the micromanagement cycle and leads to happier employees and a more successful business.
By Peter Economy
Empowering employees goes beyond their desks. Often times leaders are highly qualified to offer financial advice to less savvy employees. Lifting financial stress is a low-cost way for employers to raise morale and create loyalty. Learning how to improve credit scores, manage debt, and prepare for retirement makes employees feel better and more secure. Renewed focus leads to improved performance, but perhaps more valuable is providing the self-determination that many employees have never experienced before.
There is clearly a choice here between being a people-manager or being a leader. Some will continue to micromanage and demoralize, while others will implement these tested inexpensive methods to improve employee satisfaction and performance. Ask employees what they think, provide them with the space to do their best work, impart your knowledge, and recognize their gifts. You might be surprised just how far that leadership can reach.
David Mizne, Content Manager at 15Five interviews some of the most brilliant minds in business and reports on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to employee engagement. 15Five is a SaaS company with a powerful and simple solution that gathers critical insights from employees in minutes each week, enabling informed management to get the visibility they need to boost engagement and drive alignment across their entire team.
How has oppressive management disempowered you in the past? Or tell us an empowering leadership story in the comments below.
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