What does it mean to have influence and klout? Believe me; it has little to do with the Social Media site KLOUT that measures online influence by your activity on social media with your friends, followers or connections. While there are millions of people that use those types of sites, there are millions more that do not. But it’s still a valid question; do you have influence and klout? How do you know? Does it even matter?
Usually, when you think in terms of influence and klout you think of bosses; supervisors, managers, directors, CEO’s and Presidents. Also there are teachers, principals, pastors, priests, rabbis, and other elected officials. These are the folks that we associate and identify with as impactful leaders. They provide guidance, advice, direction and sometimes comfort. I’ve always had the mindset that you don’t have to have a title do be influential.
For the sake of this conversation, let’s keep it in the context of workplace organizational influence and klout. Having influence and klout is not always a positive thing. There are disengaged, detached, negative employees, bosses etc., in almost every workplace in America. The latest numbers say roughly 60% of all employees are unhappy at work, that amount of negative will manifest itself in the actions and behaviors of those employees at some point. You can’t disguise forever. These employees have a huge impact on productivity and morale which has a correlation to lost time and wages, which means a loss of revenue. So if negativity can impact an organization, the ying to that yang would mean positivity can make impact as well.
So here’s my question to you, who controls the influence and klout at your organization? You are the master of your own domain; you control your own attitude. Bosses & Leaders must have a great attitude and they must be open to communicate and interact with the employees. They have to exude positivity and confidence. This is infectious. It also helps you to identify those negative employees, and then you can reduce their impact, try to change their energy or even extricate them from your team before they cause too much damage. It’s very important to the organization’s culture to identify those employees that have positive influence and klout; these are the folks that you want to be involved with representing your organization and mentoring the new team members.
Here are some tips on reading influence and klout at your organization
- Have grass roots meeting. Pay attention to the body language, the questions, and the tone of the team. These can be indicators.
- Get a suggestion box. If you have one, check it. Send a communication addressing the issues in the box, especially from those employees that leave a name with their suggestion.
- Interact at informal settings. Attend community events and office parties.
- Be an example. You have to set the tone, but not just in the boardroom. You have to be consistent, in the break room, the hallway, the parking lot, and any other place with your team.
- Test it. Ask your team to do something unrelated to work as a voluntary team builder i.e. wear the same color on the same day, or post their favorite historical, non-offensive leadership quote.