I knew we were headed for trouble when the CEO started with this:
“So it’s a new year. I hope you’re all refreshed and ready to start again. Before we know it, it will be Christmas. Let’s start with the financials.”
This message seems pretty benign, right? Upbeat, sort of positive, and let’s get down to business no-nonsense attitude. Plenty of businesses operate this way.
And plenty of businesses see their staff churn through the door at a rapid rate of knots.
This new year message was missing one BIG thing.
It didn’t matter that it wasn’t inspirational or uplifting.
It didn’t matter that it was short.
It DID matter that there was no attempt to engage the people – on a heart to heart level.
This kind of leadership takes courage – because it is out of the norm.
And yet this is the kind of leadership that people are secretly yearning for, to keep them from the dull greyness that is their work drudgery.
Here are some simple, and powerful questions to rouse your team from bland dreariness:
- What are you looking forward to this year?
- What is an opportunity for you to develop new skills or expertise this year?
- How do you want to be challenged?
- What do you want to learn?
- What can we do to help you be your best?
- What would make you proud to work here this year?
- How can we make each day a bit more fun?
- What do we need to celebrate more?
- What do we need to acknowledge and savour from last year?
- What do you like best about your work? About your workplace?
- At the end of the year, what do you want to be able to celebrate about your work? About the work of the team?
- How can we make our workplace more enjoyable? More friendly? More comfortable? More inspiring?
- How can we recognise the unsung heros more? Are there any that need celebrating right now?
- How are we demonstrating alignment with our values? Are we out of alignment anywhere?
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