More and more, we are learn­ing that sci­en­tists, mar­keters, pro­gram­mers, and oth­er kinds of knowl­edge work­ers lead office lives very sim­i­lar to famous inno­va­tors like Wat­son, Crick, and Franklin, who dis­cov­ered the struc­ture of DNA. How so? All of these peo­ple live work lives struc­tured around progress in mean­ing­ful work. And when this progress occurs, it boosts emo­tions, per­cep­tions, and productivity.

This could be an impor­tant key to sup­port­ing your employ­ees at their desks, wher­ev­er those may be. While recog­ni­tion, tan­gi­ble incen­tives, and goals are impor­tant, lead­ing man­agers must also con­sid­er nour­ish­ing progress through atten­tion to inner work life, minor mile­stones, and appro­pri­ate modeling.

When progress is effec­tive­ly mon­i­tored and encour­aged, it can lead to a self-sus­tain­ing progress loop, which often results in increased suc­cess and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, espe­cial­ly toward larg­er, group-based goals. In oth­er words, when man­agers sup­port inner work life and rec­og­nize minor progress, it leads to major accomplishments.

See­ing employ­ees as grow­ing, pos­i­tive indi­vid­u­als with a dri­ve to exper­i­ment and learn, as opposed to mere means to an end goal, can make all the dif­fer­ence in an office, and over the yearsOne way to do this effec­tive­ly is to incor­po­rate humil­i­ty into your lead­er­ship style. This doesn’t imply that you have low self-con­fi­dence or are your­self servile. Rather, it says you pri­or­i­tize the auton­o­my of your office and sup­port your employ­ees to think respon­si­bly for them­selves. Ask them what their dai­ly work lives are like, and how you can help them max­i­mize effec­tive­ness. Cre­ate low-risk oppor­tu­ni­ties for growth, and most impor­tant­ly: fol­low through.

Read More:
“Lead­ing through emotions”
“Lead­ing with emo­tion­al intelligence”


By Bill Olson, VP, Mar­ket­ing & Com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Unit­ed Ben­e­fit Advisors

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