Leadership has undergone a major transformation in the last few years. Gone are the days of autocratic decision making with little regard for their team’s input. Nowadays, leadership roles have become more collaborative and people-oriented,with adaptability and humanity being highly valued traits.
Today, being a leader is more than just making decisions and delegating tasks, it is about having the ability to inspire, motivate and guide individuals, teams, or entire companies towards the achievement of a common goal. Good leadership involves creating a compelling vision, setting short-term or long-term goals, empowering others, providing guidance and support, and leading by example.
To be a good leader requires strong communication skills, emotional intelligence, a positive attitude, and the ability to think critically and make difficult decisions.
It is by no means an easy feat as you’re constantly dealing with people from all walks of life but with the right mindset and skills,and that is a huge part of the task.
People leave managers, not jobs
Did you know people don't just leave jobs because of their managers? According to a Facebook survey, employees often feel underused, underappreciated, or stuck in their careers - and that's why they leave. As a manager, it's your job to create positions that are too good to leave.
This is especially important when it comes to younger generations in the workforce. They're looking for more than just a paycheck - they want purpose, growth, and fulfilment in their careers. And if they're not finding it in their current job, they're not afraid to move on.
So, what can you do to retain your top talent? It starts with understanding what matters to them. Are they looking for challenging projects? More autonomy? Opportunities to learn and develop new skills? By creating a work environment that meets these needs, you'll not only keep your employees happy but also drive your company's success.
Here are some ways for managers to better engage their employees
Work with your employees to craft personalised career development plans
This is a more standard factor, but still true to this day. Employees often leave their positions because they don’t have a career path carved out for them within the company. Providing employees with opportunities for growth and development can increase job satisfaction and reduce turnover, especially in the long run. Overall, career development plans can help individuals reach their full potential, improve their happiness, and better prepare them for future opportunities.
Play to their strengths
Gone are the days when managers could assign tasks willy-nilly and expect their team to churn out high-quality work. Nowadays, it's crucial for employees to be assigned tasks that align with their passions and interests. But that's not all - in this era of digital transformation, the ability to easily access and share information is the holy grail of productivity.
By honing in on each team member's unique strengths and expertise, managers can create connections and even build a database of experts. This not only boosts performance and productivity, but also elevates morale and fosters a collaborative work environment.
Encourage meaningful work
Being a manager isn't just about delegating responsibilities and overseeing a team - it’s about creating a work environment that is motivating, rewarding and inspires employees to do their best.
The most successful leaders - don’t simply settle for assigning work based on skill set - they take it one step further to help their employees find work they are passionate about. Sometimes, this means reimagining their current roles to make them more challenging (in a good way!) and fulfilling,
When employees have the opportunity to do work that excites them and allows them to tap into new abilities and cultivate new skills, they’re more likely to stick around for the long haul - improving morale and productivity along the way.
Be an active listener
In the process of building an engaged workforce, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of your team members and during times of uncertainty, strong, directional leadership is needed more than ever .
Even if a leader does not have all the answers, it is essential to be present and committed to supporting your crew. Establishing a personal connection with your team is vital to maintaining clear and consistent communication with your employees to keep them engaged and informed.
Create an open workplace culture
Creating a more open culture within an organisation can have significant benefits for both employees and the company as a whole.
An open culture is one that promotes transparency, honesty, and a willingness to listen to and learn from others. To create such a culture, leaders should encourage open communication, where employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas without fear of judgement or retribution. This can be achieved through regular team meetings, town hall sessions, and one-on-one meetings.
Additionally, leaders should lead by example, demonstrating transparency in their own decision-making processes and being open to receiving feedback from their team members. Ultimately, a more open culture can foster innovation, boost employee engagement, and help companies to build a stronger, more collaborative team.
The true impact of good leadership
The power of good leadership can be immense and far-reaching. As discussed previously, it’s an abstract concept that can help a lot to transform companies from the inside out. Some of the benefits of effective leadership include:
Good leaders are able to create a positive work environment, motivate their employees, and provide clear direction and guidance. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, A more engaged and committed workforce is a high-performing one. The higher performing they become, the more likely they are to drive innovation within the company and lead the business to success.
Effective leaders are able to analyse complex situations, weigh the potential outcomes, and make informed decisions. This leads to more effective problem-solving and is a standard for when you think about what makes a good leader. However, it’s not only about making the best decisions empowering and encouraging better decisions. Allowing direct reports to make better decisions is a trait that is vital for all good leaders to cultivate.
Good leaders build strong teams and businesses by fostering positive relationships, delegating responsibilities, and inspiring employees. highlight and reinforce organisational values by helping their people develop while creating goals, setting opportunities and giving the deserved recognition.
Engaging employees in frequent conversations about their work strengthens their trust in their leader. This creates a culture of trust and collaboration, which can lead to increased success and longevity.
