It’s strange how sometimes several things seem to come together.  I’ve heard three things recently about leadership and productivity which make sense and are both practical and inspiring.

“If you seek answers for poor productivity, maybe look at your managers”

suggested David Wighton in The Times on 29th August. He has a good point.

Paul Drechsler, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (towards the end) said recently:

“people have a fantastic attitude to work if they are well managed, well motivated, well supported”.

Finally, I was privileged to attend the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter discussion about leadership last week.  Stevie Spring said leaders must have “a moral compass” and talked about

“leadership that engages and builds a culture of belonging”.

Accidental Managers

Leaders and managers have a massive impact on their people – what they do and say influences how their people think and feel. And how people think and feel is a key element in whether they are motivated or not, and in their performance.

The behaviour of managers is key. Yet:

• No-one tells managers how to motivate people and they often have little training for it.
• The CMI (Chartered Management Institute) refers to the “accidental manager” – people with great technical skills but who don’t really want to manage people.
• There are new challenges for people managers due to the pandemic and the demand for hybrid working.
• Millennials and Gen Z want their managers to be empathic and their careers to have a positive impact on society and the environment.

New Approaches

We need new approaches to leadership and management – away from command and control and overseeing task completion, towards empathic leadership and enabling self-motivation.

Above all, people are motivated to meet their core psychological needs, and managers can tap into that by enabling people to find a sense of purpose, to feel competent, to have some freedom and to belong.

How managers set goals, give feedback, coach, run their meetings, hold 121s, build self-belief, role model resilient behaviours – in short, how they communicate with their people – makes an enormous difference to the motivation and performance of their teams……and to productivity too.

My forthcoming book is a practical and actionable guide on how to implement best practice in these areas.