How leaders promote the health of their employees


How leaders promote the health of their employees
The requirements for executives are changing

In times of digital change, leaders need to ensure employees stay healthy in body and soul. One of Steinbach & Partner’s Managing Directors, Peter Becker presented this concept at a recent congress of Christian leaders in Karlsruhe. Many used the traditional "transactional leadership style", which among other things, includes setting goals and rewarding performance with salary and bonus payments. The idea behind it: humans are rational beings who only engage when they receive money. 
"Psychology has long since disproved this image of humans and it is also not biblical," Becker said. It assumes that every human being thinks only of himself. Management’s job then, is to exercise power and give instructions. Nevertheless, this leadership style is quite justified, because it has positive effects on performance.

A new world of work needs changed leadership

However, the transactional leadership style is increasingly reaching its limits, because the world of work has massively changed. Through "megatrends" such as flexibilization as well as the demographic and, according to Becker, technological change is increasing customer demands, innovation, and cost pressures. This includes factors such as changing working conditions and often a lifestyle that is characterized by lack of exercise, poor nutrition and declining social support. "Anyone who believes that they can react to these developments with the leadership behavior of yesterday, is on the wrong track," said Becker. We need "transformational leadership", characterized by a leader as a charismatic role model, inspiring motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual appreciation. These elements create an atmosphere in which mistakes are tolerated and employees enjoy their work.

Only "leaders with a heart" can positively influence others

Those who approach the new world of work characterized by uncertainty and complexity only with traditional managerial behavior, suffer. "Many executives stick to what they've been practicing for years - but it's not enough anymore. They are exhausted and experience conflicts. "If they could no longer find answers to their questions of meaning, they almost inevitably fall ill with body and soul. It is also of little use to practice sports and leisure in a "High performance mode of a manager " because you do not really relax. 

Only "leaders with heart” could guide their employees through periods of instability and insecurity. Becker gave tips to learn a new leadership behavior including how each leader should find out what each employee needs individually to get the feeling of being valued, and how to strengthen their own identity and that of each employee.