Each week as I sit down to write this newsletter, I always consider what will be the most valuable message I can send. Valuable by helping you build a culture of trust, connection, and performance with them.
Last week we spoke about trust and in particular trust during the transition to a hybrid workplace. I thought I would continue the walk through the Ways of Working pillars and talk next about connection.
At the most basic human level, connection has been a critical element right back from when we were merely apes. The idea of a tribe that was connected by some common purpose (in their case survival) gave them a critical advantage over those lone wolves. We also value relationships, intimacy, and love. All forms of connection. The modern workplace honestly isn’t significantly different; the concept of connection still strongly applies.
- There are critical elements modern employee employees require in order to feel that sense of connection. Firstly, the human connection of feeling part of a team. Feeling like there is somebody at work who cares about them, whether that be their manager or their coworkers. Indeed Gallup specifically questions this in their engagement surveys because feeling connected and cared about can boost business performance by up to 23%.
- The second is a connection to a purpose or making a positive difference. This concept applies even more evidently to younger employees; who will rule out organizations that are not purpose-led. Also, it isn’t just about having a purpose. It’s about connecting people with that purpose and for them to be able to clearly see how they can connect. People who feel like they are making a difference are 21% more productive and innovative.
- Thirdly, it’s about connecting with the vision, mission, and objectives of the organization. Where is this organization going? What are they trying to achieve? And how are they doing that? If an employee is clear on how their daily tasks impact the business and the world they’re much more likely to feel connected and 3X more likely to stay with your team. Another advantage for busy managers is that real clarity of what they should be doing means employees are less likely to go off on tangents from the main effort, or waste time on needless activity, which means productivity and efficiency go up.
- Next is connecting employees with their aspirations. This normally happens through discussing with them their skills, experiences, current strengths, and required development. Your role is to discuss this, be transparent about where the gaps are, and build a bridge with them to get there. Especially in these talent short markets where high potential, high performers are being approached with multiple job offers, and with the limited supply of some key skillsets, your best talent market is internal. Our next Global Leadership Mastermind talks about exactly this on Thursday at 3 pm CST — why not join us.
- The final connection which I think many leaders often overlook is one of connecting the dots. This sometimes gets missed because modern leaders are often trapped in the doing and not in leading. They aren’t able to step back and delegate, or they can’t trust their teams. It could just be helping employees onboarding to embed and integrate when they join the company or step into a new role. It could be leading lessons learned activities for the team. Or it might be helping employees to build their network or resources through the organization to help them perform better. Connecting the dots is a result of reflection and integration by taking a moment to examine what is the most important thing you should do versus doing all the things.
I hope at least one of these points connected with you as an opportunity to create a connection, as you read through the newsletter. Which one is missing from your team right now? How would you know? I often find that leaders and their teams are in different places when it comes to their views on this stuff — which is why we always do the WoW pre-program assessment before we kick off the program. It gives everyone a clear picture that they can connect with. The program itself is a “How To” for every element of connection I’ve talked about here.
I’d love to hear any other ideas from you about where leaders can create connections with and for their teams because they are always such valuable conversations to have. For those of you who respond and write back to these newsletters when I send them, I really appreciate that connection back. It means the world to know that people are finding useful snippets and nuggets from what we share.
When you are ready, here are a few ways you can connect with me.
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