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Employee Engagement Must be a Leader's Focus.

Now that we can somewhat ignore the turbulence of the pandemic, leaders must focus on their employee relationships, create high-performing teams, and ensure member engagement.

There is a saying that “People don’t leave companies; they leave their manager.” While the statement has some truth, it does not capture our evolving reality, particularly post-pandemic. The more appropriate message should be that employees leave when organizations fail to meet their needs.

Leaders must change how they lead, move beyond the leader-driven environment, and redefine employee engagement. Employees demand different things from leaders and their workplaces. As leaders, we must operate under new paradigms for the road ahead.

Here are some suggestions of what employees are looking for in their leaders now more than ever:

Better Work-Life Balance: 

Allow employees more flexibility, including hybrid work, choosing hours, and other creative options organizations can offer. This will only lead to employees wanting to do more and becoming more loyal to the organization as they define their boundaries.

Trust and Confidence in Leadership: 

Providing employees with job security, stability, and support when things get challenging can show confidence that leadership is vital.

More Substantial Alignment Between Work and the Employees: 

Employees seek more than just a job but a way to express their strengths and values. Leaders can participate in this shift by collaborating more with employees and allowing them to define what is important to them. This can foster great results for an employee wanting to remain an active and engaged part of the organization.

Fair Income and Benefits: 

One issue that concerns most employees is fair and equitable pay to keep up with economic uncertainty. Sometimes, employees also look for intrinsic value recognition, which can be more valuable than compensation.

Generally, individuals who feel connected to a great team dynamic, have healthy team norms and are self-sufficient will point in a positive direction and help leaders maximize their role in creating team structures for collaboration. 

Leaders must continuously look for new and creative ideas to engage their team so that they remain focused and interested in the organization. Some strategies include assigning peer mentors, creating team socialization opportunities, implementing communication or relationship mechanisms in place, creating shared project goals, and ensuring the team dynamics remain healthy.

As leaders, creating feelings of inclusion will ultimately bring out the best in your teams and make your role more fulfilling. In the broader context, navigating and negotiating change within the organizational system will make it easier for your employees to remain with the organization for the road ahead.



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