6 Signs You Genuinely and Authentically Care for Your People
There is no secret formula for leadership, assuming that you genuinely care about your people as individuals, for their sake as well as for the benefit that you gain for your business. A genuine win-win is achievable, where providing an environment for people to thrive also enables the business to succeed. Here are 6 signs that you are on the right track:
1. You Want to See Them Succeed
There are many leadership courses available. I have participated in a number of them myself and gained great benefit in learning about what kind of leader I want to be and how I can aspire to demonstrate those leadership capabilities.
Fundamentally though, people respond positively to leaders who care about them and their future and genuinely want to see them succeed. But it isn’t enough to say this; we also need to demonstrate it through our actions each day.
2. You Care About Their Wellbeing
Notice I refer to “people”? It’s because we are more than employees. Being an employee is only one element of all of our lives. We are also many other things. Genuine connection means that I see you and care about your wellbeing as a whole person. I don’t just care about you in the two weeks prior to an engagement survey.
3. You Are Consistent in Your Actions
To demonstrate genuine and authentic care isn’t a grand gesture, responding once to a specific issue. People- focussed leadership is made up of micro- moments. It is your consistent demonstration to your people that you genuinely care about their wellbeing – every time you notice they worked a long day and suggest they go home early or ask whether their workload is manageable and what support they may need.
To show our people we genuinely care and want to see them thrive, we can’t only talk to them shortly before we conduct an engagement survey, or when there is an emergency, It needs to be our habit and their expectation.
If you see that I consistently communicate with you and am as transparent as I can be, you can trust that I will continue to be. It allows you to feel safe, in the knowledge that I have your best interests at heart, not just my own. Some messages can be tough to share, but I share them because it is the right thing to do.
4. You Are All for Transparency and Regular Communication
During times of uncertainty, it is comforting to know that your leaders will communicate with you all that they can, as soon as they can. When I tell you I have shared all I know or all I can, you can believe me. Regular and consistently transparent communication, even when the messages aren’t what you want to hear, provides security for our people that they know what they need to.
5. You Find Ways to Collaborate With Them
If we need our people to work with us during challenging times (COVID-19, anyone?), then we also need to work collaboratively with them during the easier times.
It takes time to build genuine relationships and earn trust – consistently showing that you do what you say what you will do helps to develop that trust. When we have a mutually respectful strong authentic connection, I know that we can work collaboratively through tough times.
This includes working with those on the other side of the table you may have perceived as adversaries. When our respect extends to respecting the role of everyone at the table, we set a foundation for strong collaboration.
6. You Look After Your Leaders, Too
Whether they are your peers, your direct reports or even your own manager. they are people in need of your care. They may be leading people through the challenging and uncertain times and experiencing these at the same time.
We must provide a safe space, not just for our people, but also for our people leaders to express how they are feeling, especially when they are not feeling at their best. It allows them the safety to be human, to keep learning and to keep moving forward for their people.
It is no secret to any of us that to be a leader of people in a business during the pandemic has been, and continues to be, very challenging, possibly never more so than in the earliest days when we had little understanding about the virus and how it might impact all of us.
But with a track record of transparent communication and genuine and authentic care for our employees and their wellbeing, underpinned by some simple priorities of which “Protect Our People” is number one, they can trust that we will do our best to continue to serve our patients, consumers and customers in a way that doesn’t endanger them.
There is no secret formula for leadership. It starts with a foundation of respect, and genuine and authentic care for your people, demonstrated consistently, whether you are experiencing good times or tough times.
About the Author
Michelle Strong is an HR Leader with a passion for creating real connections and building a positive culture of inclusion, enabling the business to achieve its strategic goals. .
LinkedIn: Michelle Strong