Written by Avital Miller
In my twenty years of leading motivational programs, six years of facilitating corporate leadership programs, and over twenty years of being in leadership roles in various organizations and businesses, I have noticed many ways in which people suffer within their jobs, what makes businesses struggle, and what helps them become a success. As our society changes, the way we go about business needs to change. Here are eleven tips to start incorporating or expanding upon in 2024 to meet the demands of today’s business consciousness and increase the livelihood of your company.
1. Revolve Everything Around Your Purpose
When employees know and remember why they are doing what they are doing and believe in the purpose, they get more motivated, increasing their productivity and creativity. It helps everyone stay focused and move in the same direction. It also helps us avoid sweating the small stuff when we know our higher mission. This idea is not anything new, but what we will notice is that our customers and clients will see through agendas of greed more easily and focus on investing in the businesses that have good intentions with higher vibing employees.
Many employees’ loyalty to a company revolves around the vision, not a pension plan. Make sure your staff knows and is reminded of your top goals.
2. Foster Emotional Intelligence in Managers
Traditionally, people get hired into leadership roles by getting promoted for doing a good job within a company. These people often have not been trained nor have experience with the emotional intelligence it takes to nurture and motivate a team.
These are not skills directly taught in school. Companies need to jump on the bandwagon and cultivate people skills in their leaders lest they want to risk “low productivity, stunted innovation, and an uninspired workforce,” according to Harvard Business Review. This is also not a new concept, but employees will not stand to be mistreated any more. Now that more managers are utilizing better people skills, employees will focus on working in places where they feel inspired by their leaders.
People are four times less likely to leave their jobs if they have an emotionally intelligent manager. Emotional Intelligence contributes to 58% of success and will be 26% more likely to be a requirement for jobs by 2030.#1
3. Establish a Healthy Workload
Almost EVERY person I meet in the U.S. says they have the most stressful job. Stop overworking your employees. Stop asking each person to do five people’s jobs. Stop asking them to work overnight shifts unless necessary for your industry, such as hospitals. We have shifted to living to work instead of working to live. Companies need to find more efficient tools, less greed, and another way to structure themselves financially so their health can truly be a long-term career and they have the work-life balance to come back to work each day refreshed and ready to start again. The American Institute of Stress reports that “83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress, US businesses lose up to $300 billion yearly as a result of workplace stress, and stress causes around one million workers to miss work every day.”#2 This system will not sustain itself. We have to find another way to give people better work-life balance and ease while at work.
4. Amplify Success Magnetism
“A Gallup survey found that 67% of employees whose managers focused on their strengths were fully engaged in their work, as compared to only 31% of employees whose managers focused on their weaknesses.”#3 People are likely to remember the negative feedback that you gave them and associate you with negativity. The common standards of behavior that we have set for business in the US are based on a belief, and sometimes research, of what we believe will produce the productivity and success we want. They are not based on humans’ inherent nature created by God. Anything that we ask of someone to be different from how they were designed or previously cultivated needs to be recognized as a request for alignment with a certain business paradigm and not as if something is wrong with that person. What we want to do is build success magnetism based on noticing what is working well and inspire more excellence in the behaviors that are not in alignment with how we perceive success will manifest. Thus, scratch your current review system if it involves any negative feedback and focus instead on strength feedback, which reduces turnover by 14.3% #4, and requests of what you or the company wants going forward.
5. Support Employees’ Long-Term Goals
93% of employees are likely to stay in their jobs if they receive support in their career development. #5
Upon leading my corporate leadership programs, I very quickly realized that supervisors are not having conversations with their staff about the employee’s long-term goals. This should be a conversation before hiring someone, so you have a good idea of their likelihood to work for you long term. When people know you are investing in them and not just the company, not only does it reduce turnover, but it also makes reviews easier. If reviews are performed not just for the benefit of what the company wants but also in support of the employee’s goals, they are more likely to listen and, in turn, invest in making those changes. Thus, you end up creating a cycle of higher employee satisfaction leading to greater productivity, as research shows happy employees are 20% more productive.#6
6. Neutralize Gender Pronouns
I encourage us all to be respectful of the pronouns people request us to use for them. Also, keep in mind that defining ourselves can lead to new group discrimination. It can keep people in their minds while conversing instead of being natural due to needing heavy thought to change lifelong patterns and create new associations for each individual. When we lose a natural flow in conversation, we can lose heart connection and creativity. We also will never know what gender someone identifies as when first meeting them.
People constantly shift between their masculine and feminine energies as well, and which one should we address in each moment? Suppose we train ourselves to use vocabulary that does not specify gender. In that case, we can avoid accidentally offending someone, can become natural in our language usage once it becomes a new habit, and just be who we are in each moment without needing to define ourselves.
7. Let Women Be Women
Speaking of gender specifications, when the feminist movement came out and opened the doors for more women to enter the workplace, many assumed a masculine disposition in order to do so. Qualities often associated with being feminine, like being emotional and unstructured, get frowned upon and are considered unproductive.
What is someone, whether man or woman, with a lot of feminine energy to do in the workplace who has something of value to offer but needs to do it differently? The 2023 Barbie movie showed a great demonstration of what happens when women take on some of the behaviors men have performed and then, in turn, when men copy many modern male behaviors.
Neither of those systems made everyone happy. If we can start exploring how we can be feminine and productive in the workplace, I feel we will find access to wisdom we would have otherwise shut out.
