Over the course of the last few weeks we have discussed the traits and characteristics of effective leaders. While I typically like to stay on the positive side of things, I thought it might be helpful to write a four-part series that will help us understand and address those characteristics that are guaranteed to move leaders into the “bad boss” category.
A study conducted by Healthstream, involving 200,000 interviews, reported that 79% of employees leave their job due to lack of appreciation.
While there are several characteristics of a less than effective leader, lack of employee appreciation is as reported particularly harmful. I believe that employees will tend to forgive or even overlook some of the other shortcomings in their leaders but feeling unappreciated is not overlooked and cannot be undervalued.
Leaders of large divisions or business units often tell me that they cannot possibly recognize all of their employees. While that may be true, they can certainly show appreciation to their direct reports. In addition, as part of the organizational leadership strategy, companies can incorporate the importance of showing appreciation for employees.
Of course, the ability to appreciate others begins by looking at how and what we “think” of others. If we think of “employees” as simply those who fall below us in the hierarchical structure our ability to show appreciation will be severely impacted.
When we start with the understanding that staff members are people first and employees second, we as leaders are better able to relate to each individual. It is important to understand that those who are participating in and contributing to the organization are people, people with lives that involve ups, downs, tragedies, challenges and victories.
Take a moment to investigate how you think about employees. If necessary, begin to shift your perspective by being curious about the people you work with every day.
Start by taking the time to appreciate your staff and I assure you the results will be measurable. Keep in mind that the recognition you convey must be authentic and honest. If you are not sincere the attempt will more than likely backfire.
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