Today's work world is different from that of yesteryear. It's more diverse, inclusive and fast-paced. With many Boomers toiling longer alongside growing ranks of Millennials, today’s workforce may be more multi-generational than ever before. These changes mean today's leaders must adhere to a different set of principles than those followed by past leaders.
Many believe the most important single principle is trust. Leaders who trust and in turn are trusted by those they lead tend to build effective workplaces characterized by innovation, cooperation and productivity. Consider these additional leadership principles.
- Sincere concern for employees. Myriad studies have proven leaders demonstrating a sincere interest in their employees' lives, both at and away from work, gain the greatest buy-in from employees. Sincere appreciation for workers breeds staff engagement; the opposite leads top employees to seek greener pastures.
- Accessibility and communication. Today's most effective leaders aren't sealed off from their staffs, they're out interacting with them, sharing information and seeking input on matters of concern to all. Fostering an open, two-way communication process is instrumental in building trust throughout an organization.
- Make good on promises. True of all of current working generations, but particularly Millennials, is the tendency to hold leaders accountable for fulfilling promises. Leaders who promise but fail to deliver may alienate the majority of staff. One who consistently keeps promises large and small takes a major step toward creating an engaged and productive workforce.
There's no secret formula for effective leadership in today's work world. Follow the above principles, and it's a good bet you'll retain great workers and attract terrific new ones.
What leadership principles are most important to you?