I remember the first time an employer made an impression on me.
While at my university, I was hired to assist in the Career Development Center. Strangely enough, I didn’t yet have my eye on a profession in Human Resources, rather I had a personal connection to the director. When I thought about potential on-campus employment, the center had a draw for me, as I was detail oriented and the hours worked well around my social life.
Monda Alexander was the director, someone who I had known since childhood. She was the type of person who cared deeply about getting things right, and upheld extremely high standards for running her department.
I did most of the routine things for an on-campus position. I entered data on the computer, sorted paperwork, helped organize career fairs and other student events. I also had the tedious task of organizing the career binders for prospective employers, who would make visits on campus, could flip through resumes for the graduating seniors (computers, while in use, were still not used for EVERYTHING when I was in college).
While printing and punching holes one day, Monda called me in her office, and did some coaching. I was a bit of a sloppy puncher, and some of my binders had turned out mismatched and hard to flip through.
She acknowledged that what I was doing seemed tedious, and we didn’t use the binders frequently. However, it was important that we set the correct tone with the professional-looking binders. Resumes displayed well would leave a lasting impression on the employer and potentially would lead to more hires. She took the time to show me how to properly assemble the binders.
There was ZERO shame in the correction. She showed empathy and took the time to teach me how to execute the task correctly. She also praised me when the product improved in the following days.
She took the time to tell me WHY the task was so important. Seeing my disconnect with the importance, she directly challenged the importance of getting it right the first time and how it could lead to impactful results.
As managers, it’s important to remember that even the smallest opportunities can lead to rich feedback. Infusing a connection with the vision and mission of the company in everyday activities can lead to higher engagement and overall commitment to the organization.
It’s also critical to recognize where someone is for the task they are performing. Are they excited about it or is it a mundane task that they are dreading? What is their confidence level for performing the task? The Situational Leadership® Model that helps take the guess work out of powerful influence.
It can make an impact on employees that will last for years to come.
Want to help push your business in the right direction to make that lasting impact? Are you seeking to empower leaders at all levels with your organization? J Prater Consulting is a Trainer Partner of CLS, the home of the Situational Leadership® Model. We offer virtual, blended and in person training options. Want to learn more about how we can tailor a solution for your team? Schedule your discovery call here.