How Strong Is Your Leadership Toolkit?

By Alex Saez

41330 / Pixabay

There is no simple formula for great leadership. With this in mind, it’s critical for companies to identify the skills and abilities they desire in a leader to help them properly recruit and train future managers and executives while helping existing ones improve.

To see what good leadership entails, let’s consider how senior staff and executives interact with employees and examine a key set of skills, both personal and professional, that can strengthen leadership.

Establish strong relationships

A common sentiment in workplaces, that “workers quit their bosses, not their jobs,” underscores the importance of management’s rapport with staff. Good leaders inspire and value the loyalty of their staff. It doesn’t take an expert to know that employees who feel micromanaged, underappreciated, and mistreated won’t bring their best selves to work.

In the words of senior HR specialist, Amy Marcum, “…if the work relationships are positive and motivating, employees will accept average wages and mundane or even highly stressful work. Without that relationship element, employees will have a wandering eye.”

With so many resources lost due to turnover and absenteeism, strong work relationships are critical to employee morale and a company’s bottom line. There are multiple ways for leaders to address common churn causes or prevent them altogether.

Leaders can give employees some autonomy over how they complete their projects; in other words, they can make a conscious choice to relinquish control and resist the urge to micromanage. When given some leeway, employees often find new and innovative ways to execute tasks for the benefit of the company.

Second, avoid using monetary incentives to drive productivity. Contrary to what many managers believe, an article in Psychology Today warns that it’s counterproductive. In fact, it advises that things like “job enjoyment” born from a sense of appreciation are effective at increasing employee performance. Only 13 percent of respondents in one of their studies cited monetary incentives as a motivator.

Some fundamentals bear repeating: it’s important that leaders show respect. Chastising employees in front of their peers or offering harsh or unjustified criticism will make any leader come across as a bully. By treating everyone with respect, leaders put themselves in positions of positive influence.

Understand employee needs

Every person has their own values, values that ultimately guide their decisions. Consequently, leaders often approach their roles according to the values that appeal to and motivate them.

An article in the Harvard Business Review says it best: “…[some leaders] tend to adopt policies and theories of human motivation that appeal to their own individual value systems, under the assumption that all employees have similar values.”

And therein lies the challenge. Simply put, not everyone wants the same thing. Leaders need to understand individual differences and adjust their decisions and policies to work for everyone.

The “Platinum Rule”

In our day-to-day dealings, we’re taught to follow the “Golden Rule.” While the Golden Rule works when we’re dealing with peers, family or the server who brought us the wrong order, it’s not effective when trying to keep staff engaged and happy.

In the same Harvard Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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