Article 3 of 6 – Are You a Trivial Leader or a Vital Leader?

This week’s article is…align employee strengths with organization goals to accelerate results!

Vital leaders practice 6 crucial skills required to unleash the full creative powers of every employee in accomplishment of your most important goals.

  1. Listening is the doorway to understanding and the bridge to trust.
  2. Expectations of employees when understood drives great performance.
  3. Align employee strengths with organizational goals to accelerate results.
  4. Develop employees through coaching and delegation.
  5. Encourage employees with positive and corrective feedback.
  6. Resilience the base for leadership excellence.

Trivial leaders are focused on the achieving business results but never consider employee work preferences when assigning jobs. This lack of awareness and caring by the leader is a major reason employees become frustrated, stressed and unmotivated. The impact on business results is seen in high employee turnover, increased sick leave use and lower quality in products and services.

 From a leader’s perspective, the most serious betrayal has to do with thwarting human potential, with quenching the spirit, with failing to deal equitably with each other as human beings. ~Max DePree

The vital leader aligns employee strengths to business and organizational goals. No matter what job a person is assigned, every role in that job will not be a good fit for the employee’s preference for accomplishing work. Vital leaders understand every job is comprised of both task and relationship roles. They also know whether employees are more task or relationship oriented by understanding their strengths:

Task Oriented Strengths Relationship Oriented Strengths
  • Questioning
  • Logic focused
  • Objective
  • Skeptical
  • Challenging
  • Accepting
  • People focused
  • Empathizing
  • Receptive
  • Agreeable

Furthermore, vital leaders understand task and relationship oriented behaviors may be presented in a direct or indirect manner. Keeping this in mind, we can now describe four employee work styles and their preferences for accomplishing work.

What Employees are Direct and Task Oriented

You rely on what employees when the job must be done now! They are hard charging with a never fail attitude. You’ll recognize them right away. They are straightforward and ask “What do you want?” and “What’s the bottom line?” Give what employees work that is challenging, stay out of their way and watch them thrive!

Who Employees are Direct and Relationship Oriented

You rely on who employees to persuade and energize others to achieve group goals. Who employees have a gift for connecting people with resources to achieve business goals. You will recognize them when they ask such questions as “Who’s involved?” and “Who can provide recognition and resources?” Provide who employees with opportunities for group activities and you will not be disappointed with the outcome.

How Employees are Indirect and Relationship Oriented

When you need support for team goals give the job to a how employee. How employees are patient and use a calm approach to support others in accomplishment of goals. You recognize them because they ask, ”How can I best support the team?” and “How do we develop a plan for us to follow?” Allow how employees to help others in a stable environment, and they will stay on task until the job is satisfactorily completed.

Why Employees are Indirect and Task Oriented

If work must be done right the first time give the job to a why employee. They are very deliberate in their approach to work and use precision along with analysis to achieve the highest quality outcomes. Why employees give themselves away when you hear them ask “Why must it be done this way?” and “Why did you change the rules?” Give why employees the opportunity to use their expertise for ensuring quality and they will deliver error free products and services.

 Leaders must know the strengths of each employee, then create opportunities for employees to use them. ~Gallup Organization

Armed with knowing the job requirements and the employees natural strengths will allow you to assign employees work that is a natural fit and require less energy for them to perform. Of course this is not always possible. When it isn’t possible, you can inform the employee of the work, which fits their orientation and let them know what about the job may be frustrating. This approach sets the employee up for success while improving employee engagement, and organizational success.

Vital Leader Thoughts on Employee Strengths

1. Identify whether your employees are more task or relationship oriented. Also consider if they are more direct or indirect when communicating with others.

2. Now align their strengths with the jobs required of the organization.

3. Finally, set the employees up for success by sharing how the job aligns with their strengths and is a good fit for how they prefer to work. Also describe which parts of the job are not a good fit and may cause some frustration or stress for the employee. Knowing you care will allow employees to give their best in achieving business goals while feeling appreciated for what they do.

In the next article, I will share my thoughts and experience for developing employees through coaching and delegation.

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