Employee engagement has long been a metric of leadership and culture. When employees are engaged, they are emotionally invested in their work and the success of the company. However, low employee engagement results in lower productivity, increased costs, poor customer service, lack of innovation, and decreased employee physical and mental health.
Given this impact, smart CEOs and their Executive Leadership Teams (ELTs) are constantly seeking strategies to boost employee engagement and productivity. One such strategy that has proven effective is the practice of self-leadership.
"Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling, and actions toward your objectives." (Bryant and Kazan 2012)
Self-leadership is not just about leading oneself; it's about setting an example for others to follow. When CEOs and ELTs practice self-leadership, they create a culture that encourages employees to take ownership of their roles, fostering a sense of autonomy and engagement. This autonomy leads to increased creativity, innovation, and productivity.
A study published in the Journal of Managerial Psychology found that self-leadership leads to increased job satisfaction and performance. This is because self-leadership empowers individuals to take control of their work, leading to increased motivation and commitment.
Since publishing my ideas and findings in, 'SELF LEADERSHIP: How to Become a More Successful, Efficient and Effective Leader from the Inside Out' in 2012, I have worked with several CEOs and ELTs to implement self-leadership practices in their organizations. In addition, my work has been referenced in over 140 research papers, for example, a study published in the Journal of Public Administration and Policy Research highlighted the case of a CEO whose self-leadership practices significantly improved the company's crisis management. The CEO's leadership style, which emphasized self-reflection and self-improvement, played a crucial role in the company's ability to effectively manage crises.
Another case study from the Center for Creative Leadership demonstrated the impact of self-leadership on learning and development programs. The study found that when leaders practiced self-leadership, they were more likely to engage in continuous learning and development, which in turn fostered a culture of learning within the organization.
Learning and development professionals have also noted the importance of self-leadership in enhancing employee engagement. They argue that self-leadership skills, such as self-awareness, self-management, and self-motivation, are crucial for fostering a sense of ownership and engagement among employees.
The CEO and ELT can foster self-leadership by creating an environment that encourages autonomy and personal growth. Here are some strategies that can be executed for results:
Promote an Open Culture: Encourage open communication and collaboration. Allow your employees to express their ideas and opinions freely. This will not only make them feel valued but also foster innovation.
Empower Your Employees: Give your employees the autonomy to make decisions related to their work. This will make them feel more responsible and engaged in their roles.
Provide Opportunities for Growth: Offer opportunities for professional development. This will not only enhance your employees' skills but also show them that you value their growth.
Recognize and Reward: Acknowledge your employees' efforts and achievements. This will boost their morale and motivate them to perform better.
Lead by Example: Practice self-leadership yourself. Show your employees that you are also committed to personal growth and continuous learning.
By practicing self-leadership, CEOs can create a work environment that promotes employee engagement, leading to increased productivity, innovation, and overall company success. Remember, the best-performing companies know that improving employee engagement and linking it with the achievement of the company’s overall goals will help them win in the marketplace.
"Blaming, Complaining, and a Victim Mindset"
If you observe any, or all, of the above symptoms you know that self-leadership is not being practiced and that it's going to cost. Whether that cost is in productivity, innovation, or high employee turnover it is time to wake up and change the culture.
My Leadership Keynote Speech, 'Driving Accelerated Results through Self-leadership has inspired many organizations to start to recognize and apply self-leadership strategies, and I work with the CEOs and ELTs of a select few companies to coach self-leadership from the top. Contact me if you would like to discuss this.
BEING HUMAN WHILST DELIVERING ACCELERATED RESULTS