People management is often regarded as a ‘nice to have’ skill in leadership, but not essential for success. In reality, the relationship a manager has with their team is the foundation on which all other success relies. If the staff and/or managers feel no connection with or respect for their leaders, why would they work hard or even stay with a company which clearly does not value them?
Here we have highlighted six of the most important skills that every business leader needs in order to provide their employees with the support and motivation they need to go the extra mile for the organization.
Connecting with the team
A leader or manager who is always in their office behind a closed door, unless they want to tell someone what to do, is not viewed as part of the team, but more like a disconnected dictator. Try to be with your team as regularly as possible, even at social occasions or company events. Many people leave jobs because of the way they are managed, not because of their role or the company, so remember to make that personal connection and get to know people as individuals.
Showing empathy for individuals
When employees are going through difficult times, either in their personal or professional lives, it’s essential to be able to show empathy. Being flexible and supportive when they need it most will go a long way to building a relationship of trust. When you know your team is under particular strain, be their champion and show them support, even if you are under pressure from senior management or stakeholders.
One of the quickest ways to create division in an organization is poor communication. If employees are not informed about key decisions in the business from the leadership but hear it second-hand from gossip at the coffee machine, it will create confusion, mistrust and dissent. Be as transparent as possible in your communications, give employees the opportunity to have their voices heard and show that you have listened to them.
Empowering your employees is essentially the opposite of micromanaging them which can quickly squash any motivation or desire for self-improvement. An effective leader provides employees with the training, tools and resources they need in order to fulfil their role, and then steps back to let them succeed. By providing employees with the space they need to be innovative, creative and to solve problems on their own, you are empowering them to achieve their full potential.
Nurturing professional development
Leaders who are not only willing but keen to enable their staff to improve and develop professionally, will attract and retain the best candidates with talent and skillsets which will further the business. By getting to know your staff, and their motivations as well as their strengths and weaknesses, you can tailor a continuing program of training and development from online courses such as MBA programs in Michigan to providing extra responsibilities.
Recognizing and rewarding achievement
Everyone needs to be recognized and rewarded for the contribution they make to an organization, and the best leaders will ensure that there is a system in place to make this possible. This does not mean only rewarding those which achieve the highest sales or similar, but also those who go out of their way for the good of the company, have supported their team, put in extra hours or have made significant improvement. If you’re not sure how to recognize achievement, here are some great ways to reward your employees.