Why leader responsiveness is critical to Joyous success

Laura-Jane Booker
Laura-Jane Booker | August 05, 2020
Why leader responsiveness is critical to Joyous success

A key objective at Joyous is making sure working people engage in conversations in the long-term. Why? Because every time a person starts a conversation, they increase their chance of making their working life better.

One of the biggest factors to affect engagement in conversations is leader responsiveness. That is leaders taking the time to consider what their direct reports are saying and providing a thoughtful response.

Why is this the key to success?

In Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit, he introduces a concept called The Habit Loop. He claims that in order for behaviours to occur automatically, they must become habits. For a habit to form you need 3 things:

  1. A cue: Some type of trigger that makes the behaviour unfold.
  2. A routine: The behaviour performed as a result of the cue.
  3. A reward: The thing you get for performing the routine or behaviour.

The reward is the most important part of the loop because it's why habits exist: we engage in routines or behaviours to reap rewards. When a habit loop is performed, a craving starts to form. In time, cues will trigger this craving and routines or behaviours will be performed automatically to satisfy that craving.

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Applying the habit loop to Joyous

If the goal is to keep working people engaged in conversations over time, we need to help them form a habit of responding in Joyous.

How can we help this habit to form?

  1. First things first, they'll need a cue. We've already got this covered by using email and SMS as our delivery mechanisms. We've thought a lot about the frequency, timing, and structure of that delivery to increase the likelihood that the cue will be acted on.
  2. Next comes the behaviour. We've made responding simple by removing barriers such as the need to install an app or log in to view a feed. Workers can start their conversations right from their email or SMS inbox.
  3. Last but not least, the reward. That's where leader responsiveness comes in. Working people who receive genuine and thoughtful responses from their leaders are more likely to continue to engage with Joyous over time. Why? Because receiving feedback or being acknowledged by your leader is a rewarding experience.

Over time a craving will form. Receiving Joyous content will trigger this craving so that working people respond automatically to gain feedback from their leaders.

If leaders are not responding, their direct reports are less likely to continue to engage in conversations and response rates will drop over time. Therefore, it's mission-critical that leaders understand the importance of responding to their direct report's comments.

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Our call to action

A good target for leader responsiveness is between 80-100%. You usually won't need to respond to comments like ‘No’, 'None', and ‘No Comment’, which is why we consider 80% and above a good target.

If you think this seems high, think about it this way: would you ignore someone if they spoke to you face-to-face or sent you a personal message? Hopefully not! The same principle should apply to Joyous.

While we don't recommend hassling working people to respond, we do recommend that senior leaders encourage team leaders who are not meeting their response targets.

Remember, it’s never too late to respond to someone’s comment. Even if they haven't received a response for a few weeks; better late than never! Ensuring that leader feedback remains consistent, genuine, and thoughtful over time is your best chance to keep working people immersed in those conversations long term.