Taking a Supportive Leadership Approach

There are many approaches leaders take in their respective positions. They run the gamut from extremely friendly to downright authoritarian. And there are a multitude of reasons these managers decide to interact with their employees a certain way. But research supports a specific approach for success.  

A large amount of data about the U.S. federal government agencies was pulled from multiple sources (including the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and the Enterprise Human Resources Integration Statistical Data Mart), and ultimately 2,023 year-agency observations were used. These had been recorded between 2006 and 2018.

And while the results of analyzing said data are unsurprising, they reinforce a crucial point that all leaders should consider carefully: Creating a supportive climate as a leader in the workplace has been shown to increase the output of employees and dwindle turnover.  But that’s not at all.

Voluntary turnover and a supportive climate affect each other. A supportive climate causes people to resign less frequently. But when people exit in larger numbers, this in turn causes more employees to sense a more unsupportive climate.

The same effect happens to performance. A supportive climate leads to better agency performance perceived by employees. And when an agency’s overall performance is good, employees’ perceptions of a supportive climate are also enhanced.

Here’s another important conclusion from the data: As long as the climate remains positive, employees continue to perform well. In other words, employees don’t get too used to the positive climate and begin to slack. In contrast, they are consistently motivated to work hard and deliver solid results.

If you are a leader who takes an unsupportive approach, or you know one who does, perhaps showing them this research would be worthwhile. It could potentially dial up the output and slow down that revolving door.

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Disclaimer

Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.