Leadership is an important skill, especially in today’s workforce environment where businesses have to adapt to hybrid teams. Furthermore, as the pandemic subsides and people return to offices and regular work schedules, there is a disconnect between employers and employees.
According to a recent survey, 77% of American workers are not convinced that their employer has their well-being in view. Plus, there are many people around the globe who would be happier working from home or a remote location than returning to the office.
But, it’s not all gloom and doom! People still want to work and businesses that pay attention to their employees’ complaints and take action have a huge chance right now.
One way to keep your talent and attract new ones is to find ways to encourage leadership and engagement through fun activities. And, to give you a head start, here are a couple of ideas:
Keep It Simple & Fun
If you’ve ever had a picnic at home with more than four people from the extended family that don’t really like each other, you know it’s rather difficult to keep it simple and fun. And yet, as a leader, you have to find a way.
Start by proposing weekly games that encourage collaboration and exploration. For instance, you can use a scavenger hunt app to keep people on their toes and let their creativity flow. Or, you could have a monthly get-together at a fun location where everyone can talk about the activities they love.
When everything you do is competing with your colleagues, work becomes increasingly stressful and miserable. On the other hand, if you are rewarded for being helpful, friendly, and caring towards the outcome of the project, things can easily become fun.
People like to work in environments where they can forge bonds with their teammates. So focus your efforts on encouraging everyone to state their opinion (even contradictory ones) and teach people how to provide criticism in a constructive manner.
Connect with the Team
Leaders inspire those around them and they lead by example. So don’t hide behind the title and make sure your door is always open. In fact, you shouldn’t have a door in the first place – when your office is separated from the team, you create barriers and squander communication.
Elon Musk is famous for working in the factory, with all the workers and engineers because he wants to be available at any given time. True, he is a bit of an extreme example of leadership, but he got this one right – a leader must be there to provide guidance and inspiration.
No More Silos
The so-called Great Resignation is a by-product of a restrictive work environment where collaborative work is difficult. In a company where each department is siloed and inter-departmental communication is difficult, employees don’t feel valued. As such, it’s easy to leave for a more promising business or focus on starting your own adventure.
Proper leadership should tear down the walls and allow employees to collaborate regardless of their specialty and background. For instance, if John in Sales needs advice from Harry in Finance, he should be able to get it directly, without intermediaries and approvals from the higher-ups.
Leaders need to be able to facilitate this interaction, but the dialogue must be free between employees. People need space to think without feeling the piercing gaze of their supervisor in the back of their heads.
Business owners everywhere need to understand that people need space, connections, and growth freedom to improve. That’s why leadership is a crucial skill that must be encouraged as much as possible.
Of course, HR also plays a huge role in maintaining employee engagement and forging connections between in-office, virtual, and remote teams. However, the responsibility is on the shoulders of the entire leading team, not just HR.