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It Starts with the Leadership Team

People seek guidance from leadership during difficult times, especially with the current events of a global pandemic and the peaceful march to fight for equality, fairness, and justice. At the workplace, our leadership team has a strong influence to build and nurture diverse and inclusive teams, to be more collaborative and make impactful change together. 

Some companies have Employee Resource Groups (ERG) to educate and bring awareness of different cultural backgrounds, such as African American, Asian Pacific Islander, LGBTQ, Veterans, etc. These groups are driven by employees wanting to make a difference and build a community of support for personal and professional growth at the workplace. They bring awareness of their cultural background, barriers, and common biases they face, internally and externally. Although the groups may be employee-driven, the leadership team has an influence to provide support and encourage more diverse collaboration amongst their peers and within the organization. 

When we focus on personal development to understand our natural tendencies and unconscious biases, we become more aware of how to be intentional and create a trusting and liberating environment. As various ERGs share their barriers and support to each other for career advancement, the leadership team can be more conscious in their decision-making process and be aware of their unconscious biases.

Although equality and fairness is part of a company’s culture and value, it is the leadership team that will determine how equality and fairness is portrayed to their employees. It is okay for a company to say, ‘our company’s culture and value is not a good fit for you.’ 

By being aware of our natural tendencies and being more intentional with our actions and reactions, it will contribute to an impactful change for the individual, not only at the workplace, but also in their personal life.

self care isn t selfish signage

Leadership Can Foster A Self-Care Culture

Do you know companies with a self-care culture are more likely to experience prosperity & employee engagement? The question is how self-care culture is created in an organization. Well, the short answer is “leadership can foster a self-care culture” because leadership and self-care culture are directly linked.

Building a certain culture in any organization always starts with developing a certain environment. This includes holding yourself accountable as a leader to create an environment and foster a culture. Over time, with your experience, skills, and continuous effort, you can retain & attract a talent pool whose values align with yours.

However, there are certain steps that you need to take as a leader to influence your organization’s culture and foster a self-care culture. Let’s look into these steps.

  • Leaders should be self-aware

The first & foremost requirement is that leaders should be self-aware of their emotions and trigger moments. When leaders have self-awareness, they have a huge amount of understanding, wisdom, and emotional intelligence. Self-awareness enables leaders to engage themselves selves investing in others (employees).

Self-aware leaders communicate more effectively with their employees and therefore tend to transform the environment. Self-aware leaders create a safe work environment and encourage employees to make mistakes and learn from them, which eventually helps employees to become a better person & professional.

  • Leaders should lead by examples

Effective leaders always lead by examples, not by explanations. As a leader, you’re responsible for fostering a self-care culture in your organization. One way to do this is to introduce an environment of self-care in your workplace—set examples for your employees to follow. Adopt self-care strategies and effectively perform them at your workplace. If you’re an effective leader and perform those self-care practices creatively, then your employees will learn and adapt as well.

Leadership and self-care culture are directly linked to each other.

Some practices include:

  • Encouraging your employees to take lunch breaks away from their desks.
  • Give them enough time to visit a nearby café alone or with their colleagues so they can divert their minds from work for a little time.
  • Encourage staff to talk short breaks during the whole day to keep their mind & body refreshed.
  • Teach self-care to your employees

When leadership is aware of the importance of self-care, it is more likely that employees will feel secure & safe because leadership and self-care culture are directly linked to each other. It all links to building an environment where employees can practice self-care. One way to foster a self-care culture is by sharing self-care tips with your employees. Leaders should share their personal self-care practices and the following as well.

  • Encourage employees to take time for activities they enjoy.
  • Enforce them to stay hydrated throughout the day and ask them to eat their meals on time.
  • Teach them the importance of incorporating physical activity into their lives – set up a gym in your company as well.
  • Encourage them to be more open and share their feelings with a friend whenever they feel overwhelmed and anxious.

Incorporate mental health sessions in their workweek or month.

How Leadership Create Loyalty?

The pandemic has led to a massive layoff. Millions of employees worldwide have lost their jobs, and millions of others are expecting to be laid off. In this tough time, leaders of companies are facing one of the biggest challenges of their lives. Leadership needs to showcase their standout qualities in this challenging time to show empathy towards their employees. This would help companies to achieve the loyalty of their employees.

Let’s talk about the importance of leadership to create loyalty and steps required from human resource and leadership team to guide a safe work environment.

How can leadership inspire loyalty in employees?

  • Communication is crucial

Employees understand that companies are facing a big challenge, and they’ve no other way than going towards layoff. However, leadership should adhere to their employees by communicating with them throughout this time to ensure that employees don’t feel left alone.

