In today's diverse landscape of leadership qualities, from having strong communication skills to being a powerful strategist, one quality stands out as a priority in leadership - demonstrating genuine care for your employees.

An effective leader is someone who inspires, empowers, and guides the entire team toward achieving shared goals, while cultivating a positive and caring company culture. Through leading by example and demonstrating empathy and concern towards your employees, you create a healthy work environment where they feel valued and appreciated. Your leadership approach can have a positive impact to job satisfaction, employee engagement and overall productivity.

employees want to work for a boss who cares about them
employees want to work for a boss who cares about them

This article explores the importance of prioritising employee well-being. We also delve into the leadership behaviours and skills that employees appreciate and respect, as well as the ways you can identify mental health issues and foster good wellbeing in the workplace.

why leaders should care about wellbeing at work

Deloitte found that companies can generate a return of almost $6 for every $1 invested in supporting employees through targeted measures and interventions.

Additionally, a study by the Queen’s School of Business and Gallup reveals that disengaged workers experience 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. This emphasises the critical role of employee well-being in optimising productivity.

Caring for your employees is not just a choice but a fundamental duty. Demonstrating effective leadership behaviours and skills while expressing genuine concern for your employees is essential for their well-being and employee morale. For the business, employees who are happy and content are also known to be more productive and committed team players.

5 leadership behaviours that show employees you care

Here are the 5 leadership traits of an employer who cares for their employees’ well-being. 

effective leadership qualities
effective leadership qualities

1. set clear directions and achievable goals

Providing clear directions ensures that employees have a good understanding of their responsibilities, reducing confusions and doubts. When employees understand their roles and are able to meet their work expectations, they experience greater job satisfaction when they complete a task.

Achievable organisational goals empowers employees to manage their time and priorities efficiently, bolstering their confidence in their ability to succeed.

2. invest in upskilling your employees

According to the 2023 Employer Brand Research, 83% of respondents in Malaysia said upskilling and re-skilling is important to them, but only 61% received opportunities to do so.

While training and employee development requires time and resources, it’s important for leaders to invest in employees' growth through mentorships, training, skill development, and career advancement opportunities. By providing courses to enhance their essential hard and soft skills, you empower your employees to excel in their roles and advance toward their career goals, showing your commitment to their personal growth and professional future.

Proficient employees are able to complete tasks quickly and accurately, which help them feel a sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction. This in turn leads to increased productivity and positive outcomes for the organisation.

With the newfound skills and spare time they have, employees can take on additional projects, brainstorm innovative ideas, tackle long-standing issues or focus on self-improvement.

3. take time to listen to your workforce

Active listening shows employees that their voices are valued, creating a positive and supportive work environment. It's a key skill for leaders in maintaining a happy and productive team, and helping everyone feel heard and appreciated.

Typically, when workplace conflicts or work issues reach a leader’s ears, they may have already been escalated to a serious degree. Employees often hesitate to bring up problems to their bosses due to fears of consequences or helplessness, which is often rooted in negative experiences with unsupportive managers.

Leaders who genuinely care should encourage employees to share their concerns. An open-door policy facilitates meaningful discussions, enabling leaders to offer guidance and support. This makes employees feel valued, heard and respected.

4. support a good work-life balance

Good leadership qualities involve recognising that work-life balance is essential for employees' happiness and productivity. To support this, leaders should set clear expectations, encourage employees to disconnect after work, and offer access to mental health resources.

Providing options like flexible work schedules, remote work, or compressed workweeks demonstrates your commitment to addressing their individual needs and promoting a balanced life.

5. acknowledge and reward excellence

Effective leadership involves recognising and rewarding team members for their accomplishments. This can range from bonuses or promotions to simple gestures like verbal praise and expressing gratitude for their contributions and hard work.

Consistently acknowledging and appreciating your employees' efforts not only boosts morale but also underscores your commitment to their success and the value you place on their work. When employees feel like their contributions are making a difference to the business, they feel more inclined to stay in their jobs and continue making a difference in their roles.

identifying mental health issues to support employees

Not all employees will openly share their challenges, especially personal ones. Emotional intelligence is crucial in helping you recognise if employees are going through a difficult time and require extra support. Mental health is a prevalent concern, and leaders should be vigilant in recognising signs of distress, such as changes in behaviour, mood or performance.

Perhaps an employee is yawning or sighing more than usual because of lack of sleep, or excusing themselves from meetings and work frequently.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action and provide support. Initiate conversations with open-ended questions, such as "how are you feeling?" or "how is your family?" Using active listening, give your employees the space and support needed to share their concerns. Most importantly, you should not downplay their emotions, as everyone deals with situations differently and you may not have the full story.

Offer flexible working hours, access to mental health resources, or simply a supportive conversation to demonstrate your care and create a positive work environment.

your managers and senior executives need training too

Leaders need support just as much as employees do. Creating a positive workplace culture starts with leaders setting a positive example. It's imperative to equip leaders and senior executives with the skills required to care for their employees effectively.

Providing leadership training for future leaders and senior executives is as important as providing employee initiatives to foster a supportive work environment.

Leaders need to develop skills to set clear and achievable expectations, listen actively and know how they can provide support to their employees. Developing these strong leadership skills is a critical part of nurturing a good work-life balance in your organisation.

hire your next leader by tapping into the randstad network
hire your next leader by tapping into the randstad network

hire your next leader with randstad

A diverse management team with a range of leadership styles and skills fosters a more inclusive and secure work environment. This not only elevates your employer brand but also reassures employees that you prioritise their development and overall well-being.

If you're looking to diversify your leadership team, consider partnering with us. Randstad’s Executive Search talent solution can connect you with future leaders who are not only a great job fit but also a cultural fit, propelling your organisation to new heights.

By enhancing leadership behaviours that demonstrate genuine care for employees, you can create a workplace that values and supports your team, leading to increased well-being, job satisfaction and productivity.

Alternatively, if you are a job seeker looking for meaningful work and a company with a positive culture, visit our latest job posts. Apply for a job and achieve your long-term goals.

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