‘True leadership’ is key to helping employees do their best

by Brett Henebery23 Aug 2017
Mark McPherson is a speaker, trainer and coach specialising in helping CEOs, managers, business owners, consultants and their staff get the best behaviour, communication and performance from people.

McPherson says that while the shifting dynamics of the modern workplace may be complex, individuals and organisations are more connected than they have ever been before.

“We're communicating and interacting with more and more people, in more ways and more are more often than we ever have before,” he told L&D Professional.

“Our company has been able to communicate with people even though they’re not in the same office, city agreement the same country as them.”

As such, McPherson sees a “greater need than ever before to interact and collaborate with others in the best possible way”.

“This is why, although I love helping people handle tough conversations and deal with difficult people, I also love helping people always put their best foot forward and always work together with others in harmony,” he said.

A significant part of achieving this, says McPherson, is for organisations to help employees be enthusiastic in what they do.

“First, make it easy. Make it easy for the learner to attend programs or to otherwise 'receive' what is supposed to be learned – and make it easy for the learner to go over bits they didn't understand, ask questions, and so on,” he said.

“Second, make it enjoyable. No matter what the format, learners need to enjoy the experience. If it means spending a little extra on really nice coffee and bubbly water, do it.”

Next, McPherson said organisations should make learning meaningful for their employees.

“Although some people love learning for the sheer sake of it, most people want to understand why they are being asked to learn something new and what the benefits will be,” he said.

“And fourth, make the program smart – not just nicely presented.”

He added that organisations should use research to make sure learners are able to not just achieve learning outcomes by the end of the program but are able to transfer what they've learned back to the real world where it counts.

McPherson said he sees ‘true leadership’ as helping people to always do their best

“This is where I will be concentrating my efforts in 2018,” he said.

Related stories:
Why L&D is an investment, not just an expense
The key to employee retention is more than perks