If we look around, there is one thing that is quite common in the context of the most successful businesses in the world. Most of these businesses have exceptional leaders at the helm of things and a large part of their success can be attributed to excellence in leadership. From Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos, outstanding leaders have led their organizations to extraordinary heights.
However, the real question is, are all leaders as impactful and successful? Can all leaders irrespective of their leadership style make a great difference? Well, this remains a separate debate altogether but as of now, we are going to pay heed to the transformational leadership style.
The fact of the matter is that transformational leadership is tailored to cater to the challenges of the modern corporate world. Transformational leaders are not only greater visionaries but also have some unparalleled leadership traits that make them stand out from the rest. Not only do they achieve great outcomes for their own selves but also for their team members. This is where transformational leaders prove to be exceptional in fostering high engagement in the workplace.
In this blog, while shedding light on the key traits of transformational leaders, we also lay emphasis on the ways in which transformational leaders facilitate high employee engagement. So, let us get started without further ado.
1. Transformational leaders are empathetic
How your employees feel in the workplace is one of the most vital determinants of employee engagement. To put it the other way around, how much leaders or organizations invest in their employees’ experience has a lot to do with employee engagement levels.
Speaking of employee experience, employees are the most satisfied when they feel understood in the workplace. They are happy to be in an environment where their co-workers respect and value their emotions. In simple terms, they look for empathy from their leaders as well as colleagues.
In fact, as per Businessolver, 76 percent of employees are of the opinion that workplace empathy is a vital determinant of their motivation. Having said that, it is essential that contemporary leaders lay emphasis on empathy. Speaking of transformational leaders, empathy comes naturally to them. Their emotional intelligence skills impart great positivity to their team members.
To explain, transformational leaders are great listeners and have great patience when it comes to listening to their team members’ expressions. Their availability for their team members and emotional support in terms of empathy fosters great confidence among employees.
As transformational leaders encourage emotional security among employees, the output in terms of dedication and results is much higher. They can focus on task achievement in a more reassuring way and that adds incredibly to the overall engagement in the workplace.
2. Transformational leaders delegate effectively
Eli Broad once quoted, “the inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels.” In case you do not know, Eli Broad is a highly acclaimed American entrepreneur and also one of the richest men on this planet. As a leader, he lays great emphasis on sharing authority and responsibilities with team members.
In fact, this is another standout trait of transformational leaders. They delegate authority to their team members by showing great trust in their capabilities. To explain, transformational leaders do not only back their own individual strengths but also back their team members to achieve self-sufficiency. They empower their team members or co-workers by showing great faith in them.
This trust that they show in their team members further becomes the foundation of a positive and high-performing culture. In fact, it is interesting to note that as per Harvard Business Review, employees in high-trust organizations exhibit 76 percent higher engagement. Moreover, in organizations where trust is a strong virtue, productivity levels are 50 percent higher.
Having said that, as a leader, it is important that you acknowledge the importance of delegation. With effective delegation, you can pave the way for higher levels of employee engagement and allegiance.
Besides delegation, transformational leaders also ensure maximum participation by their team members. Whether it is about project tasks or employee rewards and engagement activities, transformation leaders create a conducive environment that boosts participation at all levels.
3. Transformational leaders promote creative liberty
In the contemporary business world, innovation is among the greatest competitive advantages that a business can build. If you can create a natural working environment that brings out the best innovation in everyone, you can scale your business in a more worthwhile way. On the contrary, if you are still not looking at the need for innovations, you may have to regret it later.
Speaking of transformational leaders, they embrace the virtues of innovation and creativity wholeheartedly. They have an inspirational zeal to challenge the status quo and find new ways of doing things keeping innovation at the forefront of things. The best part is, they have a balanced approach when it comes to risk-taking and hence they do not resist new ideas coming from their team members.
Subsequently, given their love for innovation, they support a working environment that promotes great creative liberty. In such an environment, employees feel empowered to share their opinions and perspectives without any hesitation. They will find great optimism in the fact that they can recommend creative ideas and outside-the-box approaches to their superiors.
Having said that, this will further promote a greater sense of workplace belonging and confidence among employees. This confidence in a sense of association will further reflect in higher levels of engagement in the organization. As employees look to bring out the best innovation in them, they will engage in a more worthwhile way.
