Do you feel like you’re drowning is a sea of change that surrounds your business? The grocery and apparel (usually known as “fast fashion”) sectors are experiencing this warp-speed change, and much of it is driven by how consumers are buying online. I have found that my own buying habits have changed significantly, just over the last couple of years.
I have also observed that the days of leaders having to “know it all” are quickly vanishing as organizations face unprecedented change, competition, and stagnant organic growth. Leaders cannot survive on their own, nor do they have all the answers.
There is a better way. A way that provides a lifeline of hope for the isolated, drowning leader. It involves asking for and considering employees’ input, which leads to more informed and better decision-making results.
Gallup’s 2016 “State of the American Workplace” report stated that only 3 in 10 employees strongly agree that at work, their opinions seem to count. Gallup also reported, “By moving that ratio to six in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 27% reduction in turnover, a 40% reduction in safety incidents and a 12% increase in productivity.
Recently, I’ve been writing about one of the best ways for you, as the leader, to take the first step toward engaging your employees. It involves a participative leadership style that I call Engage2Lead and employs the 1-2-3 leadership tool.
What is 1-2-3?
1-2-3 is a unique approach to the decision-making process defined as:
At the very beginning of the decision-making process— AND before making a decision – the empowering leader seeks input from his or her employees. Such a leader asks:
1. Who can help me make a better decision?
2. Who will have to carry it out?
3. Who will be impacted by it?
The answers to the three questions above will guide leaders to assemble the right people and involve them, as appropriate to help make important decisions.
Every leader can develop a more effective and efficient TEAM by asking these three simple questions that bring consistently better results (extraordinary results beyond your imagination) while maintaining and enhancing relationships.
Remember: This is not decision-making by committee. You, as the leader, must still decide to make the final decision.
Every leader can improve their results by eliminating three limits found in every organization.
When people are making strategic plans, deciding on budgetary allocations, reviewing benefit plans, etc., they need all the input they can get to make the best, informed decisions.
If you put a pumpkin in a jug when it’s the size of a walnut, it will never get bigger than that jug. That can happen to a person’s thinking. Don’t let it happen to you.
– John Maxwell.
Can employees on the front-line, supervisors and middle managers provide important information to aid planning and decision-making? Absolutely!
If nothing else, they can bring front-and-center all the knowledge they have of problems in the organization to which senior managers are blind.
Observation: Often, if problems remain unknown to management, they impede the implementation or diminish the results of even the best-laid plans.
Will employees on the front-line, supervisors and middle managers have to carry out decisions made by those who do the planning? Of course they will!
And who are better positioned than they to know what kinds of things might get in the way of implementing decisions that are made and plans that are laid? Engaging those people into the process and listening to their input will grease the skids for implementation of the decisions and the best-laid plans.
When you solicit the thoughts and ideas of your employees, they will more likely see themselves as full-fledged members of an outstanding team. Instead of feeling like they are “just a clerk, helper, janitor, receptionist, etc.”, they feel valued and important to the overall success of the organization.
This means that instead of resisting “edicts that come down from on high”, they will support and even champion the decisions that arise from the more participative Engage2Lead approach.
As Simple as 1-2-3
As the leader, you don’t have to “know it all” any longer. You can become better informed, and your employees will be inspired to achieve better results when they are engaged with a participative leadership style (Engage2Lead) by deploying the 1-2-3 leadership tool.
Insight: These principles can be applied in your family as well.
Do you feel you are drowning in a sea of warp-speed change? Do you feel you have to be Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. “know it all”? Have you considered that better decision-making leads to better results?Please share your thoughts <here> and share this blog post with your friends and co-workers.