In previous articles we’ve talked about an individual’s Unique Abilities – things they do extremely well and that come naturally to them – and how meaningful their work becomes based on being able to “do what I do best every day.” Experiencing meaningful work also has side benefits – better health, a sense of well being, better interoffice engagement and improved teamwork. Another way of looking at it is that companies who foster this unique ability mentality have employees who are more likely to thrive at their jobs, which in turn enhances a company’s bottom line. It’s no wonder that the most successful companies are also the best places to work.
Determining a leader’s ability to make employees’ jobs more meaningful means assessing not only culture, but the leader’s understanding of their role at being an enabler. An effective Unique Ability leader is a reflection of the leader’s personality and their ability to impact organizational performance. Here are a few leadership takeaways to keep in mind:
Let your employees know they are contributing to creating something important. It is only natural for people to find their work meaningful when they feel like they are contributing. Unique Ability leaders need to help their team members find something meaningful in their work, without micromanaging. You need to become expert listeners and understand when to motivate and when to engage. When to compliment and when to reward.
Learn when to challenge expectations. One of the great perils of an organization is inertia and stagnation. Leaders need to know when to push their people to achieve success and how to instill a deeper purpose in their team’s work. Employees respond positively to a sense of progress, reinvention and growth – they all contribute to a positive work experience.
Trust your people. No one likes to be micromanaged. No one. Leaders who know how to trust and empower team members are much more likely to experience individual growth within the group and instill an overall sense of teamwork and commitment – key aspects of meaningful work.
Effective engagement of the Unique Ability leader will result in greater enthusiasm, drive, and a sense of shared commitment. It’s all about increasing performance and adding value to the organization. To be a good Unique Ability leader, focus on helping employees find meaning in their achievements, challenge expectations and drive your business, and trust that your people will thrive in a Unique Ability environment.