Have you heard about the Great Resignation? It turns out in the UK, it’s a real thing. A recent study of 2,000 adults found that a fifth of them had left their jobs in the last year.
One of their biggest complaints? They feel that management doesn’t care about their well-being.
If you’re in a leadership role, how can you promote a great workplace culture? One that results in employee happiness, reduces the employee turnover rate, and keeps the business moving forward?
Let’s explore tips for improving leadership skills that all managers should pay attention to.
A good leader is constantly developing and learning. You’ve never arrived – there are always things that you can do better. This principle is known as kaizen – the concept of making small, positive changes that lead to big results.
One of the best things a leader can do is recognize their need to learn from others. That means the people that they manage and other, more experienced leaders.
Whether you’re a small business owner or a line manager in a large corporation, you need to recognize both your strengths and your weaknesses. Acknowledging your weaknesses actually gives you a platform for growth. It also helps you to make the best use of team members who may have stronger skills than you in certain areas.
Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, have the humility to work on them. When you fail, don’t get too down on yourself, but look at how you could have done better. Make a plan for how to succeed next time.
Know Your Team
A leader enables other people to be successful. If you’re hogging too much of the limelight, something’s not right.
You can only help others to succeed by knowing them well. You need to understand what makes them tick. What they excel at and their areas for development.
That way, you’ll be able to tailor your support and guidance to meet the individual’s needs. Part of leadership involves being able to give honest feedback. That will only be well received when the person feels that you truly understand them.
You’ll also be able to offer specific praise when appropriate. While you shouldn’t be celebrating every mundane aspect of their work, you should give regular positive feedback. This can motivate employees to hit new heights in their work.
Corporate team-building events are one way to get to know your team on a deeper level. Check out https://brightvisionevents.co.uk/team-building/. Gain insights into your workers and use these to improve your leadership skills.
Understand the Business
Often employees come in, do their job, and go home with little concept of how they fit into the bigger picture. As a leader, you need to have a clear understanding of how each team member contributes to the success of the business.
It’s your job to communicate that to the team member. Help them feel how important they are. This will gain valuable buy-in, with workers feeling they are a meaningful part of the success of the whole operation.
Have Difficult Conversations
In an ideal world, you’d nip your employees’ concerns in the bud and help them overcome challenges before they become serious issues. In the real world, there are times when you have to have difficult conversations about performance.
If you fail to address these issues promptly, the workplace culture will suffer. Workers who are productive will grow discontent and start looking elsewhere for employment. If the issue is particularly sensitive, always involve HR and always keep everything confidential.
Some scenarios that require difficult conversations include:
- Violating company policies
- Differences between coworkers
- Poor personal presentation
Rather than charging in all guns blazing, take a calm and calculated approach. Ensure that you have the company’s policies backing you up and that you never stray into areas of discrimination or bullying. Prepare a brief outline and even run through a couple of scenarios of how it might go ahead of time.
Schedule a time for the conversation – an appropriate time. The end of the day or workweek may be best. Don’t assume you have all the answers – be prepared to listen to what they have to say.
If the issue relates to their performance or behavior, the goal is to come away with a plan for making things better. Make sure you document the conversation and keep it on file. Follow up with the employee for further direction or praise if they’re doing well.
Access Leadership Training
You’re great at your job and your bosses have recognized it. You’ve been promoted to a leadership position. That’s a huge pat on the back with one potential snag.
What makes you a great leader? Being a leader requires a different skill set than being a worker. If you don’t recognize that and adjust, you could end up doing the work and leading the team at the same time.
Access some great training specifically in leadership and apply the principles in your job. This can come from formal programs or by being mentored by experienced colleagues. This can help you understand your new role and focus on that.
Learn to Delegate
Delegating is about trust. You need to choose the right person for a task, give them the tools to do it well, and then let them run with it.
Being an effective delegator is the opposite of being a micromanager. Micromanagers stifle employees and their creativity. Leaders empower people and help them realize what they can achieve with the right support.
Effective delegation begins with a clear vision and clear direction. Every team member should understand exactly their role and their deadlines. They should also feel fully accountable for their piece of the puzzle.
You then take a step back while always being on hand to provide guidance and support.
Start Improving Your Leadership Skills Today
If you’re serious about getting the best company culture, you need to start improving your leadership skills.
Great leaders know themselves, the team, and the business inside out. They know how to delegate and understand their own needs for continuous development. This will create a great workplace culture in which everyone can strive to be the best they can be.
If you’d like more ideas on how to become a better manager, check out our Leadership section today!