A leadership style is similar to a fingerprint; it leaves a mark on what it touches, and each is unique to a person. While our fingerprints can’t be changed or chosen, we can evolve our leadership style to be more productive.
As companies begin to recover over the next months, and even years, from the economic slowdown, it’s clear that how businesses choose to run and lead their team will have a considerable impact on their future success. As the work-life balance continues to blur as people set down roots in the work from home world, it is essential that workers are prioritized to keep morale up, momentum strong, and workers happy and creative. But how can you put your team first in a remote world, and how will they know it?
Kindness & Understanding Builds Bridges
Giving people grace and being understanding during challenging times is crucial. The companies recognizing that their employees are going through struggles during the pandemic and that reach out to inquire how they are adjusting, are the ones thriving right now. John Replogle, the founding partner of One Better Ventures, said that leading during these times “starts with your people—care for your people first.”
Businesses like Lowe’s and Verizon are only a few that have stepped up and given staff special benefits such as 14 days of sick leave, access to free personal protective equipment, and special emergency bonuses or other monetary support. Due, in part, to the team-first mentality of these companies, they outperformed their competitors by about 12%.
Putting your team first doesn’t just benefit the internal culture of the business, but it helps to improve brand image. A study by Edelman’s Trust Barometer showed that 71% of respondents “agree that if they perceive that a brand is putting profit over people, they will lose trust in that brand forever.” Especially during this pandemic, consumers are closely monitoring what businesses are doing and will put their buying power behind a brand they can trust to do the right thing.
How Businesses Can Put Employees First
Being ethical as a company is crucial and will have a significant influence on staff morale and loyalty. Employees spend the majority of the waking hours at their jobs, and many want more than just a paycheck. They want the company leadership to have a positive impact on their lives and to feel prioritized. Here are a few ways companies can do so:
- Build Unity
Creating a positive, unified work culture takes time and strong thought leadership. One good way to show you care about your team is to start a culture committee and include workers from all departments and levels who can work to strengthen the company.
- Prioritize People Over Profits
Increasing minimum wages, providing sick or family leave, or even helping with childcare costs are just a few ways companies can put their team ahead of the company’s bottom line. By giving support to workers, it helps provide a sense of security and fosters a “we care” mentality. Employees’ stress levels go down, and it allows them to focus more on their work.
- Provide Guidance, Coaching, And Learning
One of the main reasons why employees leave their job is due to a lack of learning opportunities and possibilities for growth. Team-first companies and the thought leaders behind them tend to have more tools available for self-improvement and encourage their employees to learn new skills and take on challenging projects without being penalized for failure. If you’re not well prepared to offer guidance or education, use a platform or portal that is, and then subsidize or cover the cost for employees.
To survive the COVID-19 era, leaders need to get creative and make time to prioritize their employees. By doing so, they promote thought leadership and allow the company to be more motivated and productive overall.