Empowering leaders: Transformative techniques for inspiring and motivating teams21 Apr 2023
Your business can have the most skilled and experienced workers in their respective fields on its payroll. But, without passion, inspiration and motivation, your employees aren’t likely to be driven to contribute to the organisation’s success beyond just handing in deliverables of an acceptable standard on time.
This is where your leadership team comes in. Your supervisors, managers and executives must be able to influence your workforce to go above and beyond the call of duty and become really invested and engaged in their team’s success. How do you do this? Through transformative leadership techniques that kick old leadership styles to the curb.
In this article, we’ll explore some central concepts of transformative leadership and a few practical ways you can implement them, as well as a real-life case study of truly successful transformative leadership. Let’s dive in!
Key principles of transformative leadership
Gone are the days of team leads and execs barking orders at staff and using punishment to correct any mistakes. Nowadays, leadership is all about:
- Emotional intelligence: Transformative leaders can approach their team members with empathy and relate to them on a personal level. It’s all about connecting with people in an intimate yet appropriate manner.
- Leadership style: Transformative leaders choose to provide guidance and correction rather than taking an unnecessarily disciplinary position.
- Communication: A good leader is characterised by their capacity to listen to staff members closely and convey information in a clear fashion. They also give workers an opportunity to ask questions and take the time to answer them.
- Trust and respect: Instead of using fear to force employees to work harder and behave properly, transformative leaders realise that respect is a two-way street and the best way to earn respect is by gaining trust.
Leaders must follow several steps to achieve the pillars outlined above. They can do this by:
- Opening communication channels: Leaders should create processes and make platforms available that allow all employees to talk with each other about work and any workplace issues freely and without obstacles.
- Foster a safe environment: Trust and respect can be developed only if staff members feel comfortable sharing ideas and concerns. Transformative leaders create spaces that allow workers to be comfortable communicating.
- Practise emotional intelligence: To be transformative, leaders must be mindful of whether they’re understanding and managing their own emotions, as well as identifying those of people around them and responding appropriately.
- Set goals: Employees can’t be successful unless they know what they’re working toward. So, leadership teams must clearly outline aims and expectations that are reasonable and achievable.
- Provide feedback: Leaders need to create and communicate benchmarks they measure performance against, and give constructive criticism offering useful guidance in a kind way when workers aren’t hitting the mark.
- Recognise and reward good work: Keeping staff members engaged and motivated is all about acknowledging their achievements and compensating people for reaching goals.
Case study – Henry Ford
Yes, that Ford. As HelpfulProfessor.com explains, he realised the importance of treating employees well in a time when employee welfare wasn’t a concern. Ford prioritised worker well-being and this manifested in the eight-hour working day and five-day working week, which was revolutionary in a time when employees were expected to work 12-hour days, six days a week.
He also understood the need to compensate workers fairly and paid his staff nearly double minimum wage, and provided health benefits, which was unheard of during that era. All of these factors combined to create an unthinkably successful company that has stood the test of time and become a household name.