Does nurturing have a place in the professional world?

by on Jun 18, 2024

When you think about key leadership traits, the word nurture probably doesn’t come to mind. But it’s a crucial skill that many leaders tend to overlook.

While we associate the word nurture with plants and children, it also belongs in the workplace. A great leader is able to both actively pursue strategic goals and nurture the individuals on their team. Not only will it strengthen team cohesion and increase productivity in the short term; it also contributes to the success of tomorrow’s leaders.

If you’re realizing that your ability to nurture could use some work, consider these three elements of this important leadership trait.

Why nurture matters

Believing in a need to nurture doesn’t just sound nice; it leads to measurable success. According to Forbes, the globalization of the marketplace through technology has made it more difficult for companies to hold onto emerging young talent. This is why nurturing leaders is crucial to employee retention and the profits that accompany a strong team.

Forbes reports: “Many employees may demonstrate great potential in assuming leadership roles but have limited managerial experience. These employees are a crop of strong performers with the potential, ability and aspirations for higher-level management roles… As such, developing these leaders grooms the next generation of leaders for the organization and is imperative to organizational success.”

While it may feel like nurturing individual team members is something to add on to your plate only if you have time, in reality it is one of the best ways to ensure the ongoing success of your team and your company.

How to become more nurturing

So what are some practical ways to become more nurturing as a leader?

First, get some input on your current nurturing abilities from peers and those downline. Whether it’s a formal survey or an informal conversation, gather some intel on how much room for improvement you have in this area. Perhaps there are some actions you already engage in that could simply be amplified, or maybe there are less reflexive behaviors that you could be more intentional with.

Second, engage in mentorship or coaching with your team. Even if most of your team reports directly to a middle manager, consider adding in periodic one-on-ones with every team member yourself. This way, you can bring a new perspective to problems being faced and spot emerging talent as it grows.

Finally, cultivate a cohesive culture with your team that encourages collaboration and the nurturing of one another’s strengths. Even though it is primarily your job as the leader to mentor your team, each individual can also bring a unique set of abilities to the table to complement those of their teammates. Set up rewards for collaboration with colleagues, even if it’s just monthly recognition via a company-wide email. This type of individualized attention can mean a lot to an employee who wants to know their contributions matter.

Seek out nurture for yourself

Finally, ask yourself if you are receiving any nurturing as a leader. You’re never too high up the corporate ladder to benefit from advice and guidance.

Think about mentors who helped you get where you are today. If you’ve lost touch with them, reach out and see if they’re available for a chat. Alternatively, if you have peers at your company, suggest monthly lunches where everyone can problem-solve issues together and receive honest feedback about what each person can work on.

To receive completely unbiased feedback, consider investing in a leadership development program. Here at Teamalytics, we have vetted our proprietary analytics for over twenty years to provide our clients with one-of-a-kind results. Our approach involves anonymous peer assessments, a unique self-assessment, and ongoing coaching on how to maximize your strengths and lessen your constraints. This assessment includes a behavior we title the Need to Nurture, quantifying the theme of this article concretely.

To see if our program might be a good fit for your need to nurture your team, download our free guide “Know What It Feels Like to Work with You: The Elusive Key to Effective Leadership and Team Assessment” today.