Engaging Leadership

<p style="text-align: justify;">Like many things, the current times have altered the dynamics of organisations worldwide. 2020 has reset and rebooted the age-old management theories, practices, and frameworks with the onset of new ways of working like remote and distributed work.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Even before the new normal, the world that we were living in was highly disruptive, technologically advanced, and fast-paced. In such VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) times, organisations and managers need to be empathic to their employees and nurture them if they want to transform their organisations to survive disruptions. Employees want a clear, tangible, and inspiring vision.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">To establish an engaging leadership among the employees the following needs to be considered:&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Communication is Essential in the Remote, Distributed Workforce Model</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Employees want to hear more frequently about progress in transparent and simple ways. In the COVID 19 world, organisations need to encourage their managers to block out time in their days solely for employee interaction and allot resources for management training and development.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Employees need to be nurtured by providing them with soft skills to successfully adapt, learn, unlearn, relearn, and build an agile and growth mindset to keep pace with the changing business landscape and disruptions.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Employees Inherently need to Feel Valued and Empowered</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">When employees have psychological safety, they see mistakes as opportunities to learn, are willing to take risks, speak their minds, trust in teammates, and are willing to accept mistakes. Employees must be motivated enough to lead the company in its strategic direction and believe in its larger mission.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Leadership Role in Cultural Transformation</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Managers and management have a huge role in getting the flywheel of change spinning by engaging employees to transform themselves. More than 70% of Digital Transformations fail, and Innovation Programs fail to deliver the outcomes due to organisational behaviours that are blockers, barriers like daily habits, meetings, rituals, and routines that stifle desired new behaviours.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">They need to engage employees with regular communications, walk the talk with discipline and consistency and inspire and drive change themselves. The top leadership must inspire and drive the DNA of the organisation and cultivate a culture of belonging, transparency, empathy, and equality in making employees feel valued and cared for.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Employee Experience is key to Workforce Transformation</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Employee Experience (EX) is a key imperative for organisations to think through the entire journey of an employee. Organisations try to uncover insights about their employees by engaging with them through human-centred interventions to re-design employees' experiences.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The design thinking interventions help to identify employee pains, challenges, chokepoints, and roadblocks in the organisational culture. It is essential to gauge the organisation's pulse through employee polls to uncover insights into what employees think if the company is headed in the right direction and its ability to innovate. Also, continually get feedback through focus groups from employees to get a real-time pulse of the organisation.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/fugger/">Boris Fugger</a></em></span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Boris Fugger</span></h3><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What is a transformational leadership style?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Transformational leadership style - I would describe this leadership style as a set of cognitive and emotional decisions from the leader to enhance the employees' productivity, so they go beyond their daily tasks on the self-activated level. In summary, this type of leader achieves amazing productivity by people believing in the outcome of their work.&nbsp;</span></p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. How do you manage a remote team regarding leadership styles?</span></h2><p>For me, the best way to manage remote teams is high-touch leadership, as we do not have personal interactions and the common downtime by having a coffee or lunch together. Connecting frequently with your employees and executing these rituals of exchanging ideas virtually is very important.&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What is the employee experience index?</span></h2><p>The employee experience index is a qualitative ranking system that measures any company in three dimensions via multiple questions - those areas of company performance are culture, technology, and the physical working space.&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. How can workplace transformation be improved? </span></h2><p>It starts with top-down communication and buy-in of the idea's transformation from the employees, so investment in proper, clear, authentic communication is necessary.&nbsp;</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">5. How do you encourage employee interaction?</span></h2><p>There are many ways but first, you have to have the right culture which promotes openness and flat leadership with a high degree of trust and ownership. Once you achieve this as a leader, there should not be any boundaries or non-inclusive spaces.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Boris Fugger

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