April 30, 2015

5 indicators that your leaders care

Care and growth

I found this article on the Schuitema Blog. The writer, Assad Schuitema came up with 5 things managers do that indicate they care:

  1. They’re sincere
  2. They listen
  3. They communicate
  4. They’re perceptive
  5. They stay calm

Schuitema Associates, as a leadership consultancy, has been arguing for the past 25 years that effective leadership is essentially a matter of Care and Growth. Roughly speaking this means that effective leadership is a matter of genuinely caring for staff and orientating that care so that it achieves growth, both personal and professional, in the staff members.

The reason that leadership based on Care and Growth is so effective, not just from the staff’s point of view but also from the organisations point of view, is that Care and Growth produces competent and highly committed people. As Natalie Clarkson and Virgin News said it in a very interesting infographic: “Good managers create engaged teams, and that is smart business.”

The numbers don’t lie and what the numbers are telling us is that when managers care more about their people, then their people care more about the company. In a study done on hundreds of US workers it was found that, among those who believe their manager genuinely cares for them, 80% were enthusiastic about their job, 76% do more than is expected of them without being asked, and 62% believe that theircompany cares for them, personally and professionally.

This turns out to be very good for the “bottom line”. Among those that believe their manager genuinely cares for them there was 37% lower absenteeism,  between 25% and 65% percent lower turnover (industry dependent), 21% greater productivity, 22% higher profitability, and 10% higher customer satisfaction ratings.

These numbers make it clear that care is an essentially requirement for effective leadership. But what are the signs of that a manager cares? Here is a short list of 5 things that show that a manager cares.

1. They are sincere and follow through on their promises. A manager that always means what he says and makes sure that he follows through on his promises illustrates care by showing trustworthiness. A person who is not trustworthy does not care so to see trustworthiness in your manager is an excellent sign that he cares.

2. They listen openly to their peoples’ opinions as well as their personal problems and concerns. Listening show interest so if a manager is a good listener it shows that she is interested in her people and what is going on in their lives and so cares for them.

3. They communicate freely with his people. By being approachable and consulting their people, getting their input and keeping them well informed, a manager illustrates that he cares enough to keep them in the loop, hear their perspective, and work productively with them.

4. They are perceptive.  A caring manager is able to devote enough attention to their staff so that they are able to pick up on subtle signals of distress or other problems among their team members.

5. They stay calm. Even in a crisis a caring manager will keep their head  so they are best able to assist their team maintain direction and get through the difficulty.

I like the concept that great leaders care and grow their staff. I think it is a better way to go than to just see staff as a resource to achieve an outcome.

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