According to a study by the Hay Group, a global management consultancy firm, trust and confidence in top leadership is the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization.
Their research also showed that consistent communication in 3 areas was essential to building that trust and confidence. The three areas are:
· Helping employees understand the company’s overall business strategy.
· Helping employees understand how they contribute to achieving key business objectives.
· Sharing information with employees on both how the company is doing and how an employee’s own division is doing.
Now I’m going to make a pretty broad statement here and I want you to understand that I know what I’m about to say is not accurate for every organization but I believe that it is for most.
Most leaders are relatively effective at sharing their organization’s overall strategy and can almost certainly break out their organization’s progress by division or segment when that is required. Where they most often fall short is in explaining how each individual employee contributes to achieving the organization’s goals and objectives.
The scary thing is, of the three essential areas, knowing where “they fit” and how they contribute is most important for individual employees.
Most leaders are so focused on the results that they tend to overlook where the results truly come from. Systems and a good process only help get to the results, it’s actually people, human beings, who make the results happen.
Their efforts need to be recognized. Notice I said NEED! That need doesn’t make them weak, it doesn’t make them egocentric, it doesn’t make them “high maintenance,” it merely makes them human.
Every person you lead NEEDS to know that they matter; they need to know that the effort they put forth contributes to the success of the organization. You can’t let them know that too often, and you can’t be too specific. Make it a point to give them examples of exactly how something they did added value or made a positive impact.
If you’re leading a large organization you may not be able to share personally with everyone how their role makes a difference but it is your responsibility to ensure that leaders at every level of your organization let their people know that they and their job matters.
Once your people know that what they do matters they will no longer feel as if they “have” to do it, they will “want” to do it and they will want to do it well. They will trust you and their confidence in you and your organization will grow. They will not only be satisfied employees, they will become loyal to their role, to the organization, and to you, their leader.
They will become the people you need to have with you in order to succeed!