Leaders Should Give a Shit.
I remember one day asking a colleague how he was feeling after having a bout with sickness, and he said “I love how you always care”. I was flattered but then thought to myself, how could I not care? Was my concern for another human surprising? Is it because it is no longer common place to have interest in others’ well-being in the workplace?
During my time in the cubicle jungle, it became readily apparent to me that there are a lot of leaders who really don’t care.
In fact, they don’t give any shit whatsoever and that is unacceptable. Those people, the ones who give no shits, should not be in leadership positions.
“Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything – for better or for worse” ~Simon Sinek
I’m not of the thinking that leaders should be fawning over their people, constantly asking them how they are doing and how they can be more supported and how they like the coffee. This could be suffocating and and not to mention patronizing. We do need to strike a balance between autonomy and appreciation.
[Tweet “We do need to strike a balance between autonomy and appreciation”]
Though I don’t expect leaders to give all the shits, could they at least give a few shits? Could they ask their staffer how he feels after being off sick? Or ask their associate how they can support her following a death in the family? Or maybe give sincere and thoughtful accolades for their team’s contributions? There are many simple, seemingly small ways you can show your employees that you actually give a shit about them.
So why should leaders actually give a shit about giving a shit? Here are a few solid reasons:
1. Employees who are engaged, give more of a shit
If employees don’t feel cared for, then why in the hell should they care about their work? Yes, there are those rare few that take pride in their own individual contributions at work and their motivation is self-sustaining. But then there’s the rest of us who need to receive external feedback from our leaders, telling us that we are valued as people and that our contributions to the company are valued as well. When we feel like an important and critical member of the team, we are that much more inclined to do better work and give better service.
2. Employees who feel appreciated and trusted, get more shit done
So giving a shit gets more shit done? Why, yes! As many studies show, there is a strong link to productivity and levels of feeling valued. One critical ingredient in the appreciation-pie, is the element of trust. When employees are trusted to do a great job (who the hires an employee to do a shitty job anyway), they do a great job. They get shit done. They feel encouraged and empowered to take on more work, and knock it out of the park. They feel a greater sense of pride and ownership and accountability and that is the making of serious results.
3. Employees who feel that their boss has their back, save companies a shit ton of money
Work stress levels are off the charts right now. As a result, companies are losing money by way of absenteeism, stress leaves, employee turnover, etc. I know that for me, much of my stress while in the corporate world was created by the fact that I didn’t feel supported by my leaders. I didn’t feel I could voice my concerns to them without fear of backlash. Even when it came to mistakes, which happen, I knew that I would have to either fix them quickly so my boss was none the wiser, or prepare myself for the possibility of being jobless should I come clean about what had gone wrong. Needless to say, I was stressed to the max, had to take mental health days, and was even considering a stress leave. Leaders have quite a bit of influence in reducing the expenses of workplace stress, and the first step is letting employees know that they are there for them, support their work, and value them as people.
4. Giving a shit makes leaders look like THE SHIT!
So after showing appreciation for employees, and encouraging them to be more productive and engaged, the awesome by-product of this is that the leader will look like THE shit! Other leaders will take notice, stats will be on fire, clients will be happier, and who gets much of the credit? The leader that gave the shits in the first place is who! A leader can remain competitive while also being compassionate. In fact, this is how all leaders should be.
[Tweet “A leader can remain competitive while also being compassionate”]
Leaders need to remember that the whole purpose of their roles is to manage people, to manage human beings. When leaders start bringing the humanity back to the work, the working environment will improve for all. And there’s nothing shitty about that.
Would you like to become the Best. Boss. Ever? Would you like to kick your leadership game up a notch, giving yourself that competitive edge while remaining compassionate? Check out my Badass Boss coaching program.
Resume Writer | LinkedIn Consultant | Job Search Strategist