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Different Ways To Encourage Employees To Be More Vocal

By | Leadership | No Comments

It can be quite nerve-racking for an employee or a subordinate to speak up about work-related issues, differences, conflicts, and new ideas. This is mostly due to the fear and anxiety of upsetting their peers, their boss, or their manager. A leader must forge a healthy working environment where employees are encouraged to voice their troubles, opinions, and ideas, without the fear of repercussions and ill feelings. Here are a few ways in which leaders can encourage their employees to speak up.

1. Take their concerns seriously
One of the best ways of encouraging your employees to be vocal is to show them that whatever they have to say deserves your time and attention and will be useful for you in drawing out your leadership strategy. Additionally, you can reassure them that voicing their concerns will not get them in trouble. A positive attitude and approach towards those who speak up and their problems will motivate more of them to speak up.

Reactions that negate their concerns or discourage new ideas will deter employees from speaking up in the future. If you dont understand their input or dont agree with some parts of it, be gracious and ask encouraging questions to learn more about the problem or the idea theyve brought up.

2. Reward employees for speaking up
Reward systems are important in all walks of life. They incentivise people to do things they wouldnt normally do. This technique can be used with employees by establishing a policy that recognises and rewards employees for sharing their ideas, opinions, and concerns. A special reward can be allocated for employees whose suggestions or input help create a healthier work environment or save the company precious time and money.

3. Engage your employees periodically
To encourage your employees to speak up, it is crucial to make it a norm. When talking about conflicts and having healthy discussions is a norm in your workplace, it will motivate everyone to participate and share their ideas. You can do this by having weekly meetings or brainstorming sessions with your employees and encouraging everyone to open up. You can also take rounds in the office and chat with different people to learn more about their concerns and opinions.

4. Inaugurate a discussion forum or board
While chatting up employees is a great way to communicate, it can be limiting. Some people in your midst may feel more comfortable writing down their queries or posting them (anonymously or otherwise) on a discussion forum. Hence, it can be quite productive to have a system where employees can leave notes or comments when they dont necessarily feel like opening up about their concerns vocally.

5. Set the stage clearly
Having clear boundaries and rules is imperative in every relationship. In your case, as a leader, you need to set the scene for your employees where you establish clear expectations, boundaries, and rules to navigate the process of speaking up. This should include formal guidelines on how to voice their opinions and how your employees can do that without dismissing or belittling fellow employees or their managers.

6. Foster a company-wide inclusive culture
None of the above-mentioned tips will help if youre solely focusing on one department or cohort. Make sure that people from all positions, departments, and backgrounds are made part of this exercise and ask for their opinion on whats working for the company and whats not. This would greatly help in generating more good ideas for the company to run more productively and efficiently.

7. Set up inclusive rules
While setting up rules may feel inhibitory, it is actually quite essential for maintaining decorum amongst your employees and making sure that everyone gets a chance to speak up. These rules may shed light on how long a person is allowed to talk within a meeting so that more people can get to be a part of the conversation, and how many times a certain topic can be discussed, to ensure that the team doesnt get fixated or bogged down by an issue. However, the onus of ensuring that the rules do not curb freedom of expression is on the leader.

8. Be genuine and earnest
You can go on and on about the importance of voicing your concerns in the workplace, but if your actions don’t encourage your employees, your words will not make up for them. To show your employees that you truly care about them and will cheer them on, you need to be truly sincere and authentic with them. You need to personally listen to every single person working with you, or under you, and empower them in whatever way you can. It is only when they see that you truly care about them and their views that they will be able to share with you comfortably.

Employees are quick to follow their leaders, and for them to be comfortable around you, you need to share your thoughts and insights with them as well, preferably on a regular basis.

You may spark up a conversation about a problematic issue, or you could interest your employees in a new topic of conversation that they may not have thought much about.

In the end, it is entirely the leader’s or manager’s responsibility to ensure that their employees are not scared of speaking their minds and can make a valuable contribution to the company through their ideas and opinions. In letting them speak up, you promote growth and inclusivity within your workplace which will always foster great results.

About SeraphCorp

SeraphCorp is a Singapore-based leadership institute that offers leadership development training, courses, workshops, and bespoke programmes.

Our goal is pure and simple: to strengthen the ecosystem of quality education and training in Singapore, to impact communities by building up leaders, and to have every organisation and every leader come away from our programmes fundamentally changed in some way.

Our clients include leaders and managers from all sectors and industries, while the companies we work with span the spectrum from SMEs to global corporations. Our faculty is recruited from diverse fields & industries and have previously been CEO, CFO, general manager, founders of companies, head banker and director.