Effective leaders are able to inspire and motivate their employees to think creatively and try new approaches. This leads to increased innovation and the development of new ideas and solutions for organisations, which leads to more revenue and net growth. A McKinsey research showed that committed innovators are evolving their businesses at a faster pace and seeing two times the delivery from new offerings introduced in the past three years compared to others. Being able to enhance innovation and creativity is a major quality of the modern leader.
Better employee engagement:
The best leaders out there know that the secret to success lies in listening to their team members and keeping them engaged. After all, employee satisfaction and productivity go hand in hand - when employees feel invested in their work, they're more likely to produce top-quality results.
In fact, organisations with high employee engagement are 22% more profitable than those without. However, according to the State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report from Gallup, only 35% of the workforce is really engaged in their positions. The other 65% are indifferent and neither like nor dislike their jobs, and they represent a risk that could tilt in both directions, good or bad.
Especially during these post-pandemic times, where remote work is becoming increasingly prevalent, effective leadership is more important than ever. These are just a few of the many benefits of effective leadership. The power of good leadership can have a profound impact on individuals, teams, and organisations and is an essential ingredient for success in any field.
Great leadership examples around the world
In today's fast-paced and ever-changing business world, corporate leaders play a crucial role in the success of a company. Effective management initiatives can inspire and motivate employees, drive innovation, and help companies navigate challenges and opportunities.
Many companies have set a high bar for leadership excellence, with visionary CEOs who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and achieved remarkable results creating, adapting and implementing new business practices.
From Jeff Bezos of Amazon to Mary Barra of General Motors and Satya Nadella of Microsoft, we look at the leadership styles and philosophies that have made these senior leaders stand out in their respective industries.
What started as an online bookstore is now listed as one the biggest organisations in the world. Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos, a former electrical engineering and computer science graduate from Princeton University.
Under Bezos' leadership, Amazon has become known for its focus on company growth, innovation and customer-centricity, and this translates to this day. The company has very strong leadership principles (also known as LP’s), and the workforce is encouraged to explore them and use them in daily tasks. They are hired, evaluated and promoted based on the LPs that are annually revisited and reviewed, so they are always up to date. A few good examples are “Bias for action”, “Hire and develop the best”, and “Insist on the highest standards”.
One of the greatest motor companies of all time, GM started another era in leadership through the figure of Mary Barra, the first female CEO of a major global automaker.
Since she took over, GM has started focusing on innovation and financial performance, as well as internal directions for equality. Under her leadership, General Motors has increased its focus on gender and racial diversity, and the company has been recognised for its efforts in this area. “A culture where everyone thrives” is based on diversity that by all means creates the feeling that a “stronger workforce and promotes fresh, innovative thinking”.
All this is needed to sustain long-term commitment from employees and create long-term value for the business.
A truly digital company that was always a reference for cultural principles since it was created under Bill Gates' leadership, Microsoft has been one of the great examples of organisations that value leaders and employees as their most important assets.
Under current CEO Satya Nadella's leadership since 2014, Microsoft has undergone a significant transformation. He has focused on developing new technologies, including artificial intelligence and cloud computing, and has worked to create a more open and collaborative culture within the company.
He has also emphasised the importance of diversity and inclusion, both within Microsoft and in the broader technology industry, historically made up of men.
The importance of leadership training
Providing your managers with top-notch leadership training can have a huge impact on your bottom line - and on your employees' happiness.
Sure, some qualities make a great leader - charisma, vision, and drive, to name a few. But even the most talented managers can benefit from additional tools, techniques, and experiences that enhance their abilities to lead others effectively. By investing in their development, you'll not only improve their performance but also create a more engaged, productive, and satisfied workforce.
At the end of the day, the goal of leadership training is to help individuals become better leaders and coworkers. By giving your managers the skills they need to succeed, you'll be setting your company up for long-term success.
This can include training in communication, decision-making, conflict resolution, team building, vision setting, and ethical leadership. And it reflects directly on the organisation's profit margin as well. In fact, a study from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) showed that 218% higher income per employee and 24% higher profit margins than companies that don’t invest much in it.
All of this can be conducted in various formats, such as workshops, seminars, online courses, or one-on-one coaching sessions.
Partner with Airswift to access top managerial talent
If you're looking to expand your global team, partnering with Airswift can simplify the tasks of hiring, onboarding, and managing a distributed workforce with ease and efficiency. Working with an experienced global partner will grant your business access to the best talent pool available for any type of professional profiles that you might need. We work to simplify the process and help connect your organisation with people in eadership roles.
As your Employer of Record (EOR), we provide more than just international hiring services without requiring a physical presence. We take it a step further by assisting you in managing employee benefits, taxes, salaries, personal time off, and other related tasks, ensuring that you comply with all local laws and regulations.
With our presence in over 150 locations worldwide, our service teams are dedicated and ready to help you onboard top international talent. Contact us to learn how you can customise our full suite of global employment solutions to suit your specific needs.
This post was written by: Tomás Battaglia, Content Marketing Coordinator