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Dare to Care in the Workplace - What Effective Leaders Do Differently

The pandemic has changed the workplace forever, but is your company built to falter or thrive in the new hybrid environment? In our ongoing podcast and blog series, we explore ways to build a strong company culture and navigate the new way to work—from home, or anywhere, together.  

In this blog, we share insights and strategies from Kathleen Quinn Votaw and Marcus Buckingham (best-selling author and Head of Research, People and Performance at The ADP Research Institute) to help you unlock strengths, increase performance and pioneer the future of how people work.  

It’s a dynamic time for organizations and HR teams everywhere. The Great Resignation is driving a competitive market where talent is in high demand. Meanwhile, companies are rolling out return-to-work strategies, which add more complexity to an already stressful time. To survive and truly thrive, organizations must learn to think differently. 

5 smart strategies to help you move ahead 

1. Don’t kill the innovation you’re trying to inspire.    

Every time HR hires a new employee, you expect someone who can innovate within your company. Yet most employers establish rules that ultimately stifle that creativity and innovation in the very people they want to inspire to serve customers well. If your leaders can learn the unique situations and activities that individual employees love, they can ultimately help them create more collaborative and innovative ways to get work done and make customers happy.  

2. Elevate the employee experience. 

Today’s employers have more job openings than people to fill them. So in order to attract, hire and retain the best people, you’ve got to deliver a stand-out employee experience. A great one often begins with a transparent recruiting process and continues with excellent onboarding. Instead of allowing these processes to be mechanistic (and often dehumanizing), smart organizations will find ways to make these processes much more relational. 

3. Know the power of teams. 

According to a recent ADP global study, 85% of people do most of their work on teams—which become “homes” for everyone’s individual strengths and weaknesses. Put everyone together and you can get a lot more done than you could alone – that’s the value of a team.  

Ironically, the employee experience—which is critical for retaining top talent—must be nurtured through the intelligent building of teams. Don’t overlook the importance of strong teamwork—and do everything you can to create it.   

4. Cultivate empathetic leadership. 

Today’s employers have a real challenge. Employees now have a lot more power and they want an authentic and human experience at work. Yet for the last few decades, employers haven’t known how to deliver it. Interested in cultivating empathetic leadership in your company? Check out the practical tips in Kathleen’s new book Dare to Care in the Workplace.  

5. Prioritize regular check-ins. 

Many companies have overcomplicated the concept of leadership. But according to Marcus, it all comes down to one important ritual—the 1:1 weekly check-in. Every week, the leader asks four questions: What did you love about last week? What did you loathe? What are your priorities for this week? How can I help you?  

“It doesn’t matter if you’re doing these check-ins in-person, via text or via Zoom call,” he said. “What matters is that you’re paying frequent, light-touch attention about the near-term future for that one individual. When leaders do this, employees feel seen and heard. The leader doesn’t need to fix all of the problems every week; sometimes it’s just the sharing that’s valuable.” 

Want to learn more? 
Listen to the full podcast with Marcus Buckingham (Part 1 and Part 2) or see all the podcasts in our Dare to Care in the Workplace series. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get alerts when new podcasts are released.  

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