How to Bring Out the Best in Your Employees - American Society of Employers - Mary E. Corrado

Of Interest…

How to Bring Out the Best in Your Employees

I have always been fascinated by psychology.  In fact, my undergraduate degree is in psychology and sociology. But being a remarkable leader doesn't necessitate having a degree in psychology.

An article on recently outlined five psychological concepts that leaders can use to make work more rewarding and improve employee engagement and productivity.

  1. Psychological Safety – This concept centers on cultivating an environment where employees can express themselves openly and take calculated risks. Psychological safety breeds innovation, collaboration, and overall well-being. However, it's crucial for managers to strike a balance between maintaining harmony and engaging in necessary, uncomfortable conversations. Constructive conflict and diverse perspectives are essential for pushing boundaries and achieving growth.
  2. Growth Mindset – Embracing a growth mindset involves believing that abilities and intelligence are developed through learning, effort, and challenges. Studies by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck revealed that those with a growth mindset achieve higher levels of success than those with a fixed mindset. Managers can foster a growth mindset culture by assigning meaningful tasks, setting clear performance goals, and offering frequent feedback. Celebrating instances where individuals adapt their approaches for progress reinforces the importance of effort and resilience.
  3. Equity Theory – The innate human need for fairness is captured by equity theory. Balancing personal inputs (effort, skills, time) with outcomes (rewards, recognition, promotions) is integral to employee satisfaction. When inequity arises, discontent and frustration can manifest, leading to decreased morale and productivity. Managers must align rewards and opportunities with team members' contributions, cultivating a transparent and fair culture that stimulates motivation and loyalty.
  4. Self-Determination Theory People thrive when granted autonomy, competence, and connection. Managers who relinquish control and allow employees to make decisions and execute improvements foster an environment of growth and innovation. Trust empowers employees to find efficient solutions, contributing to overall organizational progress. Managers may need coaching to embrace this mindset shift. Acting as coaches, providing guidance, and facilitating job customization based on individual strengths drive engagement and inspiration.
  5. Goal-Setting Theory – Setting challenging goals can spur employee motivation and performance. Clear communication of expectations, alignment on required resources, and consistent progress updates contribute to enhanced engagement. Managers must be mindful of recent performance, as recent successes breed optimism, while setbacks can elicit defensive behaviors. In such cases, coaching and compassionate leadership are essential for guiding employees towards their strengths, reducing anxiety, and rallying the team around ambitious objectives.

I try to incorporate many of these concepts in how I lead.  At ASE we promote a growth mindset and provide a psychologically safe environment by encouraging to employees at all levels to contribute their ideas and feedback.

How do you incorporate these concepts into your leadership style? Email me at [email protected].


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