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One Thing Great Leaders Do: Eliminate Workplace Hassles

Why leaders should seize this opportunity to demonstrate proactive leadership.
One Thing Great Leaders Do: Eliminate Workplace Hassles
Image credit: Courtesy Disney Institute
By Bruce Jones

“I happen to be kind of an inquisitive guy. And when I see things I don’t like, I start thinking ‘Why do they have to be like this and how can I improve them?’” –Walt Disney

Job challenges, roadblocks, barriers…whatever you choose to call them, workplace “hassles” can disrupt the balance of an employee’s intended work routine. When taken individually, they may seem like only minor annoyances, but taken collectively and over a period of time, these seemingly minor irritations can add up to a whole lot of job dissatisfaction, negatively impact productivity and erode employee engagement.

Ultimately, if left unattended for too long, workplace hassles can directly impact employee turnover. Here comes the important part—this presents a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate proactive leadership.

Why do I say, “opportunity?” You’ve likely heard this before—according to this Entrepreneur article: “Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun, while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.”

At Disney Institute, we teach business professionals in our professional development training courses that one of the most important things leaders can do for their people is to show them they genuinely care about them as individuals and as a team. Every leader, and every organization for that matter, should have a number of ways, as part of a holistic people strategy, to intentionally engage employees’ hearts as well as minds.

On that note, we had previously shared four interconnected steps for effectively demonstrating organizational care, and of these, here is one where leaders can start to make a significant impact right away. We believe that great leaders should proactively manage the day-to-day work experience to make it as hassle-free as possible for their employees.

While this may, at first, seem simplistic, we have seen that when leaders proactively remove workplace irritations, it demonstrates active listening and sends a strong signal of genuine care. People will simply behave differently when they see their leaders making their lives easier.

Engagement is more than just creating an environment where employees say, “I want to deliver my best performance.” By removing the obstacles that sometimes get in the way, leaders effectively create an environment where employees also say, “I can do the best work possible.”

Think about it: What seemingly minor hassles or irritations in your workplace could you fix or remove immediately? How would your employees react?

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