Employee management is not what it used to be a few years ago. Research shows that the old management paradigms, such as hierarchical management, are shifting into employee-friendly management styles. One reason for this shift is that employees are hungry with an unfulfilled desire to have their opinions and inputs considered.
Now, forward-facing companies are rethinking employee management. They understand it’s not just about processing payrolls and assigning paid leaves. The shift is moving towards fostering a positive company culture and strengthening employee engagement. This post evaluates how people management has changed and what you can do to boost the growth of your team.
But first – what is the old way of thinking?
Primary Pitfalls Managers Make: Old Paradigms Of People Management
The old way of management often features a culture where the leader:
- Is expected to know everything
- Makes decisions alone and makes them quickly
- Gets little or no criticism
- Is the sole opinion and idea machine
Let’s expand on these outdated paradigms for a minute.
Relying On Omniscient Leadership
Outdated people management requires that leaders, whether team managers or CEOs know everything. This approach may not work as well with the modern-day employee because, as we said, employees want a place where their input and ideas are valued.
Lack Of Feedback And Support
Without giving feedback, you deny your team an opportunity to grow and improve their performance. The same case applies to support. With no leadership support, employees may lack a sense of ownership and motivation for a company’s success.
Leaders Making Decisions Quickly
Again, employees want to be involved in the decision-making process. Doing so fosters a sense of ownership and improves the output of employees since they are not “just working for the boss.”
The New Paradigm
Tom McCullum, a leadership coach, says that the most dangerous words in business are, “We’ve always done it this way.”
Not only do these words prevent innovation, but they also create a disparity between management and employees who want to have their ideas valued. That’s why managers must pivot and learn the new paradigm of people management.
Here are the two essentials of the shift:
- Emotional Intelligence
- Employee coaching.
Emotional Intelligence is as important as technical skills, if not more fundamental. For leaders especially, EI, also known as EQ, is crucial as it heavily influences a company’s culture. Leaders can often be compared to mirrors. Even if it’s unconsciously, employees will emulate the behavior by doing as they see leaders do.
EQ will have to take a front seat instead of the previous notions held in people management and leadership to move into this new shift.
What exactly is emotional intelligence?
EQ is the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions and those of others. It made its first appearance in a paper by Michal Beldoch— a clinical professor of psychology and psychiatry, in 1964. The EQ model was later publicized through a book by science journalist Daniel Goleman in 1995. Goleman characterized Emotional Intelligence into five frameworks:
Self-awareness — Ability to recognize one’s emotions.
Self-regulation — The degree to which you can control your emotions and impulses.
Motivation — Degree of commitment to achieve goals by taking the initiative and being optimistic.
Empathy — Ability to recognize and understand the emotions of others, even if they are not apparent.
Social/personal skills — Your ability to build relationships and maintain them.
Benefits Of High Emotional Intelligence For Leaders
Emotional Intelligence is more than a nice-to-have skill. As we mentioned earlier, it plays a critical role in fostering culture and driving company goals. Here’s what leaders can gain by taking on an EQ-based leadership model:
- Through self-awareness, leaders can understand their strengths and weaknesses to drive individual and company goals forward.
- Using the social skills framework, a leader can harness employee cooperation and facilitate collaboration in business settings.
- Practicing empathy towards team members will help you create an inclusive culture where everybody matters and everyone feels appreciated, heard, and respected.
- Self-regulation will prevent rash decisions made in anger. It promotes sound judgment instead of subjective decisions and plans made in the heat of the moment.
- Motivation will help you create a culture of taking the initiative. You can inspire change, ownership of company goals, and mentor your team to success with the motivation framework.
Tips For Leaders And Managers To Build Emotional Intelligence
Be attentive to body language
Decades of experience have shown that most communication happens through non-verbal cues. This is known as the 7-38-55 percent rule. This concept was laid out by Professor Albert Mehrabian of the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1971. In his book Silent Messages, Albert Mehrabian says 7% of communication is spoken, 38% is through tonal variation, and 55% is through body language.
Paying attention to the unspoken will help you understand an employee’s stand, seek clarification, and convince people to buy into the organization’s vision.
Learn the art of apologizing
Great leaders know apologizing when things don’t work as planned is a sure way to promote open dialogue, build trust, and gain respect. The best apologies are made in person, where you own your part in the mistake.
Communicate your feelings
“Do not mix business with feelings” is an outdated approach to people management. If you are to drive employee engagement and retention, people need to know where you stand. Are you upset or frustrated by a team member not doing their part? Respectfully communicating these feelings will help keep peace in the company and prevent the burden of burnout as a leader.
Coaching To Empower Your Team
The second essential of the new people management approach is coaching. As a leader, coaching is an effective technique for boosting employee performance and overall output. But what’s the most effective way of results-oriented employee coaching?
Coaching Tips For Leaders And Managers
Be positive in your approach
Negative leaders will wear down employees and discourage open dialogue. Coaching with a positive approach in mind will help keep everyones’ spirit up, even when things don’t work out. You can practice a positive approach by supporting employees after failure.
Listen to your people
What is your team trying to communicate? A 2018 study found that 82% of employees have ideas to solve company issues. However, with a lack of structure to manage ideas, and leaders not engaging junior staff, these ideas are lost, costing companies losses that could have been averted.
Are you missing out on opportunities because of not taking the initiative to listen? To combat this, practice active listening, and form a culture of asking for ideas and a system of managing them.
Guide conversations to the objective direction
Facilitation will help you ask the right question, encourage participation, and drive the growth of employees as a team and an individual. Effective facilitation can be done by asking for feedback, encouraging ideas, and recognizing each person’s input.
Continuous learning for your team
It all starts with walking the talk. By taking the initiative to learn, you can motivate your team to do the same. Be invested in your team’s success by asking about their goals and career vision. And once they share their dreams, mentor them towards this success.
“In the moment” Coaching
Every time a team member comes to you with a question or concern, it is an opportunity to coach. Coaching in the moment means weaving lessons and insights through natural conversations, anytime and anyplace.
It is possible to improve employee engagement and build an attractive culture in your company — it all starts with shifting perspectives on people management. Ultimately, listening, not merely hearing your employees, will be the main factor in inspiring change.
ABOUT PLATINUM GROUP
Platinum Group is a human capital management resource with solutions to help you streamline operations so you’ll have time to manage your business. No matter which division you work with: Payroll/HR or Accounting, our team is built upon a foundation of support, service, camaraderie and collaboration that we share both in-house and with our wonderful clients. For more information about Platinum Group, or to schedule a demo of isolved, please visit our website.