Leaders should not think they are the only ones worthy of creating and knowing corporate visions. All employees need to know their companies’ visions and how their work contributes to them. When visions are established, leaders need to build consensus. The aim must be for employees to come to work to pursue visions, not just to perform the functions of their jobs. The four challenges applying to Directional Leadership and action items related to the four challenges include:
Challenge One: Recruit support from the top 29 percent.
*Identify the top 29 percent.
*Bring the top 29 percent together as a group.
*Solicit input from the top 29 percent into the vision.
*Ask the top 29 percent to recruit the other 54 percent.
Challenge Two: Prepare the organization for change.
*Agree on unity within the leadership team. For success, all members of the team must be on the same page.
*Give the reason for the change.
*Tell employees how the change will affect them.
*Use data to tell the story — numbers and facts can be very powerful.
*Introduce the change as an improvement.
*Celebrate the past and the future.
Challenge Three: Let them know how they contribute.
*Assess how well expectations have been communicated.
*Let employees create the expectations through goal setting.
*Assess how well consequences have been communicated.
*Determine positive consequences that would drive behavior.
*Ensure the consequences motivate the behavior.
Challenge Four: Constantly communicate progress.
*Create a method to share information regularly.
*Let employees know where they stand.
*Host a quarterly vision review meeting.
Employees voluntarily leave companies for many reasons, including for more money, to spend time raising a family, to move away, to go into business for themselves, or to find a better fit for themselves after a company changes direction. In fact, the vast majority of employees do not leave companies; they leave bosses. Leaders who build cultures of motivation can overcome employee disengagement and the loss of valued employees. These are the four challenges applying to Motivational Leadership and action items backing them up:
Challenge Five: Lead with positive motivation.
*Give employees something to run toward, not from.
*Ask employees what inspires them most.
*Focus on what employees are doing well and provide positive feedback.
*Focus on the best by finding ways to direct attention to the top 29 percent.
Challenge Six: Celebrate small successes.
*Create an impulsive reward system.
*Establish a dedicated time to celebrate every day.
*Establish a method to celebrate every success.
Challenge Seven: Encourage life balance for all employees.
*Take advantage of technology, such as allowing an employee to work from home.
*Change to a new mindset.
*Make a list of flexibilities that might possibly be extended to employees.
*Protect employees’ time off.
*Set the example of life balance.
Challenge Eight: Create a fair work environment.
*Establish equitable reward systems — the same achievements should receive the same rewards.
*Be consistent when enforcing consequences.
With the wrong employees in place, achieving company growth and building for the future can be impossible tasks. In creating cultures of employee engagement, leaders must be sure they have the right team of employees in place. A strong organizational structure, with the right people in the right places, is essential to a culture of strong employee engagement. People will come and go, but organizations must be robust enough to continue pursuing their visions. These are the challenges applying to Organizational Leadership and action items for the challenges:
Challenge Nine: Identify and position the appropriate talent.
*Inventory the available talent. Determine whether the right people are in the right places.
*Determine who needs to go, but first give the culture of employee engagement a chance to work.
*Recruit appropriate talent.
*Hire for leadership needs.
*Hire for attitude.
*Give challenging and meaningful work. Employees become disengaged when they think their potential and time are being wasted.
Challenge Ten: Build a bridge between generations.
*Understand the generations. Learn what motivates each and why they think the way they do.
*Suspend judgment long enough to first learn about people.
*Do not treat everyone the same. Understand and cater to individuals’ needs.
Challenge Eleven: Move toward real empowerment.
*Give authority with responsibility.
*Stop solving employees’ problems.
*Get the team thinking about problems and solutions.
Challenge Twelve: Establish a strategy to maintain success.
*Create a succession plan.