Transformational Leaders and Employees

Posted on May 23, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Take a minute to think about the leaders at your organization. What are the characteristics that define each leader? Is there one key quality that sticks out or is it a combination of qualities? It is no surprise that transformational leaders can have a very positive impact on employees within an organization.

The most inspiring transformational leaders bring about positive impacts on the employees that they lead. According to Kovjanic, Schuh, Jonas, Quaquebeke, and Van Dick (2012), the most influential leaders are those that anticipate the needs of their followers and work to satisfy those needs. Depending on particular situations organizations may find themselves in this may mean something as simple as being an advocate for change.

All employees at an organization have the need for acceptance and perceived competence. In other words, employees want to be told they are doing well and that someone is noticing their hard work. Leaders are truly transformational when they are sensitive to these needs and make sure that employees feel they are appreciated.

Based on the jobs I had in high school and college I had the opportunity to work with one true transformational leader. The difference between this manager and others at different jobs for me was the ability of the leader to relate to employees. While it is always important for managers not to blur the levels of manager and subordinate, there is something to be said for those managers that can relate to employees. The researchers also agree that a leader’s ability to relate to others has a direct impact on the performance and self-esteem of employees.

What do you believe are the keys to transformational leaders having a positive impact on employees?

Reference: Kovjanic, S., Schuh, S., Jonas, K., Quaquebeke, N., & Van Dick, R. (2012). How do transformational leaders foster positive employee outcomes? A self-determination-based analysis of employees’ needs as mediating links. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33, 1031-1052.

TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

About TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Great companies know that it takes highly engaged employees to retain customers and make their brand promise come alive. To make the connection between your employees, customers and brand, you need a partner with deep expertise across several areas. Only KANTAR TNS has over two decades of employee survey experience, as well as access to the consultative and research resources of the world’s largest customer satisfaction benchmark database and brand analytics research. Whether you have 200 employees or 200,000, Kantar TNS has the expertise and the advanced measurement, reporting, and follow up tools you need to deliver on your employee and customer brand promise.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Kathy Razzi June 20, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Hi Gail,

    I think it is very rare when leaders/managers can relate to their subordinates in such a way that they can be friendly while maintaining his or her authority. I’m sure that’s something to be learned in management courses.

    Throughout my own career, I’ve had both good and bad managers. The good managers were not necessarily the most friendly and the bad were too friendly at times. I think a good example of this is when a grade-school teacher starts his or her first day on the job. If he or she puts themselves on the level of their students, they will never gain control of their classroom. This has been noted by teachers for years. Once you let go, it’s too hard to get back that control. However, for both managers (leaders) and teachers, there must be some sort of balance. If you rule with an iron fist, you scare a lot of people away, and they don’t want to work for you, and if you’re too soft, or lenient, the leader or teacher suffers in the end by being taken advantage of.

    Indeed, finding that middle ground is tricky and perhaps to some leaders it comes naturally. There are some leaders, just by virtue of they way the look or speak, makes people want to follow them. For others, while they have the skills to lead, may sometimes lack the ability or personality which draws people to WANT to follow them.

    Good blog!


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