Every Generation of Workers Needs This From Their Leaders

Today’s workforce is comprised of five generations, all with their own set of unique attributes and needs. Despite their differences, there are some important common denominators for leaders to consider. 

Because they are all human beings, they are much more likely to follow leaders whom they trust, admire, and feel care about them. Leaders who focus on these three things will be far more successful than those who don’t. Furthermore, executives who recognize these as vital criteria for hiring and retaining leaders at all levels will reap the benefits financially and culturally. 

Trust and admiration are earned through consistent, reliable actions including being visible and present. Helping staff feel cared about hinges on seeing each person as a unique individual with a life outside of the workplace. 

Throughout my career, I have known exceptional leaders who excel in each of these three areas. One in particular was a manager (Tina) who had the greatest respect from her staff. Her department turnover was the lowest in the organization, and her quality metrics were stellar. The entire department’s performance was excellent, as was their reputation. What was the secret sauce? Here’s what I observed from Tina: 

She earned trust and admiration by: 

  • Being visible and present on a daily basis. The team trusted that she had their backs at all times
  • Communicating her expectations of them and herself clearly
  • Following through on promises
  • Closing the loop on communication
  • Having crucial conversations when needed 
  • Maintaining confidentiality of any coaching or disciplinary discussions
  • Treating everyone fairly while seeing them as individuals
  • Managing the team up to executives

She showed she cared about staff by:

  • Knowing and conversing on what was important to them and recalling details (names of children, spouse, interests, etc.)
  • Understanding their language of appreciation and responding accordingly with personalized recognition
  • Revealing their personal and professional goals and helping them take vital steps in achieving them

Tina had multiple generations working in her department yet earned the trust and admiration of each and every person. Who she was and what she did as a leader was the secret sauce in engagement and retention. What can you do today to elevate trust, earn respect, and show you care about your staff?

There are a few openings in the May Cohorts of Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave where we focus on many of the attributes described here. Join us on May 15 or 16 as we kick off two new cohorts. Register today, or email us for more information. 

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