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How Can Positive Leadership, Inclusiveness And The Quest For Well-Being Affect Today’s Workplace?

Written by: Aurée de Carbon, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Until most recently, most of the big corporations or organizations were practicing the “so-called” top-down approach. In the top-down approach, the executives or the key stakeholders make all the important decisions. All directions will come from the top management because they are presumed to have all the right answers.

But times have changed. Nowadays, the customer base is changing rapidly, which is a clear indication that tastes and preferences are also changing. Baby boomers, or people born after World War II, are retiring. Millennials, (people born between the 1980s and 1990s), and Gen Zs also known as “Zoomers” or “Centennials” (people born in 1997-2015), are on the rise. Millennials are just starting to settle into leadership positions and yet, they are faced with another challenge – accommodating the wants and needs of the younger generation joining the workforce. These generations are collaborative and team-oriented in nature which means that the command-and-control type of management will not be effective.


The two generations have similarities and differences. Both generations rely on technologies to digitize and modernize processes. They also aim to contribute to the greater good. Based on Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, Millennials, and Gen Zs acknowledge the importance of corporate social responsibility and sought-after companies or organizations that are aligned with their values and beliefs. Moreover, both generations expect instant recognition for a job well done, which greatly boosts their morale.


Millennials and Gen Zs are confident, optimistic, and more connected than the previous generations. During a job search, they gather information about a company or organization based on company profiles, feedback from previous and current employees, and content on their social media platforms. Unlike Baby Boomers, they are driven by challenges and a sense of purpose. Flexibility is crucial for them because they want to have an opportunity to balance their professional and personal lives. Most of them would rather stay unemployed than take a job that they’ll be unhappy about or a job that is against what they believe in. There is one thing that binds these three generations together – their pursuit of career growth and financial stability. The only difference is their priorities. Millennials and Gen Zs, compared to the generations before them who are extremely committed to their careers, prefer spending some quality time with their family or in pursuit of their passion.


To provide the flexibility demanded by these two younger generations, remote-based work, non-traditional working schedules, hybrid workplaces, and Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) are becoming a trend in today’s workplace. No need to wake up early. No need to deal with heavy traffic going to the office. You can skip all that and start to work and end your shift easily.


Work-life balance is another trending concept, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic broke. It is a type of lifestyle that draws the line between the individual’s professional and personal lives. Employers are supporting the efforts of the employees to divide their time and energy between their careers and other important aspects of their lives.


Organizations like The New York Times, Tribune Co., Ernst & Young, Toyota, and IBM are starting to adopt new approaches or trends shifting from the top-down approach to bottom-up approach where team members are encouraged to participate in every phase of the management process.


In the bottom-up approach, positive leadership, inclusiveness, and the quest for well-being are very crucial to any organization’s success.


We have heard “positive leadership”, “inclusiveness” and “well-being” a lot of times before, but what is it exactly and how are they going to affect the workplace of the future?


To better understand this concept, let’s try to define each of the keywords.


According to the Journal of World Business published in 2012, Positive Leadership is a systematic and integrated manifestation of leadership traits, processes, intentional behaviors, and performance outcomes that are elevating, exceptional, and affirmative of the strengths, capabilities, and developmental potential of leaders, their followers, and their organizations over time and across contexts.


Positive Leadership puts an emphasis on the following:

  • What elevates and challenges the organization and its employees?

  • What is right and wrong for the organization?

  • What is life-giving or life-depleting?

  • What is projected as good or objectionable?

  • What is extraordinary, yet effective?

  • What is difficult, yet inspiring?

This only means that negativity has no room for this kind of leadership and continuous monitoring of the multiple aspects of the company’s values and actions can keep one negative incident from tarnishing the reputation of the organization.


On the other hand, inclusiveness is defined as the ability to value and include all the employees’ and stakeholders’ contributions to an organization which energizes and motivates all parties involved in the decision-making. This is also described by Forbes as the ability to encourage teams to voice diverse perspectives and dissent.


Inclusiveness cultivates cultures that will result in higher productivity, retention, engagement, morale, and innovation.


Generally, well-being is the condition of an individual or group. There are many factors that determine the overall well-being of a person:

  • Social

  • Economic

  • Psychological

  • Spiritual

  • Medical

According to the CDC, well-being is tied to happiness and well-being of a person. Google is a great example of a company who cares about the well-being of its employees. Because of their aim to be the world’s happiest workplace, they staffed their HR department with a team of sociologists. Their job is to experiment with employee interactions and to come up with perks that would boost the well-being and productivity of their employees.


By looking at the definition of each word, positive leadership, inclusiveness, and well-being are 3 important factors of effective management and motivation of teams to improve corporate performance. They are interrelated and work best when implemented side by side.


By adapting these approaches, you are creating an environment where employees want to work rather than creating an environment where you, as the leader, want to work. It is a win-win situation in the sense that if the employees are happy, they will do a great job and will make your clients happy.


This is not a theory. Science can back it up. Based on the research of the University of Warwick in Britain, productivity increases by 12 percent if the person is happy. It is a simple logic that, sadly, many leaders are still overlooking.


These 3 concepts can greatly help in employee support and satisfaction which in turn results in better organizational performance. Indeed, employers should find ways to create a culture of positive leadership, inclusiveness, and well-being which would, in turn, lead to a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce.


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Aurée de Carbon, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Aurée is the founder and the owner of CARRHURE, an Executive Search Firm specialized in the Not-for-Profit sector. A French native, Aurée has 30 years of professional experience. Her exceptional empathy, expertise in identifying and assessing candidates as well as her servant leadership style make her approach unique. Prior to establishing CARRHURE, Aurée was Director International for several retained executive search firms where she directed engagements for large NGOs specialized in Agriculture, Climate Change and Health. She began her career managing sales and marketing efforts for French medias and the banking sectors (BNP and HSBC) as Wealth Management Advisor. She holds a BA in Arts from University Paris X and a degree in Communication and Marketing. She is a certified professional Coach, PNL technician and she is certified in several assessment Tools, such as 360° and DISC Model. Aurée is fluent in French and English.

 

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