Catherine Bell is the founder of BluEra, an executive search and team transformation company, and the best-selling and award-winning author of The Awakened Company, a thought-provoking read that explores how treating businesses as communities can transform them for the better. Catherine speaks around the globe, and offers The Awakened Company’s services to help other teams awaken to a new concept of success.
By Catherine Bell
Most people rate time with their bosses as the worst time of their day. Consider what that means: interacting with their manager is less enjoyable than waking up to an early alarm, dealing with a rush-hour commute, or taking out the trash.
Depending on your own personal experience, you may find that surprising—or sadly obvious. Either way, this widespread dissatisfaction should not be ignored. Why? Employee productivity is directly related to an individual’s relationship with his or her supervisor.
A Harvard Business Review study that looked at nearly 3,000 leaders in a financial services company found that people assigned to the least effective of the group (managers rated in the bottom 10%) had satisfaction, engagement, and commitment levels that were lower than 96% of their colleagues. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the top 10% of leaders oversaw employees that were happier, more engaged, and more committed than 92% of the company’s employees. The correlation was clear, and theirs was not the only investigation to come to this conclusion.
Furthermore, studies have shown there’s not much you can offer in the way of perks to balance out the effects of a bad boss, and there’s a seemingly endless amount of rewards—from employee satisfaction to increased revenue—that can be derived from having a great one. While writing The Awakened Company, I interviewed many top CEOs who had come to the same conclusion. As a senior executive or business owner, finding and cultivating great leaders needs to be a priority. (And if you have employees reporting into you, ask yourself, “Am I a bosshole?”)
So how do we make great leaders? Instead of self-preservation, separation, and isolation, we need to cultivate one-on-one relationships in organizations. That means doing more than relying on group meetings to interact with your team. You may be getting face time, but you aren’t getting the kind of quality time that leads to happy, engaged employees. Only by fostering these deeper connections can we create “Awakened relationships” that enable higher employee satisfaction, greater productivity, and broad company success (which cannot only be measured by shareholder value).
Try taking each member of your team out for lunch. If that’s not feasible with your schedule, try taking them out for tea. Making time to connect should be a priority, not a bonus. This can be achieved on a daily basis by recognizing your employees for what makes them unique and valued—comment on what is their awesome. With an open heart and effort, you have the power to be the best part of their day.
Ready to awaken your own business? Get your copy of The Awakened Company, enlist The Awakened Company’s services and learn how companies are achieving a new standard of success. A best-seller within a week, one of Eight of the Best Business Books of 2015, and a Nautilus Silver Medal Winner for Best Business Book for 2015, it explores a new way of doing business: incorporating mindfulness and wisdom traditions to ultimately benefit companies, those involved in them, and the planet itself. It has earned praise from business leaders and industry experts, and is the blueprint for the successful executive search and team transformation company, BluEra.