Why is being an inspiration to your followers an all-important part of your team leadership?
Understanding the Hierarchy of Employee Needs
Below is a figure that illustrates how the hierarchy of employees’ needs looks. At the bottom, you have the foundational elements. Without these in place, you won’t achieve basic satisfaction. This is primarily basic management stuff that you are hopefully already doing well. The next level, however, is where your leadership skills start to make a significant difference. At the pinnacle is inspiration, driven by your unique style of team leadership.
The Two Facets of Inspiration
As you can see, inspiration has two aspects. The first pertains to the vision or mission of your team: Is your team striving for something meaningful? The second is about you: Are you the sort of person who inspires followership?
Why Being Inspirational Matters: The Data
If you’re someone who likes your information backed by hard facts, consider this: Inspiration is a powerful productivity booster. People who are inspired produce twice as much as those who are merely satisfied with their jobs. According to Gallup’s employee engagement scores, around 63% of employees are not particularly engaged at work. Therefore, there’s ample room for improvement in team engagement from a leadership standpoint.
Going Beyond Satisfaction: The Service Profit Chain
This subject is close to my heart. When discussing the implementation of the Service Profit Chain model, mere employee satisfaction doesn’t cut it. What truly matters is your team’s enthusiasm and engagement.
Future-proofing Your Leadership: Demographic Changes
But there’s more to inspirational leadership than just productivity. The other key factor is linked to rapidly changing demographics. All indicators suggest that soon you might scramble to find the needed employees, especially in Northern Europe. Only one new young person is joining for every four people leaving the industry due to retirement. This disparity is a ticking time bomb.
Your Strategic Choices: Automation vs. Being the Employer of Choice
You have two choices. The first is to focus on automation, which rarely leads to exceptional service experiences. The second choice is to create a workplace that stands head and shoulders above the competition, becoming the employer of first choice. If you choose the latter, you’ll fare splendidly.
Why You Should Care: A Final Thought
Hopefully, you now see that creating an inspirational environment is a strategic imperative. And from a career perspective this kind of thinking has potential. Managers who excel at developing great team leaders will be in high demand. In fact, they already are.
I hope this gives you food for thought. Until next time.
PS One more thing.
What is my definition of a team leader? It is a manager at any level who has more than 2 persons reporting to them.