In an article for the May issue of Chief Learning Officer magazine entitled The Leadership-Profit Chain, authors Drea Zigarmi and Scott Blanchard identify the impact of leadership behaviors on employee passion and customer devotion. Their research shows that organizations can’t treat employees poorly, put pressure on them, and then expect them to perform at high levels.
Sometimes organizations operate as though they’ve forgotten the human element of business, and that people have strong feelings about the way they are treated that translates into subsequent behavior. Zigarmi and Blanchard remind us that leaders need to see employees as more than just assets to be maximized.
5 Recommended Leadership Behaviors
For leaders looking to treat people right and provide employees with the direction and support they need to succeed, here are five ways the authors recommend getting started:
- Provide strong strategic leadership that includes setting an overall vision for the organization, coordinating the efforts of employees toward that purpose, and keeping them prepared to adapt to changing conditions as necessary.
- Identify and focus the organization on key strategic imperatives that have purpose for the customer or meaning for the greater community. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
- Send consistent messages based on a clear vision and the type of culture the organization wants to create. Behaviorally define the values that guide the way employees interact with customers and each other.
- Identify employee needs and strive to meet them. Day-to-day leadership is the linchpin that drives the ways that employees engage with clients.
- Don’t make profit your only goal. Profit is a byproduct of serving the customer, which can only be achieved by serving the employee. Don’t fall into a trap of thinking that an organization can’t focus on both people and results. Organizations can focus on both at the same time and should.
If leaders create the right environment and engage in the right behaviors, employees will give their best to the organization. This leads to a greater sense of excitement and passion at work that leads to better customer service and retention.
You can access the full text of The Leadership-Profit Chain article here. Also be sure to check out the Key Factors Influencing Employee Passion which identifies 12 components of an engaging work environment.