3 Ways How the Management Can Resurrect Its Human Side
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Many generations ago, human ancestors walked the lands of African savannahs, and they migrated to other lands afterwards. The life in savannahs was difficult and it was extremely crucial to be a part of a group in order to survive the dangers. Hence, humans think, feel, and function from an evolutionary perspective. Thus, even today, the need to “belong” to a group is one of the basic human needs.
This is further supported by a widely popular and accepted theory in psychology – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. As per the theory, the need for a sense of belonging and acceptance is one of the basic human needs and comes immediately after physiological and safety needs. Humans need to find acceptance within society. These include different social settings like clubs, sports teams, online communities, and professional organizations and groups like religious communities, friends or co-workers. Wondering how this connects to successful management? One of the qualities of a successful manager or leader is to have an innate understanding of this basic need i.e. the need for being accepted and belong to a social group and engender an environment that satisfies this need. Such a leader can build a strong team by creating an intrinsic motivation among the team members. This improves the team’s performance exponentially, creates loyalty and engagement.
A powerful leader is the one who is able to form meaningful bonds with the people whom he leads. As per data from McKinsey & Company, when employees are intrinsically motivated, they are 46per cent more satisfied with their job, are 32per cent more committed to it and perform 16per cent better in them. It is important to get a feeling of happiness, connectedness and belongingness at the workplace. So here are three qualities that will help the management to resurrect its human side:
Given the current stern, unforgiving and austere corporate environments aimed at maximizing the performance and productivity, it is time the corporate world realized the fact that empathy actually helps in improving performance. One of the Silicon Valley giants has even extended this thought for the benefit of its customers. It has set up its own Empathy Lab. Through this lab, it gives its product team an opportunity to “empathize” with their customers i.e. to get into the shoes of their customers and experience for themselves how the customers will use their product. This should be extended forward to the employees as well. Imagine your employees or team feeling humiliated and disaffected all the time. Will they be able to give 100per cent of their capacity?
Imagine a situation where your typical day at the office starts with a blast of work-related questions and deadlines from your boss and impatient colleagues waiting for you to arrive at the office. Not something you would look forward to every morning, right? Definitely, you would rather prefer a cheerful start to your day with warm greetings from colleagues, questions about the well-being of your family members or maybe an offer to grab a quick cup of coffee before the daily work deluge begins. The latter one is what “compassionate” work culture looks like.
Nothing beats compassion. A compassionate leader is the one who understands the pains and problems of his team and stands strong with them – he has their back. Such a leader earnestly wishes the best for his team members. As a result, his team feels committed, safe, loyal, and trusted. Naturally, they feel more confident about their leader and give 100% of their commitment, probably even more. It also creates a good interpersonal bonding between the team as a whole. They go out of their way to support each other in a crisis situation, working together like a family, rather than like mere colleagues. An “individual” might not always win, but when the entire team stands together, “the team” definitely wins.
The feeling of being stuck with a boss who takes complete credit for all your hard work and does not care about your efforts is one of the worst feelings. It demotivates the team and hampers their performance. Empowering others is what true leaders do. If one aspires to be a leader that everyone wants to work for, then it is imperative to put the interests of the team above one’s own interest. This is important because, at granular levels, an empowered team can run the organization as per its vision and accomplish its goals. A selfless leader shares the credit when and where it is due. He understands that if his team members outshine him, they will only reflect that shine back on to him. A selfless leader always says, “Look what WE achieved!” instead of saying “Look what I achieved!
Many organizations have also seen increased innovative thinking in employees which helped the improvement of the product and services they are offering. Every successful business has empathy for customers at its core.