Micro Influence Factors: Make Them Feel Seen, Make Them Feel Valued
Updated: Feb 1, 2022
The influence ecosystem helps us understand how every individual in a company has some level of accountability for fostering engagement inside the organization.
Our last blog discussed the macro influence: the culture created by CEOs and senior leaders in a company.
The macro culture is usually consistent for all the employees within the organization. Every employee in the company operates under the same goals, the same strategic vision, and the same senior leadership team charting the course.
Where the environment and experience for your employees truly varies is at the micro influence level.
Individual managers create a distinct micro culture for every single team inside an organization.
Consider a team that shows up to work every day with a manager who is positive and accountable.
She checks in with her employees, asks about their families, shows she cares about them as individuals. She helps direct the entire team towards the same common goals and holds the people accountable in their performance, attitude and behavior. She's an effective leader who makes people want to work hard for her and the company.
On another team in the same organization, we see a leader who is erratic and inconsistent with the way she shows up every day. She is quick to point out mistakes and be punitive, and like many toxic leaders, she often rushes to judgment rather than rushing to curiosity. It’s a struggle for her direct reports to give their all to the company when they’re just trying to avoid being the target of her negative behavior.
These examples tell of two very different experiences on different teams with different managers. One leader helps their team feel excited, energized, and ready to contribute. The other makes their team exhausted and demotivated. Instead of being able to show up with your entire self every day… you're just trying to survive. This is the impact individual leaders can have on the micro culture inside an organization.
We measure the micro culture in every organization to help companies better understand the health of their individual teams. The lowest scoring micro-level question for all our CultureID survey participants is “My supervisor takes time each week to acknowledge me for work well done.”
There are two important facets to this question: timing and content.
“My supervisor takes time each week…” Effective leaders understand the importance of a regular cadence of acknowledgment. When positive interactions between a direct supervisor and their employees happen weekly, employees know they are seen and valued by their supervisor. They are more likely to feel that they matter and the work they are doing matters. Regular acknowledgement helps people know how they are contributing to the team and that they are a valued part of the organization.
“...to acknowledge me for work well done.”
Regular communication pushes managers to notice and comment on small levels of discretionary effort. A strong leader tries to pay attention to everyday interactions where their employees step up and model a core value, provide excellent team support, or simply bring a good attitude to the team.
It’s easy to focus only on the big wins, but small daily behaviors demonstrated consistently over time is really what your culture is made of. Significant output and big wins are great, but don’t miss the little ways your employees take ownership for how they service their clients, help one another or behave in ways that are positive and accountable.
Ask yourself: How are the small actions recognized inside my team?
The act of acknowledgement is as simple as commenting on what you see.
But the feeling of acknowledgement is more profound than the face value of what you say to your people.
Everything you say as a positive affirmation of who your employees are and what they're doing helps them feel seen and valued. This is one of the most foundational needs of human beings: to feel seen and appreciated in their work.
If you want to make an impact in the micro culture of your team, show up for them. Be accountable to your employees and acknowledge them for the ways they work for you and alongside you every single day.
Beyond regular acknowledgement, there are a number of elements that make up the micro culture of your organization. In CultureID, we measure 11 distinct factors that tap into this vital aspect of your employees' experience. The micro culture hits closest to home for employees, as it's their most direct daily interactions that can make or break how someone feels at work.
We need to help equip leaders with the skills to lead so their employees can truly thrive when they show up to work every day.
How effective are the leaders across your organization at fostering engagement in their own teams? Where are your pockets of excellence and which of your teams need support right away?
Our survey gathers these metrics for you. Get the data, training, and skills you need to help your employees, and your company, thrive. If you want to better understand and equip your leaders with the effective skills to lead, schedule a demo of CultureID. We can’t wait to work with you!