Joy Journal

Every Friday, you can receive the Joy Journal, which will give you information, inspiration and tips that you can use in your pursuit for joy.


Can’t employees just do what they were hired to do?

How to “put people first”

You are a leader in a business. You need people to achieve your goals and be successful in that business. Yet, what team members need now to be their most successful is very different from what was needed 10 years ago, 5 years ago or even 2 years ago.
This notion of “human-centered leadership” or “put people first” has risen to be a rally cry for how businesses can retain their best talent. Yet many leaders feel like that have already been adjusting to the needs of their team members and wish employees would just do their jobs like they agreed they would when they stepped into their roles.
While this topic is way more complex than I have space for in this journal, I want to share a few ideas for how you can create or adjust to an environment where team members can thrive.
  • Focus on the ‘why’ – We all want to feel inspired and motivated, even if the job is routine. Team members need to understand the purpose of their work, e.g., how it makes a difference to the team, to the business, to customers or to the world. Be sure to regularly discuss the contribution the team member makes and draw the connection to its impact.
  • Create connection – Team members want to feel connected, whether it be to their boss or other team members. It is important for leaders to really get to know their team member’s values, strengths/weaknesses, passions/hobbies, etc. and to provide an environment when their authentic selves can shine. A leader’s role needs to transition to that of “coach” rather than “boss”.
  • Create skin in the game – How often have you wished that your employees thought more like owners? Well, they can’t do that if they don’t have a complete picture. Communicate strategy, goals, financials, actuals, etc., repeatedly so that team members can understand what leadership is trying to do. You may be surprised at the suggestions they may then make to improve process to help reach those goals.
Business is tough right now, and I fear it won’t be any easier over the next 6-12 months. Keep investing in your team members, even if your patience may be wearing a bit thin. It will be worth it.

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