May 21

Culture Building Advice for Leaders in 2021 – Continued (Series 7 of 8)

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Tip #4: Focus on Personal Development

Are you a leader looking for ways to engage your team, organization or company? Over the last two months we’ve been talking about culture and actions you can take to engage the people you lead. RCSN’s culture leader, Melanie Booher, has five actionable tips for leaders to consider. Last month we discussed Tips 2 and 3. This month let’s take a look at Tip 4, Personal Development.

Your team is always watching you. Yes, even with remote work they’re watching how you behave to see what truly acceptable behaviors are within your work culture. As a Leader you must show up every day and lead through actions, not just words according to Melanie. As a leader you face the challenge of ensuring your team members grow personally and professionally.

We can all relate to what it’s been like to live and work in a COVID 19 and more recently a Delta Variant environment. Many of us were able to work from home, while many others were not. Many faced the challenge of going to work in environments where their personal health was at risk.

If you were or are leading a team in a work from home environment and culture was it not more difficult to communicate with your team, define expectations and ensure team members were growing professionally. Was it not more challenging to understand whether the work your team was doing was meeting your expectations? If you had to lead a team that was going to work at an office or plant each day was it really possible to focus on personal development? Wasn’t your priority the personal safety of each employee. If you were leading a team in either scenario while work got done, I would suggest personal and professional development often took a back seat.

So what actions do you take to ensure your team members are growing personally and professionally when a Delta Variant continues to create personal havoc with our lives? What steps are the right ones to ensure your team members feel that they are growing professionally? They aren’t complicated, they just need focus and attention.

  • Verbally reward behaviors you like to see from team members. Breathe life into your team by rewarding positive behaviors. Make this practice part of your everyday leadership behaviors.
  • Conduct team meetings focused on professional growth.
  • Take time whenever you’re meeting one-on-one with team members to ensure you make growth and development part of the discussion.
  • Look for unscheduled opportunities to appreciate work well done and promote professional development at the same time.
  • Ensure one on one meetings continue and include professional development.

Personally, keep in mind strong leaders seek personal development and are life-long learners. They seek feedback and aren’t afraid to ask for help. Leaders look for their own blind-spots and are willing to address them.

Last but not least, make 2021 and 2022 years of improvement – in yourself. Talk to colleagues, develop mentors, attend training/classes, or consider getting a coach. Remember, when leaders invest in themselves, they are investing in the future of the organization too.

Series 7 of 8