Some jobs by their very nature seem more meaningful than others. But really, all jobs are meaningful. All companies serve their customers, but in the convenience store industry, leaders must first serve their employees, who are the ones in position to make a real difference on your bottom line.
Great leaders create an environment where employees feel valued, and this is what connects them to purpose. That was the key message from author Quint Studer in his new book, “The Busy Leader’s Handbook.”
Yet, many companies tend to promote work environments where an employee is more likely to hear about their work when there is a problem. It is assumed that the impact of work is obvious, and because of that, leaders are not taking time to emphasize to each worker the why of their job and the important contribution it makes.
These and many other leadership issues will be discussed in September at the seventh annual Young Executives Organization (YEO) Conference, which is now combined with the 2020 NAG Conference in Charlotte. As the convenience store and petroleum industry continues to evolve, training the leaders of tomorrow is more important than ever. That’s the driving force behind YEO.
This is not an easy industry for young professionals. In addition to learning the business, they are faced with other daunting challenges such as learning to negotiate with vendors, manage employees who can be much older than they are and, perhaps most importantly, make connections with experienced professionals who can help them navigate the rocky terrain.
This is where YEO is helping c-store chains of all sizes. The association provides young executives a platform to demonstrate their leadership abilities and vision for the future.
Numbers Don’t Lie
According to Studer, 53% of workers wish they had more insight into the effect their contributions have on their company’s success. Further, there’s a disconnect illustrating that, while leaders may think they’re doing a good job of helping employees understand their company’s purpose, they really aren’t.
A 2019 Deloitte survey found:
- 47% of executives strongly agree that they can identify with their company’s purpose, compared to just 30% of employees.
- 44% of executives say leaders set an example of living that company’s purpose. Only 25% of employees agree.
- 38% of leaders say their organization’s purpose is clearly communicated, compared to 31% of employees.
Numbers like these make it clear: It is the job of the leader to take time on a regular basis to help each employee understand the importance of their role and the impact it has on the organization. While the contribution made by the worker may seem obvious, the leader needs to help them connect the dots, Studer said.
To accomplish this, he provided tips such as:
- Explain to each employee in the company how what they do impacts customers and co-workers.
- Connect with customers and share that you like to recognize your team members. Ask customers directly which team members they would like you to recognize and why.
- Ask recognized employees who is helping them behind the scenes. Then, share that message with the team.
- Share meaningful stories every chance you get to show everyone you are listening and appreciate their work.
These are simple tweaks, but they go a long way in making employees feel valued. For young leaders, these are tips they might not be getting themselves in the office. That’s why networking with other young executives is so important.
There is nothing quite like going to work every day at a company filled with people who are fueled by a true passion for what they do. It makes every day a learning experience, an adventure and a path for personal and professional growth. To learn more or register for the 2020 YEO Conference, visit YEOconference.com.
For any questions about this issue or suggestions for future issues, please contact me at [email protected].
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 YEO Conference, originally scheduled for May 4-7 in Nashville, will be rolled into the 2020 NAG Conference, Sept. 13-16 in Charlotte. The CBD Retail Trends Conference will transition to a two-part webinar series May 6-7.