The ultimate guide to leadership - How to be a good leader?
One of my many skills is related to workplace and people management, guiding, and coaching. On my portfolio-style website, I aim to demonstrate what leadership entails and guide you through leadership themes. Even if you don’t want me to lead, you can at least take these themes to your workplace!
Leadership is a process where an individual or a group guides and influences others to achieve goals. It is a crucial aspect of organizational functioning, directly impacting the workplace atmosphere, employee well-being, and productivity.
Effective leadership establishes clear, achievable, and measurable goals and a direction that helps the company succeed. It enables efficient teamwork, motivates employees, and enhances their job satisfaction. Good leadership fosters innovation and continuous development within the organization.
Well-executed leadership, whether at the top or middle management level, enables workplaces to operate efficiently and achieve set goals. It also creates an open and trusting atmosphere where employees can develop and express their ideas, thereby increasing their commitment and motivation.
Conversely, when considering examples of poor leadership, unfortunately, there are many. In inadequate leadership, employees may not know the goals they are working toward individually or as a group, and their voices may not be heard. In the end, many have good ideas about their work and its improvement, but if not heard, and there are no advancement opportunities, many will change jobs. Hence, investing in leadership is worthwhile – training a new employee always takes time and resources that could be used for the core business.
How Quality Leadership Improves Employee Well-being and Productivity
A thriving workforce is the most crucial individual asset of any organization. Quality leadership plays a key role in ensuring employee well-being while simultaneously increasing productivity.
Quality leadership is built on trust and openness. When leaders show trust in their employees, it creates a strong foundation for well-being and team flourishing. Employees feel valued and motivated when their opinions are heard, and they can express themselves without fear. A climate of trust also promotes collaboration and information sharing within the organization, enhancing efficiency and productivity.
How to demonstrate trust in employees and how to listen to them? It’s essential to allow employees to work autonomously. Micromanagement is no longer part of leadership in the 2020s. Employees should be given responsibility. However, employees must be listened to, and this can be achieved through short, approximately 15-minute monthly discussion sessions, where the supervisor’s role is to coach and guide employees, not command them.
One element of quality and coaching leadership is feedback. Leaders should regularly provide feedback to their employees, both positive and constructive, even critical feedback.
Positive feedback encourages and reinforces employees’ self-esteem, while constructive feedback helps them develop and achieve their goals. The feedback process is crucial in building a supportive foundation for well-being and productivity. Feedback should also flow in the other direction – leaders should be able to receive critical feedback and potentially adjust their actions based on it!
Quality leadership sets clear goals and expectations for employees. When employees know what is expected of them and the goals they should strive for, it helps them focus on the essentials. Clear expectations reduce uncertainty and stress, promoting employee well-being.
For example, in sales, it’s beneficial to set team and individual goals. For instance, a team goal might be 1000 deals per month. For an individual salesperson, the goal might be 25 deals, another 10, and another 40. Similarly, goals could be set for customer experience – at the team level, the target might be 90% positive, while an individual might aim to raise their percentage above 80.
Goals should be realistic and measurable because if goals cannot be achieved, they won’t motivate. In the example above, if the company has historically made 200 deals per month, and nothing significant has changed, a goal of 1000 deals is unrealistic and impractical.
Quality Leadership Considers Individuality
Quality leadership also emphasizes the importance of work-life balance.
Leaders should support employees’ opportunities to achieve a balance between work and other aspects of life. This may include flexible working hours, remote work options, or facilitating vacation planning. Balancing work and life helps keep employees motivated and reduces the risk of burnout.
Especially in recent years, due to a certain global situation, remote work and flexible working have increased significantly. Unfortunately, some workplaces have reverted to office-based automation, leading to employee departures and a decline in overall well-being. In these situations, there is potential for a productivity leap if individuality is taken into account. If played right, you can achieve a substantial productivity boost with remote work. Played wrong… well, the direction is the opposite.
Quality leadership promotes the development of individual skills. Leaders should provide opportunities for training and professional growth. When employees have the chance to develop and learn new things, it increases their job satisfaction. This, in turn, has a positive impact on productivity as the organization benefits from enhanced expertise and innovation. Simultaneously, there is an opportunity to engage employees with the company for a longer time – when an employee feels valued and sees the possibility of advancing within the organization (this doesn’t depend on the size of the company – even a small business can offer promotion opportunities!), the employee is likely to stay with the company, recommend it to others, and perform better.
Additionally, good leadership should encourage open communication. Leaders should keep employees informed about organizational matters and decisions. Open communication builds trust and reduces rumors and uncertainty. When employees know what is happening in the organization, they can better focus on their work and commit to organizational goals.
Even small changes should be communicated internally, keeping employees involved in the process, for example, if new systems are coming to the workplace or if the company is experimenting with something new. The worst thing for the work atmosphere and productivity is when rumors circulate, and information is first read in the media before the employer talks to their team.
Quality leadership is a crucial factor in improving employee well-being and productivity. It is based on trust, openness, clear goals, feedback, work-life balance, and skills development. Quality leadership establishes a strong foundation for organizational success, ensuring that the workforce can thrive in their work.
How to Develop Your Leadership Skills
This portfolio site includes a vital presentation of my own skills. Therefore, I’ve created a six-part subcategory series on leadership.
I present various elements related to leadership on these pages. You can read more about each category in the list below and develop your own leadership skills!
- Basics of Coaching Leadership
- Coaching Interaction
- SMART Model
- Stages of the Coaching Process
- Examples of Successful Coaching Leadership