As your business expands, you are likely to take on staff and freelancers who will look to you for instruction and advice. This marks a significant milestone, not just in your business’ development, but also for your professional development.
Challenges will arise that you feel you don’t have any control over, and you might struggle to demonstrate the management skills you think are necessary. What sometimes happens in these scenarios is that you become the ‘shouty’ boss. While this can achieve some results, it is often associated with poorer performance. Therefore, you should learn the effective leadership traits that high performing bosses use.
One of the key issues with new or ineffective managers is that they think they have to control everything that goes on, but controlling that much information and number of operations is impossible and will often lead to tasks and deadlines being missed and ineffective operations.
Instead, good leaders will delegate responsibility and authority for certain tasks. This will help you to focus on what you need to do, while also pleasing your staff. Happy employees will be productive and less likely to jump ship when another offer comes along.
To help you delegate, follow these seven quick tips:
• Explain what you expect the employee to do.
• Describe how you will evaluate their performance.
• Give the employee the power to make decisions.
• Get acknowledgement that they understand their responsibilities.
• Reward good performance.
• Check your employees’ work.
• Solve any issues that might arise.
2. Set Goals
For success, people need to know what they are trying to achieve, and this can only be done by setting goals for you, your business and your employees (both individually and as a team). Goals have to meet certain criteria and inspire your employees to achieve.
Goals need to be set using the SMART rules: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. If the goals fail to meet these criteria, they are doomed to failure and will demoralize staff.
Effective communication is an essential leadership skill. You need to let your staff know what they have to do and how they should proceed with the task. This prevents mistakes being made and inaccurate work, which only increases costs and infuriates everyone. There are many different communication channels you can use (meetings, emails, calls, etc.) and each one should be used for the right message.
For instance, having a meeting to discuss general news about the company is probably a waste of time. It is much more efficient to use email for that. However, phoning someone to get information about what is needed to complete a quote is an appropriate channel.
4. Employee Time
Leaders are people focused. The best leaders understand that it is the people within the business that make it a success and therefore set aside appropriate time for employees to talk to them. This can be a great way of finding out issues that are affecting the performance of an employee or hindering them from working effectively.
Ensure that when you have these moments with your staff that you turn off your emails and smartphones and concentrate solely on the individual.
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5. Recognize Achievements
Employees want to do a good job and are happiest when it is recognized by their bosses. Few bosses recognize their staff’s achievements and reward them, yet those that do, however, often see lower turnover rates and better performances from staff.
There are many different reward systems you can reward staff with and not pay a thing. For instance, extra time off or employee rewards. Just be sure that the reward you are offering matches your brand’s cultural identity.
6. Lasting Solutions
There are going to be challenges when you become a leader – just like when you started your business. Leaders are happy when a solution presents itself, but if it is a short-term solution; then you will have to rethink your strategy.
Firefighting a problem is never a solution that will help you in the long-term. You will just end up solving the problem continuously, and this can distract you from growing your business, developing your staff and performing better in other areas of the business. Therefore, always seek a long-term solution. It may take up more of your time initially, but in the long run, it will be worth it.
7. Don’t Be Too Serious
While there is no doubt that being in business is serious; you don’t have to take it too seriously. The most successful leaders make their organizations fun, with space in the schedule to have a laugh and relax.
Research has shown that those leaders who create an environment where work hard and play hard are part of the norm; will have people who perform better and stick with their jobs for longer.
9. Never Stop Learning
Learning should never stop. That is why you should have a staff development program in your business. It helps staff grow so they can perform their duties better. However, do you also have development time for you? An activity that the staff can recognize as you still learning?
It is important that you demonstrate that you are always at the forefront of the industry and looking for the latest trends. It also encourages your staff to perform better during their staff development time and makes you more approachable. You could even turn the tables and get staff to train you on new equipment or software that has come into the business – making them realize that you want what is best for them as well as the business.
10. Minimize Decisions
The more decisions you have to make, the worse you will perform. That is the result of research released recently. Those who make more decisions get tired quickly and this can lead to worse performance in regular tasks. Some of those who apply this theory take every opportunity to minimize decisions such as only having one type of clothing and eating the same meals all the time.
Look for ways you can minimize decisions in your business or make decision making easier by having set processes and policies in place.
Leadership is an essential skill for your business. If you have the best leadership skills, those in your business will perform better and your organization will see growth. If you don’t have the right skills now, you need to learn them fast.
Are you a leader? What skills could you grow? Let us know in the comments or speak to a member of the Ragain Financial team now.
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