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Leadership and Employee Engagement

Now that we can somewhat put the turbulence of the pandemic in the rearview mirror, we must focus on our employee relationships, creating high-performing teams, and ensuring 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.

In 2023 leaders must change how they lead, move beyond the leader-drive environment, and redefine employee engagement. In these times, 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 that organizations can make possible. This will only lead to employees wanting to do more and becoming more loyal to the organization as they define their personal boundaries.

Trust and Confidence in Leadership:

Providing employees with a good sense of job security, stability, and support when things get challenging can show confidence that leadership is strong.

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. In addition, sometimes employees are also looking for intrinsic value recognition, which can be more valuable than compensation.

In general, individuals who feel connected in 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 the team to collaborate. 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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