Inspiration and lessons for your leadership journey!
“When leaders care less about their people, their people will be careless.”
I am on a mission – a mission to nurture in myself and others a better understanding of love and loving leadership; what others have called servant leadership. Do you think that caring for those you lead doesn’t matter?
To me it’s common sense. The more you care about those you lead, teach, or coach, the harder they will work for you. Caring doesn’t have to be dramatic. Simply providing people with a clear and meaningful vision, expectations and feedback, the tools and technology to do their jobs, recognition, opportunities to grow and develop, being available with a caring ear, and a fair paycheck are all it takes. Don’t do these kinds of simple things and people not only get careless with the work they do, they get careless with how they treat the customers and each other.
But common sense isn’t enough for a lot of people. After years of research, Gallup and BlessingWhite’s breakdown of the components comprising employee engagement resembles what a lot of us might call love or servant leadership. Unfortunately, most workers are at some level of disengagement; which means they probably think their leaders care less for them than something or someone else.
Ask the average frontline employee, “What does your boss care more about? You or the bottom line? You or the latest metric? You or the VP’s opinion?” Ask the average teacher, “What does your principal care more about? You or the school board? You or the superintendent? You or the standardized test results?” What or who do you care more about? What would those you lead say?
Southwest Airlines is the most profitable airline in history. Herb Kelleher, the head of the company for twenty years, said, “Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders – in that order.” When you put your people first, they will put you, the company, and the customer first, too. It truly is a win-win-win-win (leader, employee, customer, organization).
Gallup estimates that disengaged employees costs the US economy $370 billion a year and significantly increase safety incidents across industries and, in the healthcare setting, patient safety incidents.
On the flip side of that, organizations that rank in the top twenty-five percent on employee engagement have been shown to grow earnings per share (EPS) over two and a half times that of organizations with below average employee engagement!
How would you like to cut the number of safety incidents in your organization in half? Then, care about your employees. A 2009 meta-analysis found that the top 25% of business units (in terms of engagement) have 49% less safety incidents than the bottom 25%. Similarly, the same study found that in health settings, the most engaged organizations have 41% less patient safety incidents (i.e. falls, medical errors, infection rates, and risk-adjusted mortality rates).
Companies with high employee engagement also have low employee turnover and higher customer satisfaction, productivity, and profit. Researchers concluded, “Business/work units scoring in the top half on employee engagement essentially double their odds of success in comparison to those in the bottom half.” The bottom line is that it pays to have engaged employees. It pays to care.
This doesn’t even include all of the health benefits to those who are doing the caring like decreasing stress, boosting your immune system, washing the brain with “feel good” hormones, increasing your heart health, and living longer.
When leaders care less about their employees, employees become careless and experience increased safety risks, they care less about the customer, and they care less about you and the organization.
How can you show those you lead that you care? How can you increase engagement? What steps can you take to ensure your direct reports are protected, listened to, have the tools they need to do their jobs well, are recognized, have opportunities to grow, and are inspired?
If you like this week's blog, I encourage you to share it with your family, friends, and colleagues and join me on my journey to empower and inspire millions of people around the globe.
Together we can spread words of Encouragement, Inspiration, Empowerment, and Loving Leadership!
Together we can make a difference!
Have an amazing journey today!
Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
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In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.