By J. Luigi L. Bautista
For those who know me, it is not at all a secret that by nature, I am a shy person. Hindi lingid sa kanila na ako ay ‘introvert’. However, as I progressed and developed into leadership roles, I slowly learned to step out of my comfort zone and interact with co-workers in NLEX.
I go out of my way to visit the different locations of NLEX and SCTEX. My purpose? To see them in action at work, to simply say ‘thank you’ for their hard work, and to know how they are doing, whether in work or personal life.
And so, when asked: How important are leaders’ roles in engaging employees? I would answer by borrowing a quote from the book Nine Lies about Work by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall: “Leading and following are not abstractions. They are human interaction; human relationships.” So, the important role of a leader in engaging employees starts with human interaction and relationships.
Leaders play an essential role in getting to know their teams. A simple, “kumusta ka?” or “how can I help” can go a long way for our teammates or co-workers to be recognized when we see and encounter them at work.
Spending time with our team and getting to know them will influence the team’s engagement in their job and improve performance. Let us develop these working relationships, regardless of where we are in the company’s organizational structure.
This year, we are launching a new leadership brand ‘LEADS’ which stands for:
- Leading through empowerment
- Empathize by listening to the team
- Actively coach the team
- Develop employees
- Support employee well-being
As you can see, the identified leadership behavior revolves around seeing other people grow.
All of us are leaders. Unfortunately, many people believe that if they aren’t in the top position on the organizational chart or haven’t been named the head of their team, they don’t see themselves as leaders. For me, this belief clearly represented a missed opportunity for everyone – for individuals as well as for our organization.
For NLEX to thrive in the face of workplace challenges, we need leadership at every level of the organization: top-down, side-to-side, and bottom-up. We can start that by looking at ourselves as leaders and by cultivating an engaging relationship with our NLEX co-workers. It may be uncomfortable at first but act anyway. Let us effect that change and make an impact in the workplace.