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In “The Leadership Challenge” by Kouzes and Posner the fifth practice of exemplary leadership is to Encourage the Heart. Great leaders really bring people together, recognize contributions and celebrate community and relationship building.
Great leaders expect the best from their people and encourage them to step into their own. They also recognize people for their work and go out of their way to ensure that they provide reward and recognition that truly motivates that particular person. They tailor recognition to what that person would like because they take the time to get to know their people. They invest in building strong relationships with their teams and therefore can reward them with what that the employee will truly value.
Good leaders also invest in celebrations. They take the time to create rituals and events which honor progress and special events. They recognize that these are not frivolous events but truly create a spirit of community and demonstrate that they are personally involved.
The leaders recognize that they can work together, but if they can also have fun together then people will bond even more. The more the leader is involved in these celebrations the more that employees will feel engaged with the leader and truly feel connected to him/her.
A great leader encourages the heart of the organization, of the people in the organization, of him/herself be involved in what is going on day to day. Often organizations or leaders don’t focus on the heart and therefore miss the connection. Kouzes and Posner, based upon their research, say otherwise. It is important to focus on the people, getting to know them, and building strong community as this will support a thriving work environment.
Do you invest in the heart of your organization and your people? If not, what can you do especially during this holiday season to change that?
If you are going through a large scale change in your organization - be it a technology implementation, a change in strategy, or new legislation - there will inevitably be some resistance to from your employees. Why? Because each person reacts differently to a change, stress, or moving out of their comfort zone. There are some typical reasons, however, that employees resist change. Here are the top five:
1.They don’t know why the change is happening - if an employee does not understand why a change is happening and how it could be important for the organization as a whole they will often not accept or be resistant to the change. By making and communicating out a “case for change” employees can understand why the change is needed.
2.They don’t think that the “rewards” outweigh the “cost” - often people like to stay in their comfort zone. They want to keep doing what they are used to doing unless the benefits of the change can be made for them. With the case for change, leaders need to clearly state the benefits of the change and why the new change will be better than the old one. Then employees will begin to feel more comfortable with the change process.
3.There is not enough clarity around the change - often when there is change information is not provided as frequently or as well as is necessary. Openness and transparency are important when going through a change process. It is imperative to share information down from the leadership on why, when, and how the change is happening and keep employees informed about the progress of the change.
4.They don’t feel part of the change - If employees are not asked for feedback as part of the change process then they don’t feel part of the change, which can lead to resistance. Feedback is an integral pat in of creating buy-in and having employees feel like their input and feelings are being heard and integrated into the change process.
5.Past change efforts have failed - some employees can feel like this effort will be just like the others and therefore are not supportive of it. Communicating why this one is different and why and how it will be successful will go a long way to reassuring people as well as showing “wins” during the implementation time frame.
Are you seeing any of these behaviors exhibited from your employees during change efforts? What have you done to alleviate resistance to change in your organization?
Monica Thakrar has over 18 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.