From a leadership perspective, there are few things more important than taking care of your people. Whether you’re an executive, coach, mentor or any other role that oversees others, part of your unspoken responsibilities is to do right by others. This means fostering an environment of inclusivity, connection, and camaraderie. A safe space where teammates can lean for authenticity and transparency. Even if you know little to nothing about managing a team, a great place to start is simply taking care of those around you.
Why is taking care of those around you so important? From a business standpoint, studies will tell you the number one reason people leave their jobs is because of management. Let that sink in for a second. It’s not money, although I’m not naïve to think that isn’t a close second or doesn’t play a role for some individuals, and instead, it’s leadership. I’ve also seen plenty of studies to support that taking care of teammates leads to higher engagement, which in turn increases the bottom line. But if peel back the layers and forget about dollars and cents for a second, it’s really quite straightforward. By nature, the human race is programmed with a strong desire to belong – belonging to family, to their employer, to their community. As people, we simply want to feel safe, supported, loved, and connected to those around us, and as a leader, it’s our job to create this space for our teammates.
I won’t pretend that I haven’t failed my team and those around me on occasion. I have, and you’ll likely experience that same failure at some point in your career. When you start to emphasize taking care of your teammates, every two weeks’ notice becomes a painful reminder that as a leader, there is always more to be done. But just because there’s more to be done, doesn’t mean you can’t start the journey to being a better leader, and treating others right is about as easy a first step as it gets.