Trick or Treat? What’s Your Leadership Style?
Remember that house all the trick or treaters just had to get to? The people who lived there not only had their porch light on, they put Halloween decorations up that invited you to come to their door. When you got there, the owners asked you about your costume, and how much candy you’d gotten. And to top it all off, they handed out the regular sized candy bars!! I remember having neighbors like that when I was growing up. Boy, I couldn’t wait to get to their house. Not just because of the “big” candy bars, also because it was just plain fun to see how they’d be dressed up and have the chance to tell them all about my Beggar’s Night.
Now think back to that other house down the street. You know – the one with the porch light off. They were the people who left the lawn chair on their stoop with the bowl of penny candy and the sign that said “Take ONLY one.” You wondered if they really just put the bowl out to show some attempt at handing out candy so their house wouldn’t get TP’ed! Wow, what a bummer…I can tell you I never went back to that house again!
If you asked your employees, am I the leader with the porch light on or off, do you know how they’d answer? It’s an important question. Being an approachable leader, one who is focused on talent, connects with employees and recognizes and rewards strong performance leads to a more engaged team. And employee engagement is important.
There’s lots of research that directly links employee engagement to organizational performance outcomes such as productivity, employee retention, customer retention, and profitability. Gallup consulting has identified twelve key questions that determine associate engagement. Think about how you could influence your employee’s responses to these questions by the type of leadership you practice.
- I know what is expected of me.
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work.
- I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
- In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
- My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
- There is someone at work who encourages my development.
- At work, my opinions seem to count.
- The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.
- My fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
- I have a best friend at work.
- In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
- I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
So, if you want better performance from your team, higher employee and customer retention, and increased profitability, ask your associates about their work and their day, recognize their performance, give them opportunities, and by all means, hand out the “big” candy bars instead of the penny candy. Be sure to let your leadership porch light shine!
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