There aren’t many executives who will say that leading a group of people is easy. Afterall, executives who lead companies are tasked with building relationships, setting goals and standards, sharing a vision, holding others accountable and coaching their team, among other responsibilities.
In his book Trillion Dollar Coach, coauthor Eric Schmidt wrote this lesson he learned from a Silicon Valley executive: Your title makes you a manager, your people make you a leader.
What makes an exceptional leader stand apart from a mediocre one is not always based on what you do, but primarily on what you say. According to the founder of Day One Leadership, Drew Dudley, the words you use can have a powerful unconscious impact on your leadership impact.
Here are some simple phrases your team needs to hear from you:
I appreciate you.
People, no matter what role they take in life, want to feel appreciated. This is especially true in the workplace. Sure, a paycheck is what drives most of us to go to work, but hearing the words, “I appreciate you” can go a long way to making your employees feel valued.
One of the simplest ways to reward someone for a job-well-done is a simple, “Thank You.” Make your thank you specific to team members who meet the standards you have set. When you do it will be much more powerful.
It can be done in a variety of ways such as a handwritten note, in person or even over text. The thought you put into your “thank you” will say more than the two words alone.
I value your opinion.
As a business leader, Toronto bank executive Sean St. John says you have to create a work environment where everyone on the team feels like they are heard, and that their opinion matters. That’s why it is important to give your employee the undivided attention they deserve when they do share their opinion. Saying, “I value your opinion” is an easy step to show that your team is the most important resource in any organization.
Your effort didn’t go unnoticed.
If you have an employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty, acknowledge them. This is the person who is putting in extra effort to get a project done. They get to the office early, stay late and put in the work that most people aren’t willing to do. Don’t let this go unrecognized. Take the time to notice their actions.
You are the glue that holds our team together.
Often times, managers reward the team member whose good work directly ties to revenue for the company, i.e. a sales contract is signed or a new product is created. They tend to forget the people behind the scenes who keep things running smoothly. It could be an assistant, someone in Human Resources or a project coordinator. By telling that person, “You are the glue that holds our team together,” you are showing them that you care.
A simple focus on your people will make all the difference and boost morale at the same time. This people-first philosophy can have a drastic effect on an employee’s loyalty, and it can also improve employee retention which helps your company’s bottom line.