The ‘Leadership 101’ is a series of leadership training articles. We started this knowledge base with the goal of bringing different leadership perspectives from all corners of the web into one easily digestible format. In this series we will be looking at HR industry best practices and trends; in an attempt to keep you informed, while adding to your leadership arsenal. In an attempt to keep this forum open we would like to invite you to provide feedback here or through our@Hire4Impact feed on Twitter.
It starts with the fundamentals – in this situation, the Law of Reciprocity. In essence, in order to receive, one must first give. This is a much abbreviated take on the rule. To learn more about this rule, we highly recommend you pick up a copy of Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: Science and Practice.
In an attempt to increase engagement levels across your organization, you should have a strong understanding of this concept. As we know, increased employee engagement leads to increased productivity and ultimately the success of your organization. Let’s take a look at how this rule can be put to good use and how it can be applied to develop a winning culture in your organization.
- Reciprocate (Quid Pro Quo).
Put the needs of your talent first. In order for them to follow you, or ‘buy’ into your organization’s goals, they need to be aware they have your support. As a leader you need to have infrastructure and other processes established that show you are committed your talent.
- Change the Status Quo.
Establish processes that foster engagement. It is important that you embrace their input. Challenge your talent to address problems and create an environment that encourages communication. Try to remember that these changes will not happen overnight. The key here is to listen – both sincerely and persistently.
- Empower your Talent.
Give them the tools they need to effectively complete the job. We know that results are important, but they mean nothing without the right processes. Give recognition to those responsible for success. Failure to reward these successes could result in a culture of disengaged employees. Low levels of engagement reduce retention and ultimately decrease productivity – not to mention the increasing costs associated with the hiring process.
- Establish a unifying culture.
It’s all about the ‘people’ component of your organization. Behaviors the result in disengaged employees often start at the top with leaders and managers. It is important to remove the all too familiar “us vs. them” mentality. In many cases employees get “they want us to do this,” when in reality it should be “We as an organization.” Don’t be afraid to take risks and delegate. The more they see the fruits of their labor materialize, the higher their engagement levels.
As always, this is easier said than done. We encourage that you approach these tips carefully. Over time your organization has become a cornucopia of generations. Certain age groups behave differently, and as a leader, you need to account for this. To learn more about this dynamic shift in the workplace, please take some time to read this article on relating to a Multi-Generation workforce.