Life as we know it has changed significantly in recent months. We are no longer able to keep our worlds of work and family separate because we have slapped the two against each other in the most unceremonious way. We now run organizations from home, manage the company's financial affairs while marking math homework, lead team meetings while our kids sit next to us to study, and wonder if you can give your teenage son a performance improvement plan.
While we have normally worked hard to keep these two worlds separate, there are more similarities to the two than we realize. And I've found in lockdown that we can take some of their lessons and apply them to how we lead our people.
My teenage son seems to think that geography is the study of the inner terrain of the refrigerator and while geography at work may not involve white goods, make sure we provide a landscape that is supportive and is clear to our people. Being clear about the vision for the organization helps your people understand the inner realm of the work they are doing and how it aligns with the plan for the organization. Organizations do everything they can to make strategic plans every year. However, a 2016 study conducted in Finland found that only 12 percent of organizations were able to implement their strategy successfully, that about 70 percent of strategic initiatives failed and less than 20 percent of employees were able to articulate their organizational strategy. bring. actually was. As leaders, we may be good at developing a strategy, but we still have work to do to help our people understand its geography.
As children grow into teenagers, their proficiency in the English language changes. They tend to overuse certain words; direct evidence suggests, for example, that the word & # 39; mother & # 39; the most commonly used word in my household was in 2019 (according to the household resident survey at my address, 2019). Their language also changes to its primal form consisting mainly of grunts, groans and a somewhat shortened version of its former self. As parents, we can find this language confusing and frustrating to navigate, and the same is true for those we lead. At work we take the opposite approach and use big, big, elongated, confusing and incomprehensible words when we could just say "please use plain English". Keeping what we say simple at home and in the office gives everyone the opportunity to understand.
I've noticed that math takes the form of ratios and percentages in my children. For example, the ratio of junk food to vegetable consumption is disproportionately high, as are gaming and exercise. Creating a health-oriented work culture is also important, with research showing a positive correlation between health-oriented workplaces and reduced stress, negatively impacting employee engagement. A Gallup survey found that uninvolved employees had "37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents and 60% more errors and defects." And further research shows that workplace stress can increase voluntary employee turnover by nearly 50 percent. Do the math!
Full credit goes to the teacher debate at my children's school. I expect they will get an A on their year-end report. We seem to be debating everything – bedtime, homework, world peace, nothing is off limits. Encouraging those we lead to comfortably debate and discuss issues without fear of judgment is a hallmark of psychological security. In his book Leadership in the Age of Personalization: Why Standardization Fails in the Age of & # 39; I & # 39; Glenn Llopis cites his survey of more than 14,000 leaders and their employees at a wide variety of companies in the US, stressing that the most important thing employees wanted in order to be their authentic selves at work, & # 39; a safe environment. was where no one is judged & # 39 ;. Psychologically safe teams need a lot of trust and organizations with a lot of confidence have 50% higher productivity, 74% less stress and 76% more engagement. A great argument for building trust.
Like parenthood, leadership is hard work, persistence and determination in equal measure, and the rewards are memorable and incredibly rewarding. The blurred lines of these two worlds create the opportunity to learn from both.
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