Whether you need your organisation’s leaders to engage better with its employees or identify the leadership capabilities essential for your organisation to continue to thrive and grow, we can help you accomplish your leadership goals.

Book an obligation-free consultation with one of our learning advocates today to find out more about our programmes.

Book a Consultation Here

What Can We Learn from Bad Leaders?

By | Leadership | No Comments

Employees can learn a lot from their bosses, those that embody the quintessential characteristics of leadership as well as those who lack the leadership traits necessary for success. Learning from bad leaders is important because it teaches us what not to do. Here are some wise lessons you can learn from the worst leaders.

1. Embrace humility
We’ve all had at least one bad boss in our lives who belittled us and at times made us feel disrespected. An arrogant leader is a great example not to follow, and the key lesson we can learn from such a leader is to lead with humility. Arrogant leaders often focus on commanding instead of leading and quickly lose respect in the eyes of their peers. You have a much greater chance of being looked up to if you’re gentle and focus on leading with humility.

2. Be grateful
Acknowledging the hard work of employees and showing them well-deserved appreciation for their efforts is the true sign of a great leader. This instills the confidence and inspiration to be better in your team. It also teaches them how to appreciate those around them, creating a healthy and positive work environment.

3. Cultivate calmness
A leader who loses their cool every time things don’t go according to plan isn’t an ideal boss for anyone. Calmness reflects strength and being able to handle problems calmly and find a way forward with an even-keeled temperament elicits respect. It also inspires trust and loyalty and makes it easier for those who work under you to approach you in times of crisis.

4. Mitigate conflicts
Conflict resolution is an important part of leadership and a good boss is always a great mediator. If you’re not a good mediator, chances are your employees may not trust you with important issues, resulting in fractious team relationships, which in turn can adversely affect productivity. A good leader will always try to seek a resolution to a conflict without siding with one party, resulting in a win-win situation for everyone involved.

5. Be a good listener
Effective communication requires being a good listener. Good leadership is a healthy balance of discipline and empathy and it’s easy to become a bad boss if you fail to observe, listen, and learn. Conversely, a good boss will spend a significant portion of their time listening to their employees and learning from them. This inspires the confidence amongst the employees that their input is valued and their ideas matter.

6. Unlock the potential of every employee
As a boss, you’re likely to lead people with diverse strengths and weaknesses. A bad leader focuses on weaknesses but a strong leader can adapt to these different personalities. Strong leaders unlock the potential of every employee by valuing people for their strengths, acknowledging their weaknesses, and making smart decisions about assignments, roles, and responsibilities. This is what enables a good leader to get the best out of their team and give every employee a chance to grow and succeed.

7. Don’t hold grudges
Bad leaders judge and shame employees for their mistakes and thus stifle creativity in the process. Good leaders have a quality of forgiveness and a forward-thinking approach that earns them respect. Mature leaders have the ability to look past mistakes and give their employees second chances. This encourages creativity and fosters a risk-taking and problem-solving culture among the team.

Final Words

You may not have believed that learning so many valuable lessons from a bad leader is possible. But the truth is, every positive or negative experience in our life teaches us something. No one enjoys having a bad boss, but learning from less-than-perfect leaders is important to hone your own leadership skills.

So, in addition to seeking out positive mentors and role models, consider looking back at bad leaders youve worked with in your career. Discovering what not to do in a position of authority can be truly eye-opening and these lessons can allow you to become a better and more impactful leader.

At the end of the day, being a leader isn’t about your designation. It’s about your attitude and your ability to get the best out of your team.

About SeraphCorp

SeraphCorp is a Singapore-based leadership institute that offers leadership development training, courses, workshops, and bespoke programmes.

Our goal is pure and simple: to strengthen the ecosystem of quality education and training in Singapore, to impact communities by building up leaders, and to have every organisation and every leader come away from our programmes fundamentally changed in some way.

Our clients include leaders and managers from all sectors and industries, while the companies we work with span the spectrum from SMEs to global corporations. Our faculty is recruited from diverse fields & industries and have previously been CEO, CFO, general manager, founders of companies, head banker and director.

Whether you need your organisation’s leaders to engage better with its employees or identify the leadership capabilities essential for your organisation to continue to thrive and grow, we can help you accomplish your leadership goals.

Book an obligation-free consultation with one of our learning advocates today to find out more about our programmes.

Book a Consultation Here

4 Ways Leaders can be More Impactful in a Post-Pandemic World

By | Leadership | No Comments

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, our once-systematic world was thrown into chaos and confusion. The global lockdowns and closures caused disruptions in every individuals life, be it personally, professionally, or academically. As a result, the normal of the post-pandemic world is much different than that of the pre-pandemic world.

