When Employees Publicly Praise a Leader

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

When my team made working remotely a permanent choice, it was clear we didn’t need the office anymore nor the extra furniture that didn’t fit in our homes. My daughter is a master of Facebook Marketplace and was getting requests for office chairs within a few minutes of posting. Our once many happy manager chairs filled offices and a conference room but sat in storage. Now they are going off to replace home and office furniture beaten down by months of COVID.

One happy buyer bought a black, high-backed manager chair for home. When she came to pick it up, we got to talking about her work. She spontaneously mentioned how much she appreciates her principal, superintendent, and the overall leadership culture of her school district. Although they face challenges like anyone else, they navigate them gracefully — together — as a part of a team.

These leaders have figured out how to balance high expectations with strong relationships in a way that maintains trust and a joy in belonging to the team. She gave examples of several leaders and what she appreciates about them. They have inspired her to continue bringing her best to the students and staff she serves even after many exhausting months of trying to hit a moving target.

Her easy going, natural sharing about in this school community was refreshing and moving at the same time. She described what it was like to experience how they

  • related to people
  • lived out their core purpose and united people around a cause
  • brought out the best in people, even in conflict
  • handled tough times in a very human and strategic way

Listening to this employee talk about her work so naturally and so positively made me wonder how my team talks about me to their friends and neighbors. Have you wondered what employees in your workplace describe what it’s like to work with you? It’s one of the most influential PR messages your school, business, or non-profit has… the candid vote of confidence from the people who know it best.

It’s not a popularity contest. It’s a clear indication that your workplace culture is healthy and resilient when your team naturally supports it in public. What are you doing each day to make people who know your employees feel compelled to apply to the next job posting? This may be a pipeline of talent that becomes a gift that keeps on giving.