How to Humanize Leadership?

When it comes to determining strategies for competing in today’s global market, decision-makers hardly mention the need for human-centric leadership. Seldom do people realize the importance of leadership itself, let alone humanize it.

But now is the time, when top-level executives should start considering the human factor that is instrumental in driving an organization’s success. For an economy to truly thrive in this highly dynamic business environment, the process of humanizing leadership should compulsorily be taken into consideration, be it on an industrial or corporate level.

A shift in the Paradigm

Since the beginning of 21st century, not much has changed when it comes to organizational frameworks and perceptions. But now, many executive leaders are turning their attention beyond the confines of traditional models. In that process, they have realized that the need of the hour is to incorporate a holistic approach towards leadership and advocate its practice until it is successfully assimilated into the bloodline of organizational framework.

From Mechanistic to Organic View

To incorporate a holistic view of an organization, one needs to approach it as a living organism, where the functional output of the whole is dependent on the proper functioning of its parts. And since manpower constitute the most important resource of an organization, it is extremely vital, therefore, to render an end-to-end workforce leadership in every possible aspect. Employees can no longer be treated as mechanistic means of production if an organization truly wishes to succeed.

How the ‘Systems View of Organization’ advocates Humanitarian Leadership

To acknowledge and realize the importance of the organizational workforce, managers need to understand how optimum motivation and mental drive help employees in gearing up for challenges. The eminent Austrian scholar Fritjof Capra in his two seminal works ‘The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision’ and ‘The Hidden Connections’ points out how an organic holistic view of life can foster a healthy environment as opposed to the reductionist hierarchical view that disregards the effect of parts on the whole. When applied at the organizational level, one finds that human resource form a vital component of the organizational physiology that has a direct impact on the efficiency and final output.

What are the effective ways of Humanizing Leadership?

Many organizations have realized that monetary rewards can no longer be treated as a means of employee motivation. With the ever-increasing number of millennials in today’s workforce, organizations need to cultivate humanitarian leadership to truly endure in the long run. Following are some of the effective means that managers and executive leaders can employ to humanize leadership:

1. Equality & Diversity
Any humanized organization promotes equality and diversity in the workplace. To ensure that, leaders should set up a committee that advocates equitable hiring. Jobs should be offered to a diverse pool of qualified aspirants including women, cross-border personnel, minorities amongst others, and managers should consider their applications with equality and unbiased outlook.

2. Open Communication
Effective communication is the key to successful leadership. Unlike the hierarchical model that creates a communication gap between different levels of management, humanitarian leadership aims to reduce this gap and conduct a fair exchange of information between the associate and executive level. Open communication also motivates employees to participate in conferences, share their take on projects and issues as well as play significant roles in higher levels of decision making.

3. Listening to Employees
Effective leadership is defined not only by how well leaders strategize goals and guide the organization towards them, but also how well they listen to employees. This not only strengthens employee-leader communication, but also instils trust in the employees towards their higher management. When leaders lend them their ears, the intricacies of organizational functions are transparently communicated to the higher management that would have otherwise remained unaddressed. Not only that, a higher level of trust enables leaders to rely on employees and delegate different challenges to them, thus further increasing the workflow efficiency.

4. Millennial Paradigm
The percentage of millennials in the organizational workforce is only increasing with time. The way they perceive work-life balance is far different from that of the older generations. According to a study conducted by Fidelity Investments, more than 50% of millennial employees opt for work-life quality over financial rewards. Another study indicates a rapid upsurge among millennials for the need to gain international work exposure.

The GBS Outlook

Designed with strong global biases, a significant part of Globsyn’s PGPM-IB programme is dedicated to providing students with an interwoven experience of leading a global lifestyle by spending a portion of their study life at an international location, where they would not only be exposed to dedicated sessions covering global case studies, but will also get to execute projects in real time. This, coupled with the mission to transform young minds into becoming responsible leaders and imbibe human values through care for society activities (under the under the aegis of Kalyani Youth Leadership Forum of the B-School’s Beyond Education vertical), GBS ingests the spirit of humanitarian leadership in young minds.