When most of us think about meeting the needs of our fellow colleagues and peers however, we tend to think mainly about what physical resources they need to achieve their goals.
For example, if we offer someone more training and education and more opportunities to take on challenges, will they grow and develop both personally and professionally and achieve more success for themselves and for the company?
If we allow someone greater flexibility in their scheduling, or perhaps grant a department more payroll dollars, will they actually achieve more and do better work than just leaving things the way that they are now?
Why Happiness and Emotional Health isn’t Even on the Radar for Many Leaders
Few leaders, even really great ones, ever stop to think about the mental and emotional health and well-being of their team members. For most, this is not an issue where leaders don’t care how their team members feel so much as some leaders fear that they might be prying. Other leaders worry that they might offend a team member if they ask how they are doing and if there is something that we can do to make their work and their lives easier for them.
Some falsely believe that there is nothing that can be done to increase happiness and satisfaction in their workplace so they simply leave any concerns unacknowledged.
Probably the most popular myth that holds leaders back from being concerned about happiness on their team is the false belief that happiness in the workplace can be increased simply by offering someone a greater salary or other material reward.
Putting the Team’s Emotional Health and Happiness First is the Key to Leadership Success
The results of several studies reported in an infographic earlier this year at Hubspot clearly indicate that leaders and companies that put their team’s happiness at work reap a number of benefits. Teams with greater emotional stability and levels of happiness have members with greater engagement, creativity and problem solving abilities.
Teams with happy members also help companies operate more smoothly and efficiently and even increased the bottom line at many Fortune 100 companies by an average of 22% in one year alone! Unhappy teams are also quite costly, as unhappiness can increase indirectly increase company healthcare costs to treat addiction and mental illness in their workforce.
Based on this research, leaders can increase the performance of their teams, and experience more success, by making the effort to increase the happiness and emotional health of their teams!
Steps to Take to Increase the Emotional Health of Your Team
As reported in the same infographic at Hubspot (http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/happiness-matters-at-work) , happiness in the workplace really isn’t an accident. There are a number of steps that leaders can take to lighten the level of stress that their teams experience and increase their happiness and productivity.
Break for It! Encourage your team to take breaks about every hour and a half or so, and lead by example and take breaks yourself! Teams that take breaks come back to their work with greater focus and the ability to think more creatively, which will boost their ability to come up with new ideas, improvements and solutions!
Make it Meaningful. Give your team members work that has meaning, so that they feel that their efforts matter and will be more willing to put forth their best efforts.
Help Your Team Define their Personal “Why.” Why do your work?” “Why are you here?” “Who benefits when you do your best?” Knowing why you are at work, and reminding yourself who benefits from your effort,” can increase team’s feelings of responsibility and pride. Encourage your team to figure out their own personal “why,” and also encourage them to remember their “why” throughout their day.
Variety adds Energy. Doing the same thing, day in, day out, is monotonous and boring, so cross train your team and rotate assignments, as well as shake things up with completely new twists to the work day, to keep your team from becoming bored and burning out. A popular belief is that having a routine provides a sense of security, when in reality it can feel very dull and stressful. So offer your team a variety of tasks as often as possible.
Boost Esteem and Well-Being with Empowerment. Reduce the stress levels of your team by ditching your micro-managing ways and grant them autonomy to make decisions. Giving your team more control will increase their sense of fulfillment and help them to grow.
Share, Consult, And Create. Show your team just how important, and trusted that they are by sharing your insider knowledge with them. Open the lines of communication and increase cooperation by allowing them to offer feedback and to help design projects, set benchmarks and measure their own success.
Rather than leading through direction, lead through partnership and collaboration. When success is achieved, don’t hog the spotlight! Share the credit, recognition and rewards from your mutual creations!
As you place a greater focus on creating an emotionally healthy workplace and increasing the happiness levels of every member of your team, you will see an increase in productivity and efficiency and reap the rewards in the form of greater leadership success!
If you need some further guidance on how to get started transforming your workplace and your team, get in touch today we’re here to help!
Thought leadership is a definite buzzword in today’s business world, but that does not make it any less relevant. However, what does it mean and how can you use it to your advantage in a competitive market?
A breakdown of thought leadership
Thought leadership is essentially a component of content marketing and is all about tapping into the talent and experience of your team or business and presenting it in a useful and digestible manner. Used by B2Bs and consumer-oriented companies, it is all about answering those questions asked by your peers and customers consistently and in an authentic manner.
