When asked to define leadership, some would define it as staying on budget, reaching goals, and making a profit. Some may talk about servant leadership, but often that is directed towards supporting team members so they are successful in accomplishing goals.
Effective leadership requires a holistic approach in how we lead and support our team members.
The goal is not only success in reaching goals but thriving people who are able to reach their full potential. Therefore, leaders need to be person-centered versus goal centered. While the two are not mutually exclusive, if you begin by being goal centered, investment in people will likely be procrastinated or diminished to whatever small amount of time we can make.
Studies show that 60% of all Americans do not want to be at work on Monday. According to the Harvard Business Review, 60% also report having significant amounts of stress and dealing with significant challenges because of that experience. Consider the impact on their lives and the team! Stress and overwhelm is at an all-time high, resulting in burnout, low productivity, increased conflict and increased turnover.
But there is a better way!
While we are not therapists, we can provide resources to support and care for them as whole people. Employee Assistance Programs, inspirational thoughts displayed throughout the workplace, gym memberships, and team training are examples of helpful resources we can provide. If we weave people-centered activities into our operations and benefits, it will result in a significant impact on our team members.
I often say, the small things are the big things. Being people-centered does not require a huge program. Instead, it’s how we do what we do every day that makes the difference. Start by assessing whether you are more transactional or people-centered throughout your day/week. Yes, goals and accountability are important. The reality is that by being people-centered, you will see productivity increase, conflict and burn out decrease, and increased energy from your team. Let’s ensure that we are practicing holistic leadership for total engagement!