Today, almost everyone is either a “self-motivated” or an “internal motivator” employee. For many people, being motivated by their own efforts is as natural as breathing. But what if you’re an employee who wants to work hard and get great results but doesn’t naturally have the drive to put in the long hours that are needed to get there?
If you fall into this category, you may be wondering why your organization doesn’t offer more opportunities for personal development. After all, isn’t it reasonable to assume that everyone else does?
In today’s world of limited employee time and tight budgets, it can be easy to assume that developing employees through leadership psychology — a form of motivation outlined in the HBR article linked above — is too advanced for our current state of affairs.
After all, how can we possibly use what we already know about human psychology to improve the performance of our team members? Unfortunately, this thinking isn’t backed by reality. In fact, far from being a fringe practice with no place in modern business environments, developing employees through leadership psychology is a proven strategy for increasing engagement and productivity across the board. And not just at your organization: A growing number of leading companies and organizations around the world have begun embracing this approach and implementing leadership development programs within their company cultures. Stephen D.Reicher, et al writes in New Psychology of Leadership that strong leadership arises out of a symbiotic relationship between leaders and followers within a given social group–and hence requires an intimate understanding of group psychology…Peter F. Drucker, then professor of management at Claremont Graduate University, wrote in his book The Frontiers of Management (Dutton, 1986), “Very high salaries at the top…disrupt the team. They make… people in the company see their own top management as adversaries rather than as colleagues… And that quenches any willingness to say ‘we’ and to exert oneself except in one’s own immediate self-interest.”
What is leadership psychology?
Leadership psychology is a form of motivation based on human strengths and weaknesses. It is the study of leadership and the leadership qualities that distinguish successful leaders from those who fall short of being role models.
Leaders are people who are successful in their jobs by default, rather than through any deliberate effort. Superficially, leadership might seem like a natural fit for leaders. After all, why wouldn’t you want to be the one making key decisions for your organization?
In reality, leadership is an unnatural fit for many people. It requires an immense amount of energy and self-discipline that many people simply don’t have the capacity for. Luckily, there are plenty of proven techniques for developing leaders through personal development that don’t require an abundance of energy or focus.
Why develop your employees through leadership psychology? Benefits
There are many reasons why you may want to develop your team members through leadership psychology. Perhaps you want to increase their engagement and motivation. Or, perhaps you want to increase the amount of work they’re willing to do. Or, perhaps you just want to make more use of their skills and knowledge. Whatever your reasoning, here are some of the benefits that come with this approach: Increased engagement – Employees who are more engaged are more likely to put in the hours required to get the results you want.
Increased productivity – Employees who are more productive are more likely to focus on their tasks and complete them with less confusion. Makes leaders -Developing leaders through leadership psychology can make leaders out of underperforming team members. Decreased turnover- The less time you have to spend managing the people you have, the better. You have more time to develop them and make them a valuable part of your organization.
How to implement a leadership development program in your organization
The best way to start developing your team members through leadership psychology is to have a conversation with them. Ask them what they enjoy, what they’re good at, and what they want to do more of. Ask them what needs improvement, and offer advice on how to make their tasks more efficient. Next, implement a leadership development program within your organization.
Here are some ideas: Build a leadership council – In the absence of a formal leadership development program, many companies employ a “rabbi” or “pilgrim” to lead an informal group of team members. This can be a great way to get everyone on the same page and to develop leaders while having fun.
Make management training meaningful – When you have a formal leadership development program, you can use it as a vehicle to improve the training and development of your team members. Take time to identify the specific needs of your team members, and give them the skills and knowledge they need to meet them.
The future of employee training: A revolution or a return to basics?
Employee training is at a turning point. While it has changed over time due to various technological advancements, the essence of it remains the same. Now more than ever before, employees want training that will help them grow as individuals and improve their skills to do their jobs better.
Unfortunately, traditional approaches to employee training have proven to be inadequate for the demands of the modern world. In an effort to save money and gain time, many organizations have begun using unproven strategies like outsourcing work assignments and using virtual teams instead of in-house teams.
These approaches may work in Asia, but they haven’t gotten the job done in the U.S. and they certainly won’t in Canada. Thankfully, there is a growing movement among business leaders to bring back the fundamentals of employee training.
If you’ve been reading this article, you already know that developing employees through leadership psychology is a proven strategy for increasing engagement and productivity across the board.
The question is, what next? The future of employee training is promising. In fact, it could be one of the most important developments in the history of human society. By taking the skills and knowledge of today’s workers and putting them into the context of the products and services that make up today’s economy, companies will be better equipped to meet customers’ needs and support their lifestyles.
What’s even more promising is that employee development programs using leadership psychology aren’t niche practices. Leadership development is a proven approach to increasing engagement and productivity across the board, whether you’re an employee or an employer.
Now, with the world around us changing at an accelerated rate, it’s time for leaders to evolve with it and offer a better way of doing things. Leaders must be prepared to lead with passion, purpose, and innovation.Leaders must be prepared to inspire their teams and bring out the best in their members. And leaders must be prepared to lead with the knowledge and tools that come from leading with personal development.