Inspiring Organizational Growth
It seems simple right? Just Value your employees. Ensure they feel Inspired to work hard and contribute. Support their needs and take the time to Hear their concerns. Why then is it so hard to actually bring this to life in an organization? Why do so many employees report not feeling this way and link it to a KEY REASON why they quit?
During the development of my book Knowing Who You Lead- a business guide for leaders and teams I surveyed employees to learn more about what makes a great leader, why they leave organizations, and what they wish their leaders knew about them. It fundamentally came down to V.I.S.H.
Let's start with an easy question. How would you answer it?
What qualities do you most admire in an effective Supervisor/Coach?
Answers I received all centered around V.I.S.H-
Consider this- As a new employee, are they invited to meetings, involved in team huddles, given the chance to share their ideas? As a veteran employee, who's been with the organization longer, are they still celebrated, thanked for their work, credited publicly for their contributions, or asked to share their expertise? Too often, we forget to openly show our employees how much we Value them. We "assume" they know, or we just want them to do the job they are assigned to and only point out when they have made an error. But employees are wanting more. Consider the responses to this question.
Does you supervisor provide you with regular feedback on your performance?
The next focus is a tougher one. How do we Inspire others? Some leaders have commented that this is not their responsibility. After all, don't people need to strive for their own goals and chase their own dreams? But when it comes to employee retention, we need to figure out a way to Inspire them to work harder, invest their efforts in the company, and feel Inspired to support organizational success.
When asked- Why did you leave your last place of employment?- answers spoke of a lack of inspiration.
Everyone wants to be Supported, but we differ dramatically in how we want it done.
When asked- How can a supervisor support you? the answers varied.
Everyone wants to have a voice and feel Heard. Sometimes it will involve people wanting to share their ideas, concerns, feedback, and suggestions. The critical component is- what happens next? Is the receiver of this information receptive, dismissive, or judgmental? Are they open, curious, and invested in learning more from the speaker?
When asked, Are you supervisors open to suggestions/feedback? -The answers ranged
We need to put effort and time into building ways people can feel safe to share, and also ensure they are being Heard. It's not enough to just ask "does anyone have any questions or suggestions" and then not actively consider them. Don't ask people to complete employee surveys and then not SHOW them how you have used their input. People need to feel Heard and appreciated.
My last question was even deeper and actually brought all four needs into focus. The need to be VALUED, INSPIRED, SUPPORTED, and HEARD. I offer this to you as a gift... insight from employees on what they V.I.S.H for.
When asked- Is there anything you wish you could share about yourself with your supervisor/coach that would help them better understand how to work with you?-people responded with this-
• Stop multitasking and just listen to what I am saying
• Sometimes I need a sounding board for their trusted advice
• When they are distracted, I feel less valued
• The impact of workplace stress is real. I need to feel supported.
• My mental health impacts my job, and I may need help with barriers
• Past traumas, stress, home life all impact me. Being criticized by them only makes it worse
• I did share. But now they just leave me alone and complain to others. Didn’t enhance our relationship
Now it is your turn. Take the time to think about how you can actively make a greater effort in these four areas. How can you help to ensure you are fulfilling your employees V.I.S.H for 2023?
Carrie-Lynn Hotson is a College Professor, HR Specialist, Speaker, and Coach. She is the author of Knowing Who You Lead, and the owner/CEO of Inspiring Organizational Growth- an HR consulting business designed to help leaders and teams understand WHY issues occur. To learn more, visit her website www.inspiringorganizationalgrowth.com/
Carrie-Lynn Hotson is the author of Knowing Who You Lead, has created a series of blog posts to generate discussion, insight and inspire transformational leadership growth.