In the business world, a transformation is the process of inducing profound change, taking the organization in a new direction to achieve a higher level of effectiveness. That sounds ideal for operating in today’s marketplace where change is a constant, meaning your business needs flexible and adaptable leaders. Transformational leaders are better leaders who know how to develop an engaged workforce in which employees are personally motivated and inspired to do excellent work through the internalization of business values and goals.
In their book “Transformational Leadership,” business scholars Bernard Bass and Ronald Riggio define this leadership style as one that helps followers grow and develop through personal empowerment and the alignment of the goals and objectives of the followers, leaders, the group and the organization as a whole. It is the ultimate employee engagement strategy for developing a union proof culture because it ensures sustainable engagement practices.
Enthusiastic About the Future
One of the most important tenets of staying union free is developing an engaged workforce in which each employee feels connected to the organization, shares its vision and understands the value of the work done. Unions find the easiest pathway into any business is through employees who are disgruntled or disengaged and believe management does not care about them as people. An engaged workforce is much less likely to listen to union representatives because employees believe the employer treats them fairly, cares about their personal and work concerns, and allows opportunities to fulfill their potential.
From this perspective, developing transformational leadership is an important step in union proofing an organization, because it develops an engaged and inspired workforce that is able to manage change and believes it can achieve great things. Employees are enthusiastic about the future. Such a workforce is more adaptable to a volatile business environment where change is a constant and frequently leads to people to feeling insecure about their jobs.
Inspiration Rather Than Perspiration
Transformational leaders are better leaders because they inspire employees through example rather than focusing on supervision and compliance, which is what transactional leaders do. There are four elements of transformational leadership: individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and idealized influence. The leaders motivate employees to perform at a higher level through a well-managed change process. When organizations go through change, such as downsizing or reorganizing or facing new competition, it is easy for employees to disengage from the process when they believe their jobs are threatened or their input is ignored.
The transformational leader demonstrates real concern for the needs and feelings of employees and encourages them to be innovative and creative, a key tenet of engaging employees. The leader owns problems, accepts responsibility for change, educates and trains employees, and involves employees in problem solving and idea creation. Employee development and training, effectively delivered through eLearning tools, are integral to change management.
Effective Communication at Core of Transformational Leadership
If you have developed transformational leadership, your managers and supervisors are naturally keeping your business union free. The leader stays in close contact with employees, giving them individualized consideration, and understands what employees are feeling, needing and wanting in order to do the best job possible. A main component of transformational leadership is effective communication, because it requires being able to listen to employee concerns and respond in a way that helps the employee think creatively, see the big picture and rethink how they do their work, all within the context of working towards common goals.
Transformational leaders are not born. They are made through leadership training, and every organization, including yours, needs them.