5 Areas to Motivate Employees to Grow

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At Switch and Shift we are no strangers to defining what leadership in the 21st century needs to be. However, we don’t spend as much time looking at the needed employee growth areas.

Thriving organizations don’t rely solely on adaptive and agile manager leaders. They also need employees who also are willing to adapt with increasing fluidity to 21st century business demands.

 

Thriving organizations don’t rely solely on adaptive and agile manager leaders

 

The list of needs below is based on work with my clients and their employees. It’s also influenced by trends in society and the economy.

One thing is certain: employees have as much flexing to do as their managers. Neither group can succeed without the other.

Willingness to Trust

Yes, business life has been rough. Yes, some managers have been or always have been ineffective, unethical, or self-centered. Employees must learn to extend or accept the olive branch to move beyond trust-breaking events.

Key Growth Area: Address with the appropriate person how their actions betrayed trust. Develop a plan to move forward. Forgive.

 

Employees must learn to extend or accept the olive branch to move beyond trust-breaking events

 

Take Initiative

The complexities of business problems require employees to step up to identify solutions without prompting. Going one step further, taking initiative also means identifying a problem that needs a solution. Employees can’t wait for managers to identify a problem needing attention.

Key Growth Area: Stop waiting for an invitation to do great work or share ideas.

 

Employees can’t wait for managers to identify a problem needing attention

 

Neutralize Drama

Certainly energy vampires are on every team throughout the organization. Such employees distract from creating and shipping work that matters. Develop the discipline to redirect conversations that uphold the status quo and idolize problems.

Key Growth Area: Resolve problems with the person involved directly. Quit unnecessarily involving others through complaining or gossiping.

 

Certainly energy vampires are on every team throughout the organization

 

Increase Self-Awareness

In a global, diverse workforce our behaviors and words are under greater scrutiny for understanding. Employees must learn to better monitor their biases, the influence on their emotions, and business outcomes.

Key Growth Area: Learn how to manage and recover from when your emotions negatively affect relationships and outcomes.

Adaptive Communication Skills

With the arrival of social technology, how we communicate is more complex and more convenient. The complexities and conveniences lead to excessively simplified or complex communications often through inappropriate channels: email when face-to-face is best; tone and brevity are mismatched for communication channel. Employees must learn to identify the best communication skills for efficiency and maximum impact.

Key Growth Area: Match the desired business outcome to the communication channel. We all are overwhelmed with too much information. Stand out by effectively selecting the best way to communicate to get work done.

 

Stand out by effectively selecting the best way to communicate to get work done

 

The workplace and job market is already fiercely competitive. It will only intensify as employers continue to be ultra-selective in their hiring decisions. The five areas featured are marks of an employee willing to do good work, own their development and mistakes. Furthermore, the goodwill developed from demonstrating skills in any of the five ares will reverberate beyond the current employer.

 

Photo by  Pablo Barra

Change Leader | Speaker | Writer Co-founder and CEO of Switch and Shift. Passionately explores the space where business & humanity intersect. Promoter of workplace optimism. Believes work can be a source of joy. Top ranked leadership blogger by Huffington Post. The Optimistic Workplace (AMACOM) out 2015

  • http://www.bensimonton.com Ben Simonton (@BenSimonton)

    Shawn,

    If the problems you relate exist, they exist not because of employees but because of what management is doing. Those problems result from poor leadership by management. I know because I created them during my 12 years of using command and control as my method to manage employees. When I then gravitated toward the opposite approach, call it autonomy and support, those problems disappeared. Using autonomy and support I was able to turn around several management disasters where those problems and others were rampant.

    Best regards, Ben
    Leadership is a science and so is engagement
    http://www.bensimonton.com

  • http://Cybuhr.com Daniel Buhr

    Thank you, Shawn. Good, practical, to the point stuff here. What I see are ways for non-managers to be leaders.

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  • Loxley John

    Every manager should read this. Wow!

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