The pandemic created the need for interventions that would have otherwise taken years to materialise. Such tremendous changes have put a lot of burden on the leaders inside organisations since the employees are dependent on the leaders for guidance and inspiration. It is now tougher for leaders to keep inspiring and leading effectively in a world that was turned upside down.

As of 2022, 16% of companies globally have gone fully remote following the Covid-19 pandemic. Even in the present day, the effects of the pandemic linger, and most systems adopted during the pandemic have not gone back to normal. The onset of the pandemic has also raised various mental health concerns. A study shows that at least 50% of adults believe that their lives post-pandemic are much different than pre-pandemic.

With such huge changes and shifts, to be impactful leaders in a post-pandemic world, a new approach needs to be constructed. We have gathered 4 ways that leaders of the present day can adapt to be more impactful and inspirational.

1. Act as if you are on the verge of big changes

It has been more than 2 years since the outbreak of the pandemic, but things have hardly gone back to being exactly as they were in the past. Every now and then, the world is struck with the news of a new variant of Covid-19, and uncertainty still looms large.

Being prepared for change and having a high level of flexibility and adaptability to cater to unforeseen circumstances is how a leader today can be more impactful. The leader needs to be ready and well prepared for any upcoming changes. We witnessed multiple businesses that came crumbling down during the pandemic due to a lack of adaptability. On the contrary, businesses that were able to adapt swiftly to the new normal flourished.

An impactful leader is required not just to stay flexible himself, but to instil a degree of flexibility within his team and prepare them for change and new challenges.

2. Become a better communicator.

When thrown in the midst of chaos and confusion, organisations had to take significant steps to avoid losses and shutdown. Some had to go fully remote, others had to lay off a huge chunk of their workforce. It was an overnight shift of systems and methods. Adapting to remote working was a big challenge for many firms and their employees. Had it not been for leaders with effective communication skills, an even greater percentage of organisations would have had to shut down.

To be effective in a post-pandemic world, leaders need to reevaluate their interpersonal and communication skills. In the midst of confusion, leaders should be able to carve out a clear path for their teams towards business objectives. Leaders need to be more transparent and honest with their employees to increase engagement among the team.

3. Show empathy and concern for employees mental health

The pandemic has severely affected the mental health of many individuals, leading to long-lasting stress and anxiety in most cases. To be more impactful in a post-pandemic world, a leader needs to demonstrate genuine empathy. Emotional connection and understanding are needed now more than ever before.

Covid-19 has affected each and every individual in some way. Being more aware of employee needs and circumstances, and treating employees with empathy needs to be part of the new normal. Impactful leaders must let go of the rigidly enforced plans and set realistic goals for both themselves and their followers.

4. Stay ahead of the curve by being open to new technology

Remote working was a new concept for most organisations and wrapping their heads around this new way of working was a big challenge. However, organisations and particularly employees who were technologically savvy did not find it daunting to adapt to the new work setting. On the other hand, organisations that were totally dependent on in-person and office-based operations suffered, with many of them calling it quits.

Staying ahead of the curve and being adept at technology, as well as new tools and software, is essential for a leader in a post-pandemic world.

Key Takeaway

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to be nearing its end in many nations worldwide. However, uncertainty and ambiguity are not going to end any time soon. The word normal is interpreted differently in a post-pandemic world. Hence, traditional ways and approaches of leadership are not a good fit for the present and the future world. The 4 ways weve outlined above can help leaders to be more impactful in the post-pandemic world.

About SeraphCorp
SeraphCorp is a Singapore-based leadership consulting firm that provides leadership development training, coaching, workshops, and bespoke programmes. Our goal is pure and simple: to strengthen the ecosystem of quality education and training in Singapore, to impact communities by building up leaders, and to have every organisation and every leader come away from our programmes fundamentally changed in some way.

Our clients include leaders and managers from all sectors and industries, while the companies we work with span the spectrum from SMEs to global corporations. Our faculty is recruited from diverse fields & industries and have previously been CEO, CFO, general manager, founders of companies, head banker and director.

Whether you need your organisations leaders to engage better with its employees or identify the leadership capabilities essential for your organisation to continue to thrive and grow, we can help you accomplish your leadership goals.

Book an obligation-free consultation with one of our course facilitators today to find out more about our programmes.

Book a Consultation Here

Links to studies/researches:

  1. https://www.apollotechnical.com/statistics-on-remote-workers/
  2. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/09/17/about-half-of-americans-say-their-lives-will-remain-changed-in-major-ways-when-the-pandemic-is-over/