11 December 2022 |

3 steps to better organizational development


“The single biggest decision you make in your job – bigger than all of the rest – is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits – nothing,” says Gallup chairman CEO Jim Clifton.

The numbers support this.

  • 79% of employees will quit due to a lack of appreciation
  • Disengaged employees had a 37% higher absentee rate, suffered 49% more accidents, and made 60% more errors at work
  • Employees supervised by highly engaged leadership teams are 39% more likely to be engaged themselves

As a leader, your influence is immense, and your actions, whether good or bad, will determine the level of engagement within your team. In order to create an environment where everyone can thrive—both personally and as a part of the team—you need to take time to understand them individually.

Invest time to understand their goals, strengths, and needs—not just for the sake of employee morale but for the sake of the business as a whole. 

When you set an example and take time to support the development of the leaders in your organization, you create a culture where all levels feel supported and engaged in their work.

Here are three tips to help your people feel invested in and supported so they can drive growth in your business.

1. Schedule your 1:1s

Find a 30-minute time block that works for you consistently. For example, weekly 1:1s with your direct reports might work depending on your bandwidth. This consistent 1:1s should be with the people who report directly to you.

(Don’t feel obligated to meet with everyone in your company.)

Schedule this time and protect it.

Remember to consider the impact you can have on your organization by simply investing in the people directly in your support. When you help them get better, they will be able to help the people around them do the same. Lean into this multiplying effect.

You can make this a habit by putting it on your calendar, making it a reoccurring meeting, and resisting the urge to reschedule.

2. Prioritize THEIR Agenda

Start every 1:1 by asking, “What’s on your mind?” This question lets your team set the agenda and allows them to talk about the things most important to them.

  • Conflict on their team
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Struggling with the tools available

Asking, “What’s on your mind?” will allow you to uncover the most significant obstacles your team faces quickly. Then, as you develop leaders on your team, teach them to do the same.

A manager who is consistently there to listen and understand the individuals on their team is an underrated employee benefit. If you can ensure your team feels supported and encouraged at work, they will be less likely to look for higher-paying opportunities.

At a minimum, ensure your leaders know everyone on their team’s goals, needs, and strengths.

3. Build on Strengths

If this doesn’t come naturally to you, write down exactly what each person on your team is great.

  • What are the things you’ve seen them do well?
  • In what situations do you ask them for advice?
  • What are the things you notice that come naturally to them and they do without anyone asking?

The things that are recognized get repeated.

After recognizing a strength, build on it with a small change.

Talk about how this change is a small thing and emphasize the impact the change will have on them as an individual when its made consistently.

Note: Getting commitment will be much easier when you’ve already taken the time to understand their goals and know what is most important to them.