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CareersWhen asked what kind of manager they want to work for, employee answers usually indicate a preference for supervisors who are empathetic, supportive and encourage subordinates to enhance their skill sets and take advantage of growth opportunities. In other words, employees are more loyal to a manager who genuinely ‘cares’ about them.

This makes the Care and Growth Leadership Model, developed by Etsko Schuitema, all the more relevant today. It is based on the philosophy of “creating an environment where people want to work, rather than have to work.” And although the Model was developed 30 years ago, it is used in 17 countries, including Pakistan for the simple reason that Schuitema’s research indicates that managers who adopt a ‘Care and Growth’ leadership style are more likely to maximise employee potential and consistently meet high performance standards even in a recession-ridden economy.

The Care and Growth Leadership Model is based on four parameters: 

1. Providing the means to lead. Leaders who care about their employees foster professional growth among them by avoiding micromanaging and giving employees control over their work. The leadership style focuses on achieving outcomes to empower employees by allowing them to make decisions independently.

2. Holding employees accountable for quality. Empowerment should not be restricted to holding employees responsible only for the results they achieve; instead, they should be held accountable for the quality of their work.

3. Cultivating growth. While accountability and empowerment create a sense of ownership in employees, managers should coach and mentor their employees to cultivate their professional growth. The coaching cycle should include the identification of learning opportunities, assigning tasks that will enable employees to acquire new skills and providing constructive feedback.

4. Giving purpose. Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will lead to purpose-driven performance and organisational excellence will follow automatically. Leaders can observe the progressive positivity arising from the ‘care’ provided in the outstanding productivity levels that will be achieved from passionate employees.

– Sahr Nadeem

The writer is a project coordinator at a multinational company.