Those who run companies (listen carefully, this might be you) complain about employees that don’t do what they are supposed to. Leaders grumble about a staff that doesn't care, employees that aren’t loyal and people who only see the job as a means to a pay cheque. Management gets frustrated when the team wastes time and money. These are everyday criticisms from bosses.
What if perhaps, all of that is true AND that a large part of the reason for that reality is that employees behave like that as a result of how the leaders treat them? What if one of those leaders is you? Ouch right?
You get what you expect
Have you ever heard the expression “You get what you expect?” There is a lot of truth to that in your marriage, in your friendships and as well in your employee’s commitment and effort they put towards the company.
Our expectations inform our actions
The expectations we have come out in the way we as leaders behave. Our interactions with our employees communicate the beliefs we have.
So let us just assume for a moment, that there is a different way.
We are born learners. We move what we are learning from our heads to our hearts, to our hands.
Employees hearts are impacted, positively or negatively by what their leaders expect
If we simply demand, yell, lecture, threaten and ridicule staff, they will feel deflated, defensive, angry and apathetic. You get, what you expect.
Expect engaged employees
If you are looking instead to have energized, engaged and dedicated staff who truly care about the work they are doing, you must connect what is happening for them to their heart, in a good way.
Here are 3 ways to start change your impact on your employees:
1) See your employees as individuals
They are not just an employee number, a warm body or somebody to delegate work to. They are a human being. They have feelings. They have lives. They do care. If you want them to care more, about the same things you care about, treat them with respect.
2) See their strengths and their potential
We are all gifted with qualities, skills, and traits. Each of us is unique. Even though we may have the same title and be doing the same job duties, each one will do it in their own distinctive way.
3) Invest in them
Give your employee’s your time and energy. I am not talking 2 hours of uninterrupted time. It could be 5 minutes of uninterrupted time. But that time could be invaluable to them.
Taking responsibility for your expectations
Seeing the role you play in your employee’s attitude is the first step to changing the connection your staff have to their day-to-day work. It starts with you. Recognize your expectations play a huge role in how you act and then subsequently how your team acts. Work to motivate and inspire your staff by seeing them as individuals, seeing the potential within them by drawing on their strengths and then invest in them. When you make these shifts, you and the team will experience more success and enjoyment in the work you do.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.