12.11.15 Issue #718 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Jonathan Gale, Ph.D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
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Leadership and Wellbeing
By Jonathan Gale, Ph.D.

Organizations and small businesses are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of employees in gaining competitive advantage. The ‘happy-productive worker’ paradigm predicts that employees high in wellbeing also perform better. Research strongly supports this correlation, and further suggests that leadership is key for ensuring and promoting employees’ wellbeing. This article enumerates some things you can do as a leader to get the most out of your staff. The kind of leadership that most effectively achieves this goal is referred to as Transformational.

So what does a modern transformational leader look like, and how can you apply this to your dental practice? Transformational leaders:

Inspire their employees. They do this by formulating a clear vision for their group and together with their group they create goals for how the vision can be achieved. Do you have a vision? Is it clearly stated? Do you share this with your staff? Do you invite and incorporate their feedback? Is there a clearly defined set of sub-goals leading to the vision?

Stimulate, or motivate, their employees. Do you know what motivates each of your staff? Have you asked them? Or do you apply a blanket approach of annual performance reviews? Tailoring your motivational practice to each individual will pay off tenfold. It will also greatly increase their engagement in your practice.

Encourage employees to think outside the box. When leaders engender a sense of empowerment, or a feeling of connection among the employees to the company’s product or service, the employees will bring their creative energy into their work. This might seem frightening to you at first, but companies that have developed a culture around leveraging people’s creativity, such as Google, have seen unsurpassed success. How do you challenge existing mindsets, and support employees in independent decision-making?

Function as role models. How aware are you that your behavior is a model to the rest of your staff of how to behave? Do you consciously move through your day, showing your staff how to treat patients and each other? Do you exemplify a healthy work-life balance? Do you hold yourself to a high standard and celebrate successes along the way?

Show individualized consideration, or mentorship. Transformational leaders recognize that employees might be at different developmental levels. Increased productivity requires the leader to take these differences into account and tailor each interaction and conversation accordingly. This practice might seem excessive, and perhaps even coddling, but when each of your employees feels validated, whatever their capability at that time, they are already one step closer to improving their performance. Just think about whether you like to be spoken down to, or even up to. How comfortable do those approaches make you feel?

So, how do transformational leaders promote employee wellbeing?

1. First, by showing care and consideration for their employees, these employees come to trust that their leader has their best interest at heart.

2. Second, transformational leaders create a positive working environment with a clear vision and concrete steps to get there. Your staff will come to understand what their specific role is within the practice and what is expected of them. They will also understand how to help the team move forward. Transformational leaders provide employees with autonomy and opportunities for development in the job. You can inspire your people to critically review existing working procedures and seek out new challenges at work. You can also encourage your staff to perform at, and above, the call of duty, and celebrate the achievement of new developmental milestones.

3. Third, transformational leaders increase employees’ belief in themselves and that they can cope with the challenges with which they are faced at work. When leaders hold and express high expectations that their employees can successfully tackle the challenges they meet at work, and leaders function as role models demonstrating how new and unforeseen events can be successfully managed, employees’ self-efficacy increases and they come to believe in a successful outcome when they take on new challenges.

If this style of leadership seems appealing to you, you might want to seek out training in transformational leadership behaviors. There is evidence that transformational leadership behaviors can be learned during training and that the employees of leaders who have been trained in transformational leadership behaviors become more satisfied with their leaders, exert greater effort at work, and experience higher levels of commitment to the organization.

Dr. Gale provides coaching and training to enhance leadership skills, interpersonal communications and team building. If you would like to learn more, contact him at jgalephd@mckenziemgmt.com

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