4. Transformational leaders encourage accountability
It would be such a great thing for your organization if you can create a highly accountable workforce, isn’t it? Imagine a scenario wherein each of your employees manifests exemplary accountability and a great sense of responsibility. Well, with project managers or team leads exhibiting strong traits of transformational leadership, you can indeed turn this dream into a reality.
To elucidate, transformational leaders endorse an impressive sense of responsibility and take complete accountability for their actions. Moreover, they also inspire the same in their subordinates. Transformational leaders take the idea of accountability quite seriously and look to build similar attitudes in the entire team.
They believe in setting fine examples for others when it comes to accountability. Not only this but they also encourage their team members to take on additional responsibilities. By modeling the same for others, they encourage greater dedication among their team members. Having said that, it is correct to say that transformational leadership is a competitive advantage in itself for organizations.
The bottom line is that when employees are accountable, they would not compromise their integrity and commitment. They would remain honest with the organization and will show greater dedication toward the success of the organization. Eventually, with high accountability in the workplace, engagement levels will remain consistently high.
5. Transformational leaders cultivate cohesion
When we talk about engagement in the workplace, collaboration remains one of the key determinants. We often discuss how important positive workplace relationships are for creating a high-performing culture where employees show great engagement. Having said that, engagement cannot exist independently of effective collaboration in the workplace.
Practically speaking, it is ultimately the responsibility of the leaders to create an ideal environment for workplace collaboration to flourish. This is where transformational leaders prove to be exceptional yet again. Transformational leaders lay great emphasis on promoting cohesion in their teams.
To explain, transformational leaders, give high priority to collaboration as a critical success factor. Hence, they take it upon themselves to facilitate positive working relationships within their teams to manage performances in an effective way. They also have effective conflict-resolution skills to sustain collaboration and relationships within the team. Needless to say, the stronger the connections between co-workers the higher will be the overall engagement of the team.
In fact, it is essential to note that as per SalesForce, ineffective collaboration is cited as the primary reason for project failure by 86 percent of corporate executives. This clearly indicates that the state of collaboration in the workplace affects both engagement and business success. However, when you have transformational leaders leading your project teams, you can upscale engagement as well as organizational success.
6. Transformational leaders share knowledge efficiently
Transformational leaders are masters at communication and intellectual stimulation. In fact, transformational leaders are excellent communicators and that gives them a competitive edge over others. What that means is that transformational leaders have this exceptional ability to share knowledge and expertise with their team members in an effective way.
To elucidate, when knowledge sharing in the workplace is effective, employees will have a clear sense of direction and the intellectual resources needed for task completion. This clarity will drive high motivation among employees and in the ultimate sense, the engagement will be higher. Employees feel more confident and engage better when they have the necessary intellectual resources and the opportunity to seek constant guidance from their leaders.
In fact, transformational leaders are happy to play the role of a mentor for their followers. They approach knowledge sharing in a systematic manner and lay great emphasis on promoting holistic learning in the workplace.
In this way, they also deliver on employees’ expectations of workplace learning and development in a worthwhile way. All in all, each of these factors adds significantly to employee engagement levels in the workplace.
7. Transformational leaders prioritize goal setting
Transformational leaders may be warm-hearted but they have an uncompromising knack for meeting performance expectations. They expect the same from their team members and also assist them in setting measurable goals. Furthermore, they know how to align individual goals and organizational objectives in a highly efficient manner.
They will always ensure that the teams are on the right track to meeting their objectives within the stipulated time. For that, even if they have to get personally involved in the tasks of their team members, they would not shy away from it. Their uncanny attitude of putting their team first and giving the highest priority to task completion makes them extraordinarily special.
Since they associate a high priority with systematic goal setting and execution, the engagement levels remain high. Their team members know that they need to meet the targets and for that, they must align their individual interests with the objectives of the organization.
To encapsulate, transformational leaders, come with unmatched qualities and inspirational traits that are vital in the pursuit of creating a positive work environment. They are excellent at managing performance as well as engagement among their team members. If you are keen on accomplishing the strategic goals of your business, it will be a great idea to start the imperative process of identifying transformational leaders in your organization.