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Here’s What Employees Actually Want From a Leader

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While certain aspects of leadership remain universally true, individual employees may desire other leadership qualities. What are the traits employees universally look for in a true leader?

As it is about to change, most of the traits employees look for in leaders are the same traits they hold in the highest esteem for themselves. Back in June 2018, a workplace consultancy called The Predictive Index did a survey of more than 5,000 people to find out what makes a great boss. Their results show that characteristics like self-awareness, meeknes, passion, and patience are all values employees look for in great leaders and traits they look to emulate themselves.

How do you cultivate these traits? Take the following five key concepts to heart and you will ensure that your business will flourish — and individual employees will consider you to be a great leader.

Employees Want a Leader’s Respect

Don’t underrate the power of respect, especially when it is necessary to traits that employees look for in a leader. A recent study by the Harvard Business Review found that respect is what employees most want from a leader. In fact, having a leader’s respect delivers the best outcomes across the five categories the study examined: health and well-being, trust and safety, pleasure and gratification, focus and prioritization, and meaning and significance. The biggest takeaway is that employees who feel respected by their boss end up being 55 percent more engaged at work.

So how do you develop respect as a leader? First, you need to become self-aware. Know where your shortcomings and blind spots are. Once you are aware of these, work to continually improve them utilizing feedback from trusted advisors, mentors, and coworkers to adjust your behavior.

To induce individual employees feel respected, you will be required to listen to them. This means developing awareness around your listening habits and practicing behaviors to improve those habits. Do you interrupt your employees when they are talking? Do you constantly steamroll past topics you don’t want to discuss? Rely on your network of trusted advisors and mentors to help identify places to improve your listening skills.

Finally, to ensure that your employees feel respected, it’s crucial to continually take time to reflect on your own behaviour and learn from any mistakes you may make. Each human interaction is an opportunity for learning and improving, and if you approach your work life with curiosity and interest, your employees are sure to feel respected.

Employees Want to Feel Heard

A 2016 study by the leadership developing provider Dale Carnegie showed that 88 percent of those surveyed value being heard by their boss . The simple act of listening to individual employees can provide a wellspring of respect and can also induce employees more likely to stick with your company when the going gets tough.

Why? Employees who feel like part of a squad that offers respect and listens to one another will often stick around even during tough times because they feel valued. When employees don’t feel heard, the internal brand of the company plummets–and you risk losing some of your best people.

Listening is just good business. If you listen to the variety of voices and sentiments individual employees have, you may discover innovative solutions or opportunities that otherwise may not have surfaced.

So how do you develop your listening abilities? First, quiet that inner dialogue. Make sure you are fully present when someone is speaking. To generate that various kinds of space, schedule a define amount of day( even 30 minutes will do wonders !) to reflect and get your own believes down on paper. Brainstorm answers and write notes about next steps so that you can get the bigger things off your intellect and dedicate your time and energy to listening to your employees’ wants.

Second, respect people’s time — including yours. If a dialogue gets off topic or wanders, get it back on topic and keep it there. By defining limits on topics and discussion time, you depict your employees that you respect what they have come to say, and you respect the time they have committed. You also keep your own schedule on track and demonstrate that you not only respect everyone else’s period, but you also respect your own.

Employees Want Honesty

Honesty serves as a gateway for trust, respect, and inspiration. Doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing will earn you respect from individual employees — and it sets a fantastic example for them to follow.

In today’s work environment, employees are very capable of sniffing out untruths and fluff. If you lie to, coddle, or tell half-truths to your workforce, you are likely to do irreparable damage to your reputation as a leader and your company’s brand as a whole.

So how do you cultivate honesty? Tell the truth even when it’s not very pretty. Acknowledging when you are wrong isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Remember–we are all human, and we all stimulate blunders. Opening up about your vulnerabilities makes you relatable and shows that you can be honest even when it’s not very pretty.

Employees Want You to Follow Through

Just like integrity, following through on commitments you make as a leader is absolutely vital to employees. By making and maintaining promises, you demonstrate that you are a dependable and trustworthy leader. You set an example for the team as well.

Failing to follow through on a commitment can be as damaging as telling an outright lie. Once you demonstrate that you just dedicate lip service to something, it may take years to gain that lost ground back. By following through on your commitments, you foster an environment of respect and value that percolates throughout an organization.

Employees Want to Feel Valued

Giving credit where credit is due is one of the key things that great leaders do. Not every great notion comes from the c-suite, and success in business always takes a collective endeavour. By ensuring that your employees get the accolades they deserve, you create an environment where people feel valued for their opinions, guess, and ideas.

A leader who points out the success of their faculty stands to reap the gains of respect and admiration from their employees. Sharing the wealth of good news( as well as bad) is always a good notion if you want to be a great leader. By recognizing their teams’ achievements, great leaders foster both competition and collaborations between team members because they strive to improve their own performance and rise to the good examples provided. When you call out the achievements of the team, you create the collective up, and your business will prosper.

These are the five core characteristics employees actually look for in a leader. By continuing to develop your own leadership skills and style, you promote these traits and help create an environment of respect and trust. You also ensure that your employees will want to stick with you through thick and thin. It’s great leadership and even better business.

Read more: business.com

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