Once we’ll get through this pandemic and things start getting back to normal, companies would need these employees, and communicating with them regularly & empathetically is the only way to inspire loyalty in them. 

Effective leaders are certainly aware of this situation, and they’re adopting an effective communication channel to stay in touch with their employees. 

  • Create a safe workplace environment for employees

Safety & protection from Covid-19 is the first & foremost requirement of everyone. While companies are re-opening and resuming their operations, ensuring the best possible work environment should be the number one priority of leaders. Company owners should ensure that sufficient education is delivered to human resource and leadership team to guide a safe work environment.

If human resources and leadership fail to ensure a safe work environment for their employees, then expecting loyalty from employees is not the best of expectations. Leadership and human resource must ensure that all the safety measures against coronavirus are put in place to protect employees from being infected. This will inspire loyalty in your employees.

  • Leadership should trust employees

Employees are more likely to be loyal to their companies when leaders trust employees and show it as well. In this crisis, leaders should push employees out of their comfort zone and support them by showing trust in them. When leaders show confidence in their employees, then employees take on challenges with more passion and do not fear risk failure. 

Leadership should assign critical tasks to employees and ensure that leadership is backing them fully. Employees will certainly feel being-valued and respected by the leadership, which will inspire loyalty in them.

  • Show interest in their lives

Leaders who inspire loyalty in employees have one thing in common, which is the wealth of information about each employee. If you want to make your employees loyal, then show empathy towards them in this crisis and take good care of them. You can do this by showing genuine interest in their interests and hobbies. Leaders should be aware of an employee’s emotional state and must act accordingly. In a nutshell, leaders should know their employees as people as well to cultivate loyalty in them.

Influence Organization’s Culture

Do you know what influences an organization’s culture the most? It’s leadership!

There’s no better person or group of professionals other than the leaders who can influence an organization’s culture. But, the question is how leaders can influence their organization’s culture. True leadership is always self-aware about themselves, and that’s how an influential leader reflect organization’s culture.

Let’s talk about a few ways that leaders can use to influence their organization’s culture.

  • Being an intentional leader helps in influencing your organization’s culture

If you want to become an influential leader, then try being more intentional. It would result in making it easier for your employees to understand the motive & intent behind your actions. You’ll be able to deliver a clear message by being more intentional.

As a leader, you need to make things very clear and easily understandable for your employees without leaving any guesswork. Take a moment and reflect whether your employees see a true passionate worker in you or they perceive you as a person who is just running out the clock at work.

If your actions are intentional and clear and align with your “mission statement,” then you’re more likely to influence your organization’s culture.

  • Spread your vision among employees and make it collaborative

Influential leaders reflect organization’s culture by sharing a vision with employees and by making it a collaborative vision. Leaders who share their near-future & long-term vision with their employees, along with the most-likely challenges – can buy-in employees’ engagement & motivation. The next step is to make your vision collaborative and make it consumable for as many people as possible. Make sure your vision is easily relatable for your employees so they can perceive themselves as an integral part of the company. When devising a strategy, include as many representatives as possible in your decision-making process.

  • Inspire your employees and lead by examples

It is always said that great leaders always lead by example, and there’s nothing to deny in it. One great way to influence your organization’s culture is by becoming an inspiring leader.

Inspiring leaders are not afraid of failures, and they talk openly about failures. It helps to take risks and become a leader who set examples for their employees. As a leader, provoke new ways of thinking in your employees and experiment fearlessly.

  • Be a dependable worker

Influential leaders reflect organization’s culture by becoming a dependable worker in the first place. To foster trust among their employees, leaders should be reliable, so your employees know that they can count on you upon meeting a distinctive challenge. Lead them by examples, so they perceive you as a dependable worker other than an influential leader.

  • Communicate precisely

There’s no denying the fact that communication is the key to influence an organization’s culture. Make sure that as a manager or leader, your employees are well-aware of your message. You can do this by adopting effective communication skills and the most suitable communication channel. Be clear about your expectations and make sure to speak respectfully and empathetically with your employees so they feel being valued and a true asset of the organization.

How to Impact Employee Engagement?

Globally, only 15% of employees are engaged at work, and the rest of them reluctantly go to their workplaces with zero passion & energy. Poorly engaged employees tend to fail at performing effectively while highly engaged employees display great performance.

To get optimal performance out of your employees, leadership teams need to create an environment that focuses on employee’s well-being & shows empathy towards them. Before jumping into ways to create a sustainable employee engagement environment, let’s talk about the impact and importance of leadership.

