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The New Workplace Value PropositionA Framework for Solid Leadership, Healthy Teams, and a Strengths

It’s time for a reset. With the pandemic, the great resignations, and quietly quitting, many new teams have formed or are still working through the fog of this massive shift we have all been through. Meanwhile, companies are figuring out how to get people back into the office and/or are creating hybrid work models so they can ensure the things that are important to a healthy culture — creating a community, celebrating success, having time to ideate, generating bonding and learning experiences — are all happening. Since culture starts with leadership and is made up of a variety of ingredients, including: the behavior of employees, the company’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits, it’s critical that, as leaders, we take this reset opportunity to define a new workplace value proposition. A value proposition that is based on a solid framework of leadership, healthy teamwork, and a strengths-based approach to the world of work.

Since a third of our waking life is spent working, it has a disproportionate impact on our health. And, as a society, we have all been through a lot. This experience has shifted the way employees think about work, their health and wellness, and the way they are led and managed at work.

So how do you reset?

As always, it starts with leadership. Because there is so much information available about what leadership is, we here at LeaderSauce can confidently tell you that The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner, is the most trusted book and model on leadership because it is backed with 35 years of extensive, validated research. The Leadership Challenge has five practices and thirty behaviors. It’s a literal roadmap to leading — provided you are frequently demonstrating the 30 leadership behaviors.

Companies with consistent application of the 5 best practices had a net income growth of 841% versus 49% for companies with low application, and stock growth of 204% versus 76% (Ric Roi, 2005). Kouzes and Posner’s research on The Leadership Challenge shows: 95.8% of direct reports are highly engaged when leaders very frequently or almost always use The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® model.

Leaders who very frequently, or almost always, communicate their confidence in others’ abilities saw direct reports’ trust in those leaders increased to 75% —

compared to 18% if the leaders almost never, or rarely, shared their confidence in their direct reports’ abilities

Once you get everyone aligned on what leadership is and how we behave as leaders, you focus on the health of your team.

What’s a healthy team? We’ll focus on that next.

A healthy team starts with trust and ends with results. It’s a team that can have unfiltered conversations about work, engage in healthy conflict, make commitments to one another, and then hold one another accountable instead of putting that burden solely on the manager. This team achieves their results maximizing individual and team talent. On this team, there is no guilt and judgement, rather authenticity and appreciation.

Now you’re ready to take on the third and final key aspect to creating your new workplace value proposition: becoming a strengths-based organization with strengths-based teams.

According to Gallup, a Strength-based team is “a group of imperfect but talented contributors who are valued for their strengths and who need one another to realize individual and team excellence.” Managers, employees, and teams need training and practice understanding and purposefully using their natural, raw talents. This is critical for individual engagement and the ability for a team to ideate, activate, implement its goals, and maximize potential. Gallup's research has proven that employees and managers who focus on deploying their strengths are significantly better at maximizing their potential. And, employees who learn to deploy their strengths every day have 8% greater productivity. Teams who receive strengths feedback have nearly 9% greater profitability.

Speaking of teams, it’s important to really understand what strengths an individual brings to the team so managers and team

leaders can ensure they have the opportunity to use their strengths, maximize their performance on the team, and know where there are possible burnout areas. Most of us feel like we need to be good at everything, but the reality is that we all have raw talent that needs to be discovered, understood, and used every day.

So, how will you know when you get there?

You’ll know when you get there because the effect on individual and organizational performance is transformational. Employees will be engaged, teams will work at their highest potential, and the company’s value to their customers and stakeholders will increase dramatically.

LeaderSauce is a change management and team development company that equips and trains executives, managers, and teams to lead and succeed in our pandemic-changed world of work.

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