Undoubtedly, employees of an Organization are the most important asset it requires to achieve business goals and objectives. The logical reason behind this is that without employees, an Organisation cannot deliver on its mission and objectives. No investment in machinery, tools, or equipment will make a success out of it without employees. Therefore, it suffices to say the human element of an Organisation is one factor that gives it a competitive advantage.
Beyond having employees, it is also imperative to have the right number and quality of employees in the right function at the right time. There are several elements that define the quantity (number) and quality (knowledge, skills, and abilities) of employees required in an organization per time. The relevance and value that each employee brings onboard is what defines the success of the Organization.
The overall success of the Organization after fulfilling all the above depends on how employees are ‘managed’ – where an asset is not put to the right use abuse is inevitable.
Managing employees for success requires different factors varying from Organizational culture, Leadership Style, Reward strategy, Work-Environment e.t.c.
Today, with the emerging realities in business and the workplace, every leader – Executives, Senior Management, Front-Line Managers or Supervisors in different Organizations require more to manage today’s’ work force for success. I will share what I refer to the “Things Leaders Must Do for Success”
A negative change is hard to swallow, this is because of the effects of its impact. When employees are told to embrace change, it is pertinent for leaders to be genuinely sure they understand the change – what it has in store–its implication and communicate same adequately. The concept of change, whether positive or negative, implies something new and new equates to something not proven–which makes it a double unknown.
It is important to know that change cannot be forced. Therefore, it may be hard to take hook, line, and sinker, this is because it brings about some ‘unknowns’ to lives, and its effect can be far-reaching. It is okay for employees to exercise and express fear about a situation. However, what is important is that leaders stay genuine and continue to communicate with empathy through the changing times.
Giving Honest Feedback
At all times, leaders must be candid and bold enough to give honest feedback no matter how hard it may seem. More so, the current situation requires that the elephant in the room be addressed. Leaders may find it difficult to address all situations and share information… it may be difficult to spit. However, they must share information that employees must know. Do not sugarcoat it, do not re-package it. When feedback is given, what is important is to inspire confidence and hope amidst the situation.
Foster a Culture of Trust
According to an edition of Harvard Business Review, “A culture of trust and credibility are the core principles of effective leadership. Employees must have confidence in their leaders’ ability to deliver results. Building a culture of trust requires a candid and transparent approach to leadership. Job status and seniority can only take a leader so far. Trust, respect, knowledge, and sound judgment can take a leader in the distance. Trust yields higher engagement, happier employees, greater productivity, and higher profits, and it all starts in the brain. Trust is not granted; it is earned over time through interactions with others. Leaders must continuously be mindful of their words and behavior because all that hard-earned trust can be burned in one single action (or inaction)”.
Effective blend of emotional intelligence with good decision-making skill
Effective partnering of emotional intelligence with good decision-making skill is a key ingredient to successful leadership in hard times. Remote work has not been kind to many employees, this is because of the distraction and unpreparedness of everyone – employees and Organizations. Holding employees accountable and holding hard conversations are Achilles heel of many leaders. The guilt many leaders feel has been worsened by the current pandemic, and the pressure to remain compassionate with what others are passing through makes decision making somewhat difficult. Leaders must understand work to balance empathy and excellent decision by understanding the broader vision of the Organisation and take a good decision for business continuity. Leaders can show empathy by both acknowledging a tough situation an employee may be and redoubling efforts to help them succeed.
For Managers leading through times of change (like shifting to remote work), maintaining the team’s engagement and performance should be top of mind. A sense of individual and collective accountability helps employees stay motivated. As a leader, the ultimate key to success is to promote accountability by setting clear expectations and aligning the team on shared goals. After fulfilling with the earlier, effective information flow is invaluable.
Information is one of the most critical resources during times of uncertainty and communicating the right information at the right time to employees. All the above can be achieved through constant and effective communication. In the face of the pandemic, leaders must stay emphatic and authentic to lead their workforce for greater success.
Strategic HR business partner/Administrative expert