How a Leader Can Win the Hearts and Minds of Employees


Getting a pool of talented individuals to stay with your company is not always about the compensation package. Sure, it’s nice to get good pay and benefits, but what employees really want is to grow in the organization, brew friendships, and be inspired by their bosses. Many employees will want to stay and wait for a company’s success instead of leaving for greener pastures because the camaraderie and teamwork there have a profound impact on their lives.

It’s true that when your work doesn’t feel like work anymore, then that’s when you know you’re happy with your career. But it’s tricky to get there and even trickier to be the one to have to inspire employees to get to that point of contentment and satisfaction. You don’t only have to be a good leader, but you also have to be an inspiring one.

Put Employees at the Core of What You Do

The path to contentment with work isn’t easy, but if you know where to look, you’ll have a good chance of being the leader your employees need you to be. Putting them at the core of your leadership strategy is a good first step.

SMRT Chairman, Seah Moon Ming is one such example. He resigned from his job to deal with problems at SMRT. Even when he was met with criticisms, he focused on making sure his employees don’t feel like they are 100% to blame for the company’s troubles. Instead, Mr. Seah said that playing the blame game doesn’t help anyone. And while the company has to deal with who is at fault in certain problems, the main thing to do is solve the problem on hand.

Invest in Good Employee Experience

woman sitting on the chair

Make sure that your current and prospective employees have a good experience with your company. It starts with the recruitment process. A survey showed that only 9% of prospective employees are actually getting hired but that doesn’t mean you should forget about the experience of the other 91%. They could be your future employees or clients.

They want, more than anything else, a seamless experience. For Millennials and Generation Z, for example, they want the organization to use technology in the application process. The lack of technology in the recruitment process will turn them off. Retaining employees will also demand that employers use good amenities in the office to make them want to stay.

Be Compassionate

Not all employees are perfect. At the same time, employers aren’t perfect, too. Learn to admit to your faults and demand the same from your employees. This will build trust and once trust is there, it becomes easier to show compassion for what your employees are going through. For example, an employee lost a beloved pet. Under normal circumstances, this would not merit a paid leave from work. But if you trust that the employee truly feels desolate about losing a furry friend, then compassion is easily given.

When employees know that you care about them, you will have an easier time dealing with them. They’ll also be more patient with your faults. The loyalty will slowly build from this point on.

Listen to Their Woes

Never underestimate your employees’ feedback. Whether it’s about work or a co-worker, make sure to lend your ears to their woes. It’s important to listen to what problems they are encountering in the workplace. Not only should you solve these issues, but it will also open your eyes to the problems brewing in your organization.

Never let an issue rest without knowing why it happened and how it was resolved. You should know even the littlest issue in the workplace. You should not meddle in it, but you need an idea of why things are happening in your office.

Be a Flexible Boss

This is figuratively and literally. Be the kind of employer that knows how to bend from time to time. If it is to please your employees, then show that you’re willing to be a cool boss for them. At the same time, allowing them to work with flexible hours will be the quickest route to winning their hearts. This will win you brownie points instantly.

Whenever you make decisions in the company, think about your employees. What’s going to be the best for them? What will make them happy? How will you compensate them not through money but little perks like an extra paid leave? The moment you start thinking about their welfare is the moment you win over their hearts.

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