Understanding the leader's role in employee motivation
At the end of the day when your employees go home do they brag to their family about how great their day was, how valued they feel at work and how important their contribution is?
If you’re a great leader your employees will be raving fans of your organisation and of you as their leader. They will tell stories about how good you made them feel.
Great leaders believe they exist to provide a service to their employees, they view their people as key customers and they consider their people to be the most important stakeholder group in the business.
Leaders who are passionate about their people know that highly engaged people are more committed, perform higher and provide a better customer service experience These leaders also understand that it is the role of the leader to ensure that their people are highly engaged and having a highly engaged workforce is a current and ongoing business priority.
To describe what being passionate about your people looks like we have coined the term “employee service”. This term is used to describe the people centric component of a leader’s role in a similar way that customer service signifies being customer centric. Where good customer service leaves the customer feeling valued and appreciated, good employee service leaves the employee feeling valued and appreciated.
Your people will form perceptions about what is important to you by observing how you prioritise your time. These perceptions are not always accurate nor are they always fair, however leadership is about managing perceptions and adjusting your leadership behaviour to modify your employees perceptions of your priorities.
The first challenge to providing employee service is to understand the perceptions held by your people of your leadership priorities. Once you know what they perceive is important to you, you can change your leadership style to alter their perceptions.
If your people’s needs from you, as their leader, are not being met then they can become very dissatisfied very quickly, and they will not always speak up.
Your challenge is to find out what your people expect from you as their leader and to be prepared for your employee’s expectations to evolve over time. To be a great leader you will need to keep exploring your employees leadership expectations and keep adjusting your style to meet the identified needs of your people.
Many organisations have structured internal people management systems which include as
Most organisations have the processes in place, however they are not well implemented with many managers being under prepared when they have annual performance conversations with their employees, take little action regarding the employee morale survey findings and regularly miss one on one meetings.
The more effort that you put into these processes the more valued your employees will feel. (One manager I know will answer his phone during a one on one with his employees and will even ask the employee to step outside and wait until the call is over, this manager is saying ...”you are not important”)
Most managers aim to please their employer, when their manager wants something they do it straight away. A great leader will have the same, if not greater, level of focus on their employees requests as they do on their managers requests.
A great leader is humble and admits to their mistakes, you should always seek to get it right the first time; if this is not done, then admit to your service failure, apologise and do it very right the second time. Service recovery after initial service failure can create a more committed employee than if your service had not failed.
Leadership is all about helping your people. Helping your people goes beyond coaching them in their job role. Your people will require far more information than their positions description would suggest to be able to do their job well, they have complex lives outside of work that can get in the way of their employment. Be reasonable and provide support without being taken advantage of.
Employees who you help out will tell others, their stories will live on about how great the company is and every employee will contribute extra in return.
Your employer brand is important to your business, it pays to every now and then remind your employees of the benefits of working for your organisation. Not only the employment benefits, but also the good that your business does, the value that you give to your customers and to the community.
The 7 key principles of employee service has been developed to help leaders understand how leadership impacts employee motivation and what being passionate about people really looks like and to show that becoming passionate about people it not difficult all it requires is a little determination.
High employee motivaion occures when the leader is selfless and focused primarily on the employee's well being Thank you for reading this article
Ian helps leaders to motivate and inspire their teams through a combination of developing strong operational management systems aligned to your strategy and a focus on leading people using techniques that we know improve employee engagement and lift team’s performance by between 30% and 220%. To find out how you can benefit from Ian’s expertise select the “leading for performance button” and begin your journey to higher performing team.