When you hire or promote into leadership positions, it's essential to look for high-level traits. They need to know how to motivate people, keep them accountable, and to bring a results-driven approach to everything they do. But these days, simply being a competent professional isn't enough.
In an era of turbulence caused by COVID-19, social movements, and economic instability, our workplace leaders also need to exhibit social-emotional awareness and how to apply it.
As part of a decade long study, social-emotional leadership is a framework for empathetic leadership and the ideology behind "servant leadership." Essentially, social-emotional leadership is the ability of a leader to connect with his subordinates beyond giving direction, similar to mentorship.
A good social-emotional leader needs to influence productivity. But, they also need to impact morale, build trust, and confidence in the workplace. A genuinely successful social-emotional leader can mediate disagreements, reduce workplace tension, settle disputes to help employees feel supported, thus bringing social-emotional attributes to the workplace.
The need for social-emotional leadership in the workplace is paramount. Thankfully, a little goes a long way! Many good leaders are naturally inclined to demonstrate social-emotional awareness, and more traditional leaders need to focus on exploring the human dynamic of their group to make a big impression.
Here are a few examples of social-emotional leadership:
Sit down with each employee one-on-one and chat candidly about how they feel. Ask questions; how is work going for you? Is there anything I can do to support you? Do you have any suggestions? Giving your employees a voice is a big deal!
Adopting people-centric work policies demonstrates social-emotional accountability. Flexible work schedule, work-from-home options, or even the ability to work extra time to make up for unexpected time off shows compassion, and you understand them as people.
Embodying a cause or movement that's important to your employees shows your recognition of their values. Good leaders show support that extends beyond the workplace. Even passive examples of social-emotional leadership make a big difference. Set transparent accountability standards to be upfront about your expectations for employees, or offer to help a struggling employee with an action plan, instead of chastising them about their performance.
The days of superiority leadership are gone. Social-emotional leadership is about connecting human to human. People need to be seen, heard, and appreciated. Your employees need social-emotional leaders now more than ever!
Those organizations that embrace this strategy are the ones that will attract and retain high-quality talent and experience significant growth in turbulent times and beyond.
When it comes to your team, do you soar with eagles, or do you fly with chickens?
Ask yourself these critical questions:
- Does my team compliment me as a leader?
- Does my team support my company's mission, vision, and values by their actions?
- Does my team fill in the talent gaps that allow me to focus and achieve big picture goals?
- Do all members of my team have the drive, determination, and grit to bring my vision to reality?
- Is fear or concern of today's environment preventing me from making important decisions about my business?
The success of your leadership team is vital to your company's ability to adapt and thrive in today's environment.
Here are five things to consider so you and your team can soar;
Review your personal and professional goals and objectives? Have they changed? If so, what will the impact be on your team?
Assess your industry and company projections for future growth. Do your company goals, objectives, mission, and values need to be adjusted to support the current situation?
Assess each team member based on their position with the company, their abilities, and their personal goals. Look for coaching moments, and consider a growth plan for each member.
Communicate clearly and consistently with your team. Consider routine meetings and an agenda to stay on point. If working conditions have changed, be sure to include how these changes may impact your company's operations and objectives.
Consider outsourcing specific areas of operation that help to save you time to focus on other areas that generate business. Employee Solutions Group can help.