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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a leadership development expert and author of Contagious Leadership and newly released, Make Difficult People Disappear.

Are you tailoring your leadership or is it on auto-pilot?

The days of “Do it because I said so” are long gone. Employees want you to care in the way they want. They want to “have it their way” even when not in line at Burger King and here are three reasons why.

Everything is Customized

From the music on your iTunes, to the smart phone right for you, to the taste of your favorite Dorito, the world is moving toward customization. Auto dealers customize their mailings. Fast food joints make the burger you want. Even hospitals are starting to perceive the need for a patient experience with Nemours Children’s Hospital allowing you to change the color of light on the balcony of your room. The world has gone customized and people expect it from those they seek service. Employees seek your guidance and development and they’re beginning to expect you to tailor it to their tastes or they’ll find someone who will.

Customization is More Motivating

While we know there are four kinds of recognition and we know there are four different personalities we are still biased to deliver to others what we would like to have. If you want employees to listen, learn, and do as you ask, speaking the language they understand will motivate them to do so as they’ll believe you “get them”. This increases respect, loyalty, and their urgent action in response to your request.

Leads to More Loyalty

If an employee feels as if you “get them” and understand who they are and what they need, they are more likely to be loyal and stay long term. If they feel like they’re just part of another group and one of the crowd, the tendency to slip “out the back” or slow down with no one noticing becomes a factor. When they know you’re engaged, interested, and invested in them and leading them in the way they need, they’ll feel greater loyalty to meeting your needs and to communicating with you if there is a problem that might impede their performance.

As much as we’d like to make leadership easy and automatic, it just doesn’t work as well when put on auto-pilot. Thinking through what you’re doing and for whom will pay big dividends in your ability to develop employees who stay longer, produce more, and complain less. Customizing your leadership is one way to keep it a conscious effort that you think about before you deliver and that they regard as a reason to stay even more engaged in their own performance.

I’m Monica Wofford, and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!

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