Employee experience is essential in today’s work environment. The way we experience work impacts our personal growth, our motivation and our interactions with the world around us. Simply put, employee experience impacts everything.

Understanding what motivates our workforce is more important now than ever before. How do they experience their work environment? What are their skills and passions? As their leader, how do you help people thrive? Use these four leadership strategies to create a workplace where employees can flourish.

  1. Build Trust

Building trust requires vulnerability and courage as the leader. Demonstrating vulnerability allows leaders to share times they were wrong and the lessons they learned as a result. When leaders open up, employees feel comfortable sharing their struggles and triumphs as a result. This is how we create trust. Humility can go a long way when leading others.

Building trust also requires a genuine curiosity in the people you lead. Learn what excites, frustrates and fulfills your employees in their work environment. Ask why they chose your company and why they stay. When we dig deeper and ask questions, we learn how to best support our people.

  1. Listen

Listening is a simple concept that most people struggle to master. Constant distractions create an environment where it’s easy to be inattentive as a leader. When someone stops by to speak to you, you may be distracted by incoming emails or upcoming deadlines and respond ineffectively. How are you eroding trust in this moment? Can you listen now or is there a better time to talk later?

Address the situation and avoid distractions in that moment. Plan another time to talk if you can’t give someone your undivided attention. When people feel heard, they are more likely to approach you again in the future when they need your help. Listening builds equity in relationships over time.

  1. Model Growth

To help people flourish, we need to focus on our own growth as leaders, too. Set goals for yourself and your work in order to model the importance of personal growth in the workplace. Then, share what you’re discovering in your learning with your employees. Remind yourself of why you chose the company and your beliefs in the people and communities the company serves. Our employees need to see us living these values, so they know how to model and reflect positive workplace behaviors.

  1. Provide Clarity

For our people to thrive, we need to be clear with them. Do you wait for a yearly performance review to let your people know how they are doing and what they need to work on? Clearly communicating your expectations regarding employees’ strengths, shortcomings and progress should be consistently practiced throughout the year.

Clarity defines success. As the leader, it is also important to clearly communicate your own vision for your team. Share with your people what success looks like and how you can support them along the way. Guiding your team toward success requires honest feedback, even when the feedback may not be easy for the receiver to hear. Constructive criticism is the greatest gift you can give someone who truly wants to grow.

Helping people flourish is the greatest responsibility and gift as a leader. The ultimate employee experience occurs when people feel supported to become better versions of themselves. Creating this experience requires intentional and focused leadership that builds trust, listens carefully, models growth and provides clarity.