Impact of leadership on employee engagement

Leadership is a fundamental employee engagement factor. Visionary and the right kind of leadership fosters a culture of engaged employees in the workplace.

Employees lose their engagement when they’re fearful or anxious about their future because of tough goals that are beyond their job description, that’s when they look towards the top leadership for help. At such times, if the leadership’s actions align with what they say, then employees perceive them as effective leaders.

Below are some ways to create an employee-centric workplace environment that helps leaders to engage their employees.

  • Leadership should make caring for employees a priority

If leadership thinks that employees are their true asset, then caring for them should be a top priority. Each employee can perform well beyond his/her job description. Leadership can push their employees to greater levels of excellence by recognizing their talents, beliefs, and goals. When employees experience a sense of being valued, then it enables them to perform better and show engagement in their job.

Leadership must know their employees -who they are and not just what they do. Every interaction of leadership teams with employees can influence employee’s potential and engagement. It certainly inspires employees to make discretionary efforts.

  • Create an environment that expects engagement from employees in realistic terms

If leadership teams or managers are not well-coached and self-aware, then they won’t be able to define engagement goals in realistic terms. Leadership should make engagement goals realistic and achievable. When the engagement goals are realistic, then employees strive to achieve them, and they succeed eventually. Consequently, employee’s day-to-day workplace experiences are improved, and they stay motivated and engaged.

Leadership should use emotive language and powerful descriptions to build & strengthen commitment and passion within the team.

  • Right & self-aware leadership puts an immediate impact on the employee’s engagement

Benefiting your employees with flexible working hours, bonuses, tours, and leaves is helpful to engage your employees. However, the top leadership can put an immediate impact. If the leadership is self-aware and empathetic towards their employees, then creating a workplace environment that encourages employees becomes very easy. Self-aware leadership knows how to lead themselves first before leading others.

Companies should hire team leaders or managers that are not only skilled & experienced, but they also possess unique qualities like engaging the employees and open communication. Keeping a check on managers and holding them accountable for poor employee engagement is very important. Managers or team leaders must be actively engaged in planning engagement activities and with their employees.

Continuous Growth

Have you ever wondered why there is a lack of liberating leaders at workplaces? There might be several outstanding role models or leaders; however, very few liberating leaders. So the point here is to understand what makes a liberating leader and what it actually is. Let’s understand liberating leaders first.

Liberating leaders

It is a rare type of leadership; however, very distinguished and highly effective than others. A liberating leader is a composite of few exceptional psychological characteristics including, egalitarian values, creativity, and a holistic approach towards issues.

Now, let’s take a look into the essential characteristics of effective leadership to produce more liberating leaders at the workplace.

Effective leadership requires self-awareness to create more liberating leaders at the workplace

One of the fundamental traits of effective leadership to produce more liberating leaders in the workplace is self-awareness. The top leadership can be brilliant in many aspects, but if it lacks self-awareness, then liberating leaders can’t be produced at the workplace.

A leader can only expect to lead others effectively if he can lead himself, which comes from self-awareness.

Building self-awareness is possible. However, it requires you to be your own critic and ready to accept that we ”don’t know what we don’t know about ourselves.”

Below are some points that throw light on the importance of self-awareness for effective leadership – thus creating an environment in the workplace that produces liberating leaders.

  • If the top leadership is equipped with self-awareness, then they are more likely to have emotional intelligence in them.
  • Emotional intelligence is a key trait to understand your emotions and of those in the workplace.
  • Developing self-awareness enables leaders to know their weaknesses & strengths – thus enabling them to coordinate with their teammates in the best way possible.
  • Self-awareness is not only great for your own good, but it also puts a direct impact on your subordinates and produces liberating leaders among them.
  • Constant self-awareness in the top leadership always helps them in putting their best foot forward, because a self-aware leader knows the art of leading himself.

How self-awareness in leadership develops an environment that produces liberating leaders?

Self-awareness in top leadership helps them to be always aware of their weaknesses, strengths, constantly-changing mental state, and hidden biases.

Being self-aware makes room for you to learn from your teammates and subordinates. In the process, you find true workers and team players who participate strongly – strong participation is one of the key traits of emerging and liberating leaders.

If a person is not self-aware, then he won’t be able to acknowledge his flaws or loopholes. On the other hand, self-awareness taught you your flaws, and you’ll learn from others what you don’t know. This helps the top leadership to produce an environment in the workplace that pushes everyone to participate and give their best performance.

Then, you identify certain performers who are creative, equipped with egalitarian values, and holistic towards problem-solving.

Development Of Effective Leadership Qualities

How can a great leader may develop a business? If he doesn’t know about the strong leadership qualities, i.e., self-awareness, decision making, and polite attitude, etc.

