June 2022 - HOPE for Leaders Newsletter

Leading with love in the now normal

Many companies have recently moved forward with bringing employees back to work on-site. While to some this signifies progress, others are understandably hesitant. There will no doubt be challenges faced by organizations as we navigate the “new normal”.
A recent study conducted by AmeriSleep found that not only are remote employees 57% happier in their careers, more than 80% say that they are less stressed. Because of these gains in job satisfaction and improvements in overall mental health, 75% of remote workers plan on working remotely for the rest of their careers.
Given this shift, it is imperative for leaders to be flexible in what this new office environment will look like as employees will certainly have varied opinions about it. If flexible work schedules aren’t an option, companies may continue to see a surge in resignations.
These insights are proof that it is crucial for leaders to understand what motivates their workforce — how to connect and collaborate in ways that generate organizational energy and the results they seek to achieve — and identify it now. I believe that the secret to doing this effectively is leading with LOVE.
Leading with LOVE is something leaders can do in any industry, within any organizational culture, and at any level-whether they are the CEO or an ambitious entry-level supervisor.
Are you a leader ready to jump start leading with LOVE? If so, consider the following:
  • Be a Listening Ear: Engage your team daily. Avoid multi-tasking when listening. Develop a communications strategy.
  • Have an Objective Mind: Clearly communicate your expectations. Stay focused on goals. Trust your team.
  • Bring a Versatile Attitude: Let your team decide the best times for work to get done. Evaluate your team’s roles and responsibilities. Reserve meetings for getting things done.
  • Hold an Empathetic Heart: Empathize and appreciate your teams’ lives. Acknowledge that everyone has something they’re concerned about. Encourage self-care among your team.
Leaders should commit the LOVE model to memory: listening ear, objective mind, versatile attitude, and an empathetic heart.
Check in with yourself regularly and assess how well you’re delivering on these commitments. Even a minor adjustment in your behaviors can sometimes bring more trust and comfort into the workplace, which will always improve motivation, engagement, and results. Remember, it’s a leader’s responsibility to create an environment where employees feel cared for.
~Written by Hope Zoeller, President and Founder, HOPE, llc

Watch for the two most common employee errors

Employees make mistakes. The key to managing and solving them efficiently is to distinguish between the two basic kinds of blunders in a workplace situation:
  • Process mistakes. Sometimes employees do the wrong thing over and over again. Maybe they don’t know the correct procedure, or they have some reason for violating it. Investigate and correct these as soon you’re aware of them.
  • One-time mistakes. These can be the result of a single decision that doesn’t work out. Handle these with care. Although you need to correct them, remember that they can result from an employee’s attempt at something new. You don’t want to squelch an employee’s motivation for taking risks by punishing him or her too harshly. Discuss the decision and move forward.
~Adapted from the Fast Company website

Keep motivation strong when a project stalls

When you start a project, your team is probably excited about the challenge and motivated to work hard. But as it drags on, team members’ enthusiasm can droop. How can you keep them going strong? Use these strategies:
  • Give lots of feedback. Stay on top of the project by offering lots of praise and guidance. Often, when feedback drops off, motivation follows, so make a point of telling your team regularly how they’re doing and how important their work is.
  • Break the project up. Take a large project and turn it into a series of smaller tasks that will hold team members’ interest. A long, drawn-out project can become drudgery after a while, but shorter assignments can be easier to manage.
  • Reward progress. Give the team points for achieving specific milestones on the road to success. Recognition, a small celebration, or even a modest cash incentive can make them feel like they’ve accomplished something even though they’re not done yet.
  • Be firm with deadlines. When employees don’t feel a sense of urgency about getting the project completed, they may delay taking the kind of action they need. Remind them of the deadlines and let them know they’ll be held accountable.
~Adapted from the American Express Open Forum website

Start here to explore and solve morale problems

Improving motivation and morale starts with gathering information about your team’s experience with your organization. Ask these questions:
  • Do employees feel rewarded for getting involved, taking initiative, and sharing ideas-or punished?
  • Do they have sufficient latitude to make their own decisions about how to do their jobs?
  • Is feedback to employees usually negative or positive?
  • Do employees feel they have the resources necessary (including information) to do their jobs well?
~Adapted from the Toolpack Consulting website