The feminine emotion is built around making sure our moral standards are high and we have a great understanding of those around us. The lack of structure also opens up space for creativity and being in more alignment with what is trying to happen in each moment.
8. Ask, “What is Trying to Happen?”
Just as feminine energy shifts in response to what is happening in each moment, ever hear the quote, “Man plans, and God laughs?” What happened with all of the goals we put into place going into 2020 that were soon shattered due to our response to COVID-19? What happens when a machine breaks down on the packing line in your plant? What happens when you are told you cannot use the stage you planned to use a week before the big show you are putting on? What happens when you put a lot of energy into hosting your event, and nobody shows up? Making plans is great because it gives us a common goal, a sense of direction, and tools to weather the unexpected quickly.
Life is not meant just for the end goal of what we want to produce. It is also meant for how we live in the process, what we experience, and how we grow. Our path changes as we change. I have a friend who barely has anything on her schedule the day before. She tells her clients to write to her in the morning when they feel they want coaching that day. Then she checks in to see if it also feels right to her and when it would be best that day. That way, if you wake up tired or with a headache, there is no need to force yourself to work when not well or make others struggle with changing plans.
As I was planning for 2020, I felt an intuition not to plan any in-person events starting in March and just put them online. I barely had to make adjustments when we went into lockdown due to the pandemic. It could have been a lucky guess or me tuning into what was trying to happen. Along with the questions of what you or your company wants, ask, “What is trying to happen?”
9. Bring Customer Service Back to America
Remember the day you would call a company or drop by, and someone knowledgeable about that specific service or product would help you solve your problem? With companies trying to be more economical using automated phone systems and overseas staff, we have ended up with long wait times on the customer support lines, unable to get to the line we want, repeating ourselves multiple times, conversing with someone who does not speak English and understand our culture in the way we do, and again waiting for this person who is not familiar with our product to search for an on-screen prompt that does not actually solve our issue. I am being a bit dramatic by suggesting bringing customer service back to America because I have traveled to twenty-seven countries, all of which I love, and have been spending the winter in Mexico, where I have been receiving much better customer service in the travel, restaurant, and entertainment industry than I have lately in the United States. I feel customers are frustrated and giving up on getting the customer service they need. We have become cheap and lazy trying to support the company more than the client. Suppose we want to continue to be world leaders in business. In that case, we need to satisfy our customers by increasing our customer service quality back to previous American traditions, where it was more highly focused and valued, no matter what country it operates out of.
10. Seek Win-Win Scenarios
It is easy for fear and the desire for security to get to us to create protective measures that can leave us with a slew of red tape, lots of paperwork, and unequal contracts. The pressure of time can push us to make decisions before we have come up with win-win solutions. Why do we end up with contracts like one where the company hiring me can cancel a program I am to lead anytime, no matter how much time I have already invested in planning, without offering me any compensation, but I need to pay a fine to them if I need to cancel last minute? I know of one organization’s board that strongly believes they have not found the truth unless all ten members agree. If they do not come to a unanimous decision, they wait until a future date when discussions do lead to the answer they all believe. Let’s remember to think of the whole, have patience, and create solutions that make people feel supported and excited to work with you.
11. Bring Yourself to Work
You actually cannot not bring yourself to work. We try, though. We act like we do not have emotions, hide them, and keep them private. We use the common term, “It’s not personal.” What I learned from studying Neuro-Linguistic Programming is that the human mind naturally associates anything it hears with itself. Without emotional sincerity, we cannot build trust.#7
I remember the many times I used the drive to work to recover from emotional abuse from my ex-husband so I would not expose anyone else to my emotional turmoil. And I loved what I was doing, so I would quickly get swept up in it. Also, an artist uses their emotions to fuel their craft. We can all be artists in that way.
One day, I could not hold my emotions back. I had left my husband in the middle of the night the night before when he started to get violent. I had to teach yoga early in the morning, and I was the fitness director, so I did not have time to find a sub and could not be the one to let people down. I just kept putting the students in the forward fold so they would not see the tears streaming down my face that I could not control. What would have happened if it was socially and professionally acceptable for me to say, “I am in an awful state this morning. I did not sleep and left my husband in the middle of the night, who started to turn violent.” They likely would have spent a few minutes comforting me, giving me the opportunity to receive their support in exchange for all I offer them. And then they would have suggested I leave to take care of myself, and they could run the class themselves as they were all advanced practitioners.
How often do you have conversations that could go a lot faster if you were willing to spend the first minute listening to someone emote so they could calm down and listen better? How often do people hold grudges and resistance to working harmoniously when they do not take a few minutes to address and resolve their emotional reactions to each other? These are all tools that can be taught and made to be acceptable so we can more easily thrive together.
These eleven tips are meant to help us be clear on what we want to produce and use that to inspire our team and customers. It encourages us to discover how to make business more aligned with what is actually happening and who we are while still surpassing all of our long-term goals of success. And it invokes the ability to approach business from a higher vibration and more positive mindset. These will be important to keep up with as the world’s consciousness rises and the demands of workers and customers go up.
To utilize Avital’s support in various types of corporate leadership, emotional intelligence, and stress management programs, get an introduction to her work here: https://www.avitalmiller.com/speaking
Email her to set up a time to talk at firstname.lastname@example.org.