If you have been around awhile and are kind enough to read my monthly musings, you know that December is my month to take a break from the topical or technical and enjoy the holiday. My thought for today is to offer some useful nuggets that I came across this year. In some cases, it might just be a quote, but there might also be a thought (or three) to ponder.
My theme (if there is one) seems to be employee satisfaction/loyalty. I think we all want satisfied employees, but how do we get there? That brings me to a few applicable quotes.
- Loyal employees are precious gems, not stepping stones!
- Loyal employees tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.
- Never push loyal people to the point they don’t give a damn!
- If we are not ready to be loyal to our loyal employees, we are not ready to lead them.
As seasoned leaders know, loyalty is not positionally apportioned. It is built on honesty and trust. Leaders/companies need to create an atmosphere of appreciation and mutual trust. We trust leaders who do the right thing even if it’s not the most expedient thing. An article in FORTUNE magazine called this type of leader a “moral leader,” and the four pillars of moral leadership were defined thusly.
- Moral leaders are driven by purpose.
- Moral leaders inspire and elevate others.
- Moral leaders are animated by both courage and patience.
- Moral leaders keep building muscle.
To create happy, engaged and loyal employees who “care about the success – of the team, of the boss and their own” we need to have shared values. In particular, Millennials “are on a mission to create something that’s bigger than themselves.” Keeping this in mind will help leaders to motivate their future leaders and build loyalty in them.
One of the ways that leaders build muscle is to never stop learning and growing. Investing in the learning and growth of their team through professional development will build the leaders of the future. One of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance secrets to success happens to be: “Spend half an hour a day learning about your job, industry or a dream you are pursuing. More than 95% of self-made millionaires spend at least 30 minutes reading materials related to their careers.” If you are reading this column, you may just be on your way. Industrial Heating provides many ways to help you invest that time wisely.
Ideally, we want homegrown leaders to take over the reins when it’s time for today’s leaders to step aside. And step aside they must. This appears to be an issue in today’s workforce. A USA TODAY/LinkedIn study indicates that as more Baby Boomers put off retirement, Millennials and Gen Xers are finding it hard to move up into middle- and higher-level jobs. A total of 41% of Millennials and 30% of all adults are finding it difficult to move up in their fields because Boomers are waiting longer to retire. With older Boomers (age 54-74) hanging on, this is the first time ever that we have five generations in the workforce at the same time.
A study by Moody Analytics indicates that “the prevalence (of Boomers) in the workforce is tamping down the economy’s overall productivity.” To put some numbers to this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 20.4% of Americans 65 and older were working or looking for jobs in October 2019. This is up from 12.4% as recently as 1999, and it is the largest portion since 1961.
I don’t think our industry is any different than these numbers indicate. If anything, anecdotal evidence shows that our industry is thick with Boomers. If you are a leader and identify with that statement, look at who you might be holding back, and (at a minimum) mentor and educate them to successfully succeed you.
Industrial Heating wishes you all the best in this holiday season and a successful and prosperous 2020!