How do I know they are working hard? (Part 2)

Leadership Memo 2020-4

Last time, we were addressing this question: “How do I know that my employees are working instead of slacking off, watching Netflix all day?” We talked about trust being the most important. Trust the people who work for you. This is not blind trust. Instead, part of leadership’s job is to create and maintain a safe environment (both physically and psychologically) so that networks of competence and learnings can happen. When people feel safe, they work better. It helps unleash people’s potential to create value and get people excited to go to work. We also talked about the need to be human centric. Focus on human factors and behaviors. Have empathy and emotional intelligence. You may want to read the full newsletter to catch up on what we’ve discussed. I’ll expand on empathy and emotional intelligence in my upcoming blogs, so keep an eye out!

Today, we’ll talk about two more points.

Third, over-communicate. You need to over-communicate the company vision, strategy and strategic objectives, especially during this time. Say it again, even if you are sick of saying it. Remind yourself that you are the CRO, Chief Repeating Officer. You know you have communicated enough when your employees can tell you, in their own words, what the company vision and strategy are, what the strategic objectives are, and how their work aligns with those. That helps the employees understand their purpose. “Purpose defines value, value defines meaningful work, and everything else is waste.” – Stephen Parry.

Last but not the least, be cheerful! As leaders, we need to be mindful of our disposition. They influence everyone we come into contact with. A stern boss can infect an organization. When we are stiff, tough, and unsmiling, we are showing a face that resembles discouragement and a negative mentality. On the other hand, there are a few things more contagious than a cheerful boss. That would help bring your employees to their best state of personal well-being and that in turn keep your employees in the higher performance levels even during this unprecedented time.

I’m going to end with these two quotes as they summarize the four points beautifully.

“Leadership is not about titles. It’s about influence. He who thinks he leads and has no one following is merely taking a walk.” – Paul Sheppard.

“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” – Steve Jobs.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below.

Latest Talks:

In case you missed the talk on Agile and Executive Management that I collaborated with 3 other colleagues from the US and the UK last month, we’re doing an encore on Oct 29. You can register here.

To continue with the series, on Nov 5, the same 3 colleagues and I are going to talk about Agile and Middle Management. You don’t want to miss it! Registration is open.

I’ll also be speaking in Agile Tour Montréal 2020 on Agile HR, specifically about reward and recognition. Hope to see you there. 

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I’m giving more talks in November and December. Go to my Talks & Workshops page to see the full list.

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