Reading Time : 7 Minutes
This article first appeared on Entrepreneur’s Insight Magazine within the June 2018 Issue.
Deep down, everyone wants to be a good leader. To be given leadership, we are then thought of as successful as it gives recognition in our journey towards climbing the professional ladder. Though along that path, I oftentimes see people blurring the lines in their evolution towards transforming themselves. That initial feelings of wanting to highly contribute as an effective leader, would turn into an unforgiving attitude of being a “Boss” instead.
People come, people go, the never-ending cycle of a company’s employment life. I take it very personally when one of my team members decides to leave. Heck, even an intern who has ended their internship will cause me deep feelings of melancholy. I try my best to treat everyone as a same levelled colleague with just as much respect rather than a person who is seating on a high chair. Sadly, things don’t always go in the direction of your imagination. When work & stress piles up, you realize that instead of fostering an emotional connection, you will emphasize more on the professional involvement of things instead. This will cause you to neglect a couple of environmental hints that are signs of a weak and fractured team. Reality will only strike when you are caught off-guard with the bullets of “I’m leaving for a better life”. What “better life”?
A better life usually has the same notion of the recent millennial mentality. Have a job you are not happy? Leave! Find the things you want to focus in life and chase your passion, is what all motivational speakers tell their ready eared unhappy target audience. The top problems that usually arise in a demotivated employee are:
The problem with all this is when a superior is faced with this situation, it is usually past an employee’s breaking point. You then ask yourself a classic question, why didn’t they approach me regarding this situation sooner? A typical human being when being pressured with stress and negative connotations would rarely and probably almost never confide their issues with a direct superior, let alone sometimes hiding their emotions and feelings from friends and families too.
How do you usually solve a client’s problem? Through communicating and understanding what they really need and where the problem is. If you can put so much effort into solving a client’s problem who sometimes only knows how to give you shit, why can’t you put an equal amount of effort into caring for the people that goes through it with you? Through talking with your team at an earlier stage, you can identify:
#1 Why are you overworked?
#2 Why do you feel you are not being paid enough?
#3 Why do you feel that the company has no future for you?
#4 Who is bullying and harassing you?
#5 Why couldn’t you accept your manager’s orders?
All these questions can lead to huge revelations on how your organization is currently running especially if you have a bigger team. Most of the time people are prioritizing their physical executions in fulfilling their role rather than figuring out how to solve their emotional issues. That is why having these people under your care, you must show them your effort into understanding their issues. To understand only can you solve.
People hate it when a direct job order from above looks like a clear case of washing dirt away onto you. By clearly guiding and putting in the effort to solve a project together will give a strong sense of teamwork which will generally boost overall team morale and most importantly raise the quality of deliverables. My previous article over here in regards with dealing clients can also be empowered to your team. The more they understand, the better it is!
There are a ton of employee development courses out there that companies should 100% focus on when possible. Every single knowledge can’t be learned within a stagnant working environment. Constant interactions & knowledge transfers with other people in the industry will allow a person to feel self-growth. Don’t know where to find self-improvement courses? A simple google search will always show a ton of them nearby. Be sure to always check reviews to ensure legibility. Once they have gained their new-found knowledge, always empower them to practise and use it in work. That will then constantly innovate their working experience into achieving greater goals.
There is no other way around this. To talk only can you understand. Freely empower your team to always seek you for emotional issues that will paralyze them from being the best they can. It is sometimes deep-rooted problems that will constantly attack your team’s mindset like cancer and never let go until it is too late. Freely do this along bonding sessions during lunch & dinner and you would have a more light-hearted talk compared to something serious. The goal here is to understand as much as possible.
What is your definition of having an awesome team? A group of people that are always happy working together, or a group of people that excels well in execution? Depending on what kind of personality you are, you would typically lean towards either one of the spectrum. In an ideal environment or world, it would be best to find a balance between the two. I’ve had a few teammates who I care deeply for that have decided to leave the company of late. I can blame it to the overwhelming workload recently which caused my neglect. However, I know that this is just an excuse from my side. This deeply saddened me and ignited my will to put in 10x more effort in fortifying emotional connections with my team because they matter a lot to me.
Ever since the day I saw the phrase “Everyone is Dispensable”, I have hated it to my guts core. Everyone who has ever crossed paths in my life are special, especially those that have been a part of my journey.
I am the founder of Malaysia’s 1st Augmented Reality merchandise and currently is a partner & director of an integrated marketing agency that focuses on making brands exciting through on-ground & online strategies. Thus far, I have consulted various Fortune 500 companies into solving their projects and challenges with digital solutions. For any advice and inquiries, please contact me at my contact page!