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Friday, November 13, 2015

Lean Quote: Want to Be a Better Leader? Show Employees You Care.

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"If management thinks people don’t care, it’s likely that people won’t care.— Tom Groark

Rallying a team of people can be challenging. You'll be required to work with people with different personalities, each bringing to work different drivers and motivations. To fully engage the members of your team, recognize their individuality -- what stimulates them and keeps them striving to do their best -- while maintaining a collaborative environment where everyone is working toward the same end goal. 

Show employees that you care about them personally so that you and the team can tackle shared goals. The following three steps can help you achieve this:

1) Listen.
One of the most important traits in leadership and managing employees is the ability to listen. Take the time to sit down with employees and listen to their thoughts, suggestions, comments and concerns. Giving members of your team a voice, individually and as a collective group, will boost morale and thus business growth.

Listening is not just about receiving your employees’ ideas but also acting on them when it makes business sense. Prove that you're willing to trust the input of your employees. It will pay dividends in the long run.    

2) Get to know your employees.
Gone are the days when people expect leaders to sit behind a closed office door and dictate from on high. In modern business, the best leaders and entrepreneurs get to know their employees on a personal level as well as professionally.

Ask employees about members of their family, what they enjoy doing outside the office and the parts of their role that they like or dislike the most. Demonstrating an interest in your employees as people, rather than as cogs in a machine, will ensure that they feel valued.  

3) Be approachable.
A manager's display of willingness to be consulted by staffers is crucial for business growth and success. A strong leader gives staffers an opportunity to be heard and lets people feel comfortable doing so. This type of leader makes time for employees and listens to their ideas, at a meeting, during a private conversation or in the corridor. 

Being approachable will not only results in your building stronger relationships with members of your team. It will give you an opportunity to hear new ideas and demonstrate to staffers that they are valued members of the business.

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