Self-awareness is very important for those who want to be a leader. Mostly we all are the leader in our life, for example in our surrounding people ask our advice. Few of the employees need our expert opinion, and at that time, if we don’t know how to tackle the situation, we would be in a problem.

Skill Set Of Effective Leader

 Effective leaders acquire a base of strong leadership, providing a stock of character, skills, strengths, and weaknesses.

Without self-attention, leaders can appear a bit arrogant. If you cannot be personable or know while you are presenting, how can you probably lead a company or any kind of business?

Need Of Self-Awareness

 The need for self-awareness extends to other business situations, too. Think approximately how vital self-attention is in giving pitches or managing feedback, for instance, in case you are not aware of how you will react or do not have a way to prevent a terrible reaction, you may get yourself into trouble.

Self-consciousness is also useful for presentations and effective leadership development. Many people get frightened when turning in pitches, speeches, or even notes at a meeting. However, self-focus allow you to in these situations.

Smarter Not Harder

Everyone has weaknesses of some kind, but Liberating Leaders are willing to find out about weaknesses and overcome those flaws. After all, if the corporation struggles, the employees struggle, and this subsequently comes complete circle to the purpose of the leader to struggle.

New Team Member

We hire people for their strength and their potential contribution to the company’s overall vision. Steve Job said it best, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

We recently hired a couple of new team members with the strengths and qualities we needed to grow to the next level. As we continue to shift to the digital world, we had to admit that certain areas in the business needed more focus and resources than others, such as the Public Relations department. As a result, we hired the right people for the right position as a way to maximize the highest capabilities and potentials to grow the company.

Through one of our internal leadership training, we learned an effective way to introduce new team members to make them feel welcomed and for current team members to feel secured and valued. The leadership team starts with the company’s mission and values, then leading into the introduction of the new team members’ qualities, strengths, and how they will contribute.

After sharing the big picture of where the company is headed and the current landscape of the company and the people we serve, we allow time for questions and comments. We understand the amount of uncertainties and insecurities in the current economic situation, we highly encourage any form of open dialogue to help us minimize the anxiety and be more focus in our daily activities as a team. We have present and future thinkers in our company, so everyone has a different perspective of the current situation. Even though everyone is going through the same storm, the diverse outlook on the situation helps us understand each other better and how to become a stronger team.

The people is what makes us successful, and we constantly find opportunities to show gratitude and appreciation, whether it’s by listening to feedback or providing resources. Sometimes small actions and being intentional goes a long way.

Endless Learning

Self-development is an endless work. Since the world has slowed down, we are able to work on ourselves to become better leaders, spouse, parent, and community leaders. Our team is learning to be more patient and understanding of each other’s challenges with working from home. There is an open dialogue amongst the team to support each other and stay present with the community we serve.

We complete quarterly assessment with the team to help everyone recalibrate and refocus on the necessary areas. We reflect on the influence and the impact we have made in the last quarter, starting with ourselves to our families, our team, and the community. Then we ask ourselves, ‘How can we improve to empower more people around us?’. Everyday, we practice to be intentional with our communication and actions.

We learned that we naturally support each other and it takes intentional efforts to challenge each other to be the highest possible leader. Sometimes it takes more thought-planning to ask the difficult questions because we do not want to create tension or conflict. Through an open dialogue, we understand that by asking difficult questions and providing timely feedback for improvement, it will contribute to a synergy environment and help people become more liberators. We are doing a disservice to the people we work with if we are not challenging them to be the highest possible leader they can be.

No one is a mind-reader, so open communication has helped Braindom minimize frustration and optimize potential growth.

Prioritize People

Leading and motivating the team is a challenge, especially with the new adjustments of working from home.

It has been over a month since the world shifted virtually and people are social distancing. There have been constant learning everyday within our team and how we serve our current clients and community. We learned that it requires more self-awareness and emotional intelligence to maintain consistency and engagement within the team. Due to a variety of distractions with the “Safer at Home” order, it is getting more difficult to stay focus and maintain consistency of mindset and attitude.

As a way to stay focused and be aware of our natural tendencies, we are in constant communication with the team to understand their individual needs and how we can help. We learned that the extrovert team members are struggling more than the introverts due to the physical distancing. As a solution, we have social virtual events, such as virtual happy hour or game night. These social events have helped the extroverts recharge and socialize with others.

Although we have shifted our company virtually, we continue to make people our priority and reallocated our resources to support our team from a distance. Everyone is going through the same storm, but everyone is having a different experience, which requires different support and guidance.