When it comes to employee happiness, business leaders play a larger role than we might assume. Recent McKinsey research shows today’s employees rate their relationships with management as the top deciding factor in job satisfaction—which matters very much, as research also shows happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy ones. But, what do today’s employees want--specifically—to be happy, and how do we learn how to give it to them? The answers to both questions might surprise you.
Most people remember Harry S. Truman for the long list of world-shaping decisions he made during his two terms as president. Among his accomplishments, Truman eliminated the communist threat in Greece and Turkey, initiated the Marshall Plan, helped organize the Berlin Airlift, helped form the UN and NATO, established the CIA and NSA, and put an end to racial segregation within the US military. What isn’t as commonly known about our 33rd president, however, is that Truman not only learned how to lead a country by leading an undisciplined group of military misfits, but that his approach to creating team happiness was way ahead of its time. Truman’s approach consisted of several principles:
While Truman forged his leadership skills during extreme circumstances, his leadership principles are just as applicable in today’s environment. Recent studies show that employees who believe their leaders care about them as people, have their backs, and will lead them confidently toward the stated goal report the highest job satisfaction. In today’s shifting world, prioritizing employee happiness is a good business decision, and one that’s completely within our skill-set to deliver.
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How are your teams navigating the changing landscape of today’s workplace? Have you developed methods which have helped equip them? Do you have questions for other leaders? Please share your ideas, stories and questions below!