Here’s how you, as a leader, can add significantly to your organisation’s bottom line.
Your last bulletin looked at the major determinant of whether or not your people are putting in that extra bit of effort—that “discretionary effort”. And what is that determinant? It’s the characteristics and behaviours of you, their leader!
Both the Global Leadership Council and Gallup Research found that:
- On average, a huge 75% of people in organisations are “just doing their job” and no more.
- The 10% or so who have a high commitment to their jobs and their organisations tend to be clustered around certain leaders.
What Clear-cut Opportunities Do You Have to Have More of Those Highly Committed People in Your Team?
In this bulletin we’ll focus on a small family of behaviours that have a very substantial impact. We’ll consider how well you:
- signal that you respect each team member—his/her thinking, and his/her efforts.
- demonstrate to them that you’re interested in what’s concerning them.
- actively convey support and encouragement to them.
To Illustrate, Let’s Look at a Real Example…
It involves a leader I work with, whom we’ll call Paul, and his boss, whom we’ll call Cheryl…
Paul was called into a review meeting with Cheryl—expecting to be “dragged across the coals”, both because a few things had not gone well recently, and because Cheryl was renowned for focusing on what’s not OK. She had a reputation for reprimanding, rather than encouraging or acknowledging.
Paul was delighted when his expectations weren’t realised in his review meeting!
For whatever reason, Cheryl went out of her way to recognise some good work Paul had done. She said she was grateful for his initiative and solution-oriented mindset. Sure, a couple of smallish misdemeanors were touched on—but Paul’s meeting with his boss was far, far removed from his expectations.
What’s so significant about this?
- For several months before the meeting, Paul had felt pretty discouraged and demotivated. In fact he’d started searching the web for another role.
- After the meeting Paul felt rejuvenated, recognized for his hard work, decidedly valued, and very much a part of a team. In fact, within 24-hours of that meeting he made a clear decision to put his focus on doing an even better job, rather than leaving the company.
- Given that Paul is a very worthwhile contributor to the company’s well being, his leaving could have had his employer easily waste an unnecessary $50,000 plus (and that’s an exceptionally conservative figure, given the costs of recruiting, training, lost productivity, and so on).
- The difference that made the critical difference—that saved the company more than $50,000 (from just one meeting!)—was Cheryl’s behaviour towards Paul. Her decision to recognize, appreciate and acknowledge Paul and his work was a highly astute commercial decision.
So far in this example we haven’t yet counted how much the-more-motivated-Paul will contribute. I mentioned in your previous bulletin that the research also shows that on average, highly committed team members outperform their peers by 20%.
Therefore, given his role as a production manager, it’s reasonable to add at least another $50,000 in reduced costs and increased output stemming from Paul’s discretionary, extra effort.
Therefore we can confidently hypothesise that Cheryl’s altered behaviour easily enhanced the bottom line of Paul’s organisation by more than $100,000!
And another important point to remember is this…
Our example looked at the impact that Cheryl had on just one of her team members. She has another six! (Hmmm, we could be talking six times $100,000. That’s a tidy sum .)
Your Leadership Call to Action
Are you up for a challenge during the next couple of weeks?
Will you take a scrupulous look at where you’re less than 100% respectful, supportive and encouraging with any of your team members?
And remember, “sooner or later we act out what we really think”. That means you’ll need to be 100% respectful, supportive and encouraging with your thoughts as well as with your behaviours.
By uncovering your opportunities to enhance the way your team members perceive you, you’re helping them add to your organisation’s bottom-line. It really is that simple!
If you’re one of those leaders who doesn’t actually know how they’re perceived, send me an email and we’ll arrange to talk about what approach would work for you, given your particular circumstances.
All the best for now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.