A Gallup poll in 2020 stated that an astounding 85% of people were disengaged from their work. And more recently, research shows that some 40% of people are currently searching for a new job.
So what’s the deal?
People don’t put up with a workplace that doesn’t value them.
Holly Tate is the Senior Vice President of Growth at Leadr, a people-development software that drives sustained and measurable employee growth. And she says it all comes down to engaging and growing the people on your team.
Think about it. Do you focus more on people development or people management? Are you developing leaders or simply managing employees?
There’s a very big difference.
Take the topic of leadership for example. We can study workbooks on this topic and listen to lectures all. day. long. But in the end, content is not the problem. In fact, let’s be honest, we’re saturated with leadership content!
There are countless books, conferences, coaches and thought leaders focused on leadership. The problem is not the content.
The problem is the implementation of that content in our day-to-day rhythms within our teams.
And more often than not, that comes down to a one-on-one meeting between a manager and their direct report. This one meeting is the most powerful tool you have as a leader!
It’s the incubator for the relationship that helps the employee understand and appreciate the value the employer has in them.
It’s saying, “We see your value to the organization. It’s not just to help us accomplish what we do, but to reflect who we are and to be an integral part of things.”
You can learn so much about a person’s dreams and how they fit into the vision of your organization in the context of these conversations. It all comes down to prioritizing those relationships.
You might be thinking, “Hey, I’m a very relational leader. I’ve got an open door policy. My team can come find me any time!”
But here’s what that often communicates to the members of your team: “You are not important enough for me to carve out a 30-minute block on my calendar each week to just be with you and build our relationship.”
We get it. The tension in running any organization is the fact that you have a mission to execute. And the execution of that mission is what pays the bills. However, there’s a whole other side of the spectrum. And that’s the care and development of your people… who, by the way, power your mission!
It’s been said that relationships move at the speed of trust. That’s why the one-on-one is so important because you’re building trust with your team. And that’s the difference between management and development.
Management is checking in on the projects, checking off the to-do list and assigning tasks. Development is saying, “Hey, I’m here for you. How can I support you this week? How’s it going? What are the challenges you’re facing?”
Because when we focus on development, the management part takes care of itself. When we’re only managing, we’re losing trust with our team.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to create a workplace in which your people thrive.
And most likely, the result will be your mission accomplished.
For more insight into engaging and growing your team, check out The Decisions Podcast episode, Leading with Influence with Holly Tate.
Trent Dunham is President/CEO at Dunham+Company.