For an organization to work efficiently, there must be a good and strong relationship between the team and its leader. Chiyin Chen’s study on ‘Transformational Leadership’ shares that this relationship creates better work outcomes and boosts employee satisfaction. When a leader can articulate their vision and inspire their team – employees are more driven to put in the work and invest in their relationships within the organization.
However, the pandemic’s disruption of everyday life focused the spotlight on the gap between leaders and their teams. An infographic on leadership disconnect published on LHH showed that this disconnection can easily hurt organizations and the overall satisfaction, motivation, and performance of each employee. The report also highlighted how the majority of the leaders are generally satisfied with the work they are putting in while managers and non-managers perceive it differently. This demonstrates that leaders and their teams often view things very differently – a sign that there is a wide gap in their relationship.
To effectively work and motivate the team, this gap should be bridged and closed.
Create Stronger Communication Channels
The first step to bridging the gap between leaders and their teams is to set up a better way to communicate. Relationships can’t be formed when there is no communication between each other – so it is important to set some time aside for talking. As a leader, you need to be more open to your team. You should also make it clear that your team can approach you if they are facing work challenges, if they want to share new information, or if they have an opinion on a project.
Closing the gap also means encouraging your team to ask questions. This promotes exploration and innovation in your team. Encouraging their curiosity will empower them to be more productive in their work and not just stick with the status quo. As we shared in our previous blog post on 12 Self-Directed Questions To Help Improve How You Think, asking better questions will lead to better answers. Digging for the answers might earn you some hard truths, but this will make you more accountable not just as a leader, but as a part of the team.
Establish Trust Within the Team
Tiina Kähköne’s study on employee trust repair reveals that employee trust is increasingly decreasing as time goes on. Repairing employee trust is needed to maintain an efficient work environment – even during a pandemic. Any type of relationship needs trust for it to work out. Likewise, a leader and their teams need to establish trust to create a better working relationship. Trust is hard to earn, but doing the steps above can be your stepping stone to establishing a strong and longstanding mutual respect and trust. In addition, giving your team the respect and praise they deserve allows them to view you as a genuine leader that they can depend on.
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