Modern employees expect you to lead by example, to show them what you can do as a leader. When you act in a way that directly contradicts what you say (either through direct conversation or by enforcing company policies), you'll be seen as a dysfunctional or toxic boss in the workplace.
You undermine your commitment to your mission by acting inconsistently with your written policies. The repercussions can be very unpleasant. The following are five steps you can take as a business leader to make sure you "walk the talk.”
Check out these steps in detail below that will help emerging leaders grow in the workplace:
Despite it seeming obvious, it is hard to practice what you preach when you don't believe it in the first place: If you don't believe the words you are saying, then you most likely will not practice it.
Your personal code of ethics should be aligned with your company's values. It will be difficult to enforce it and to demonstrate it to others if it does not.
Take this opportunity to clarify your company's values if you have never done so before. We tend to maintain these values throughout our lifetimes, barring major or traumatic experiences, however, it is crucial that we pay attention to this process and take part in it fully. Alternatively, try to avoid simply writing down a few cool-sounding phrases. As the company develops over the coming years, your corporate values statement should guide it.
It's important to identify the precise contours of a misalignment between company policies and employee behavior so that it can be fixed as soon as possible. That will give you an idea of where to focus your own resources, as well as take any necessary organizational actions.
Please take the time to observe your employees closely. However, it is important to seek out input from a variety of sources in order to get a more complete (and therefore more accurate) picture of the situation.
For instance, if the disconnect involves customer service, listening to a single service call may make it appear to be a clear-cut issue. If you ask a few of your representatives, their supervisors, and some of your customers, you may uncover a completely different cause behind this, such as one that is a design or manufacturing-related. You might not be able to address the real issue unless you carefully examine the issue from multiple perspectives.
"Walking the talk" means taking action and making the changes you wish to see in your company. Therefore, take on your own behavior first, before implementing changes in your workforce. In that way, your employees will be more willing to adopt the new changes if you can establish some "street cred."
Making a decision to change habitual practices, routines or behavior isn't as easy as it sounds. Several weeks or months of conscious effort and attention are needed to support the decision.
As a default, humans run on habits. There are so many decisions we make that seem to be driven by rational thought but are in fact habitual. It takes a lot of effort to make a new set of choices if we want to change one of those habits.
Take the grooves of a record album as an example. If someone jumps on the floor nearby or jostles the record player, the needle will immediately follow another path. For a "new groove" to be woven into an existing album, you would need to take the time and effort to follow a new path until it is a habit as well.
Communicating is the second component of walking the talk. Discuss the policies and changes at issue with key people in an authentic and transparent manner. Listen intently to them and respect what they have to say.
Instead of keeping yourself separate, adopt the mindset of a team. Avoid becoming a spectator to the discussion. Get involved. Your company should support its employees by clearly communicating what you expect of them, why this change is necessary and how it will support them in carrying it out.
Consistence is great when it comes to corporate values -- it's the basis for successful change. It's especially true and important when enforcing anti-discrimination and sexual harassment policies at your company, since ignoring the policy can result in substantial legal liability for the company.
Corporate values must also be consistent across the board.
It is important to note that actions and words have meaning and importance. Integrity requires that actions and words are aligned. If you want your company to be more successful, a happy team is as important as anything else.