While there may be a lot of noise in your industry, it is important that you raise your voice to be heard. Your viewpoint does not necessarily have to be different to others in your field every time but differentiate when it suits to help you stand out from others.
What can you share?
To enable your audience to see your point of view you can share best practices, strategies, how-tos and information that is relevant to your field. You want to inspire others to buy your product or partner with your organisation. The platforms for doing this are made more voluminous with online technology, corporate websites and social media networks – think multiple channels. Be as engaging as possible through videos and articles.
Take advantage of every opportunity that arises and add value to the conversation rather than just additional noise. The information you present has to be in-depth and well-researched to meet any challenges surrounding the topic.
Tap into the corporate talent
Being seen as an authority comes with much responsibility and can pay off in many areas of a business, particularly when presented in an inspirational manner. It can come from your executives, leaders, product managers, designers – all have information worth sharing and a unique point of view to offer.
Why go to the effort?
With a strong focus on branding, it is all about communicating from the start of the consumer journey right through to the end. Throw open those doors and allow them to see the full picture. By turning your leaders into thought leaders then you become a real business with real people and real faces rather than just a logo. This is your opportunity to be more innovative than your competitors and come at it from a different perspective.
Having leaders with informed opinions can raise the profile of your organisation ten-fold. They show how to inspire and demonstrate to others how to replicate their success. And these ideas can ultimately cross industries, niches and even continents. Seeking such a meaningful engagement will ensure that others tag along for the ride especially when tied to current business approaches, strategies and trends.
Having a great product or a successful business is a great base for a thought leader but with careful work and consideration, a thought leader can emerge from within your own corporate ranks. Not only does it help with corporate goals but it also enables professional accomplishments at a whole new level.
Getting our team the resources that they need to meet their goals and objectives and perform at a high level is a key focus of many leaders. Looking out for our team members, and their well-being isn’t just good for them, it’s good for us, and our companies. However, being a leader isn’t just about high performance and chasing success so that we can receive more recognition or make more money and earn more rewards.
In order to be a great leader, we must have a servant’s heart and help others. By placing the needs of others above our own, we build incredibly powerful bonds of trust, respect and cooperation. These bonds make everyone open to sharing and collaboration.
Everyone becomes more willing to work together. By working together and helping one another, we achieve more than any of us would by working alone and doing all of the tasks ourselves.
LinkedIn is one of the more efficient social networking websites when it comes to leaders, executives and those interested in connecting with others to further their career. Think of it as a virtual business card. If your executive profile is not laid out in an orderly manner, it will be glanced at and suitably put aside, failing to receive even a second glance. The alternative promises a brighter future for those who take their careers seriously. So let’s take some time to get noticed for all the right reasons.
Everyone comes from a different background and therefore an executive profile is going to be as unique as your career and your goals. Personalise it with a quality, professional photograph and a distinctive header image to represent your brand and vision. While marketing is often left to corporations, professional branding for individuals is just as important to show your connection and recruiters what you represent. Make sure your heading stands out and include any necessary keywords to contribute to making your profile more searchable for those seeking individuals in your field.
Fill in the Gaps
It is important to take your time to go through each section and fill it out as accurately as you can. List any previous key positions, your educational background and accompany with relevant photographs and videos. Summarise your aspirations and your goals to let others know the direction in which you wish to head. Write for your readers. What information do they want to see? What might be relevant or interesting from their perspective? Feel free to add links to your other social media pages and websites which may be of use to others.
Keep it Updated
It is important that you keep updating your LinkedIn profile with regular blog posts or sharing of entertaining, yet relevant information. It keeps your followers interested and is an excellent way to start a dialogue or two on a given subject. You just never know where a thought provoking topic may lead. Consider them as icebreakers to get the conversation started.
Maintain your Privacy
LinkedIn allows you to maintain as much control and confidentiality as possible. You can choose to share as much or as little of the information either publically or privately within your network. It is important that you always maintain professionalism with all of your posts and updates.
Grow Those Connections
Once you have taken the time to create an executive profile that meets your needs, it is important to start working on those connections. Research individuals and invite them to connect with your profile. Ideally, you want an active profile with new connections being added on a regular basis to keep it fresh.
All of these things may only take a short period of time to optimise, but the result is one very elegant looking LinkedIn profile; one which will garner not just a second glance, but an in-depth read. You never know who may be reading your profile so it is important that your executive profile is visitor-ready to increase those connections.