In today’s competitive workplace, being a great employee does not necessarily guarantee elevation to management status. And, those who have been promoted based on their performance often discover that achieving results through others is more of a challenge than they expected. What defines a strong leader today? Most important in the constantly-evolving workplace is the ability of the leader to obtain extraordinary results from ordinary people. Well-known, successful leaders have shared this message with us and we are happy to pass on some tips from them:
- OWN YOUR MESSAGE:
Clarity of communication through the employee chain is critical. The ability to create a vision and excite employees about their ability to be part of that vision is a key component of good leadership. Sometimes it is necessary to “bring the fire truck to work”… visual demonstrations of what success will look like serves to motivate many employees. (For more on this topic, contact Hire Standard.)
- MODEL THE BEHAVIOR YOU WANT/ LEAD BY EXAMPLE:
Many leaders know what is “right” but get caught between management expectations and the needs of employees. Your employees will regularly look to the top for permission to follow the company’s directives and will seek empowerment so they, too can do what is “right” – not what is always immediately profitable. Consistently model the behavior you want your employees to demonstrate.
- ENGAGE and ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES:
Much has been written about navigating the different age groups that comprise today’s work force, so we won’t reinvent that wheel here. What strong leaders tell us is there are consistencies between all employees and discovering what those core factors are, inviting employee interaction/suggestions, and formulating programs that are inclusive are all key to success. One highly successful advertising executive said, “ A company in which anyone is afraid to speak up, to differ, to be daring and original, is closing the coffin door on itself.”
- RECOGNIZE GOOD PERFORMERS AND HOLD EVERYONE ACCOUNTABLE:
Clarifying expectations of performance for all employees must come from organizational leaders This includes defining the metrics of acceptable performance, providing motivation and recognition for those who exceed expectations, and sending the message that all are accountable for their actions. The former president of the Porsche (auto) corporation shared a seemingly simple secret of his success as the leader who turned around a failing company: “Hire slowly, hold short meetings to recognize individuals who give outstanding performance, and quickly fire those who don’t measure up. This increases loyalty to the company and the brand because employees know who the slackers are and are happy when those people are cut.”
We encourage you to review other postings and to contact Hire Standard through our website or at 240.235.5065 to advise you on hiring and employee retention.