In business, there’s a lot to be said for leading by example. If you look at the most successful entrepreneurs in the modern world, you’ll notice that they have something in common. They all take an interest in what’s going on in their business empire, and they set a good example for their workers to follow. If you’re a business owner and you’re keen to improve your leadership skills or become one of those employers that the workforce raves about, this guide will come in handy.
Setting out clear goals and objectives
Confusion can be a major barrier in business. If you don’t know what you’re doing every day when you arrive at the office and turn on your computer, you’re not going to be as productive as you could be. As the boss, it’s up to you to ensure that your team is aware of the objectives and that every person understands what they’re working towards. If you don’t have an active role in the day to day management of the company, ensure your senior members of staff take over this mantle for you. Organizing regular team meetings is always beneficial, but it’s also a good idea to meet with individuals to make sure that everyone is on the same page. One to one sessions can also be helpful in building relationships between you and your employees.
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Running a tight ship
A lack of organization can be incredibly costly in modern business. The most successful companies have plans in place that maximize efficiency and productivity. Consider the importance of dealing with payments or outstanding invoices swiftly, for example. If you don’t have a firm grip on your finances or an accounting team to handle payments for you, there’s every chance that you could end up with cash flow issues or let clients disappear without a trace when they haven’t paid for work you have completed or products you’ve sold. Another important consideration is scheduling and staff hours. If there’s a lack of clarity in the process or you’re experiencing a lot of confusion related to rosters, you’re likely to end up with a situation where you’re dealing with no call no show employees. Of course, if an employee is down to work and they don’t turn up or inform you that they’re not able to work, this isn’t always your fault, but if it’s a regular occurrence, it may be time to rethink your scheduling plans. You could look into using new and improved software, for example, especially if you have a large workforce or a high staff turnover.
Being clear on policies and expectations
As the manager of a company, you probably have certain expectations about how your employees should behave and what they should bring to the table. It’s essential to communicate with your employees so that they are aware of the policies that are in place and they understand what is expected of them. Make sure new employees are guided through an induction process and refresh training related to protocol and procedures. If you’re finding that people are ignoring the rules or they’re failing to meet the standards you expect, it may be wise to get everyone together and reiterate working guidelines. Sometimes, a simple reminder is all that is needed, but you may need to take further action if an email or a friendly chat goes unnoticed.
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Most people go into a job with the aim of progressing and moving up the ladder. As the boss, you should actively support development and provide your workforce with the opportunity to expand their skills and take on more responsibility. If you consistently overlook the talent you already have, you may find that you lose your star players. If you’re advertising jobs externally, for example, your employees may feel that they need to go elsewhere to get a shot at a promotion. Training is really valuable for both employers and employees. It gives you a better-skilled workforce, and it provides your employees with the chance to learn new skills and improve their techniques. If you don’t currently offer training opportunities, look into schemes, programs, and workshops and have a think about the kinds of courses and classes that would benefit your business. It’s also useful to have a chat with your staff about what kinds of sessions and subjects they would like to cover. If you have a highly-skilled team, this is going to improve the overall performance of your business.
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Rewarding hard work and celebrating success
Nobody wants to invest blood, sweat, and tears and get nothing in return. If your team has been working all hours to meet a deadline or people have made sacrifices to cover for illness, for example, make sure you reward their hard work and commitment. If you expect people to give you more, there has to be an incentive. A motivated team will put in more effort than a group of people who know that there’s nothing coming their way even if the outcome is positive. Offer rewards and celebrate successes. You don’t have to go crazy and hand out huge bonuses, but an extra day off, an office party or outing or a little extra in the paycheck will go a long way.
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Ambition and passion
If you’re not passionate about your business, you can’t possibly expect others to be, so show your employees how much this venture means to you and how determined you are to make it a success. Share the backstory, talk about plans for the future, and be willing to get involved. You may not want to spend every hour of the working day in the office, but popping in from time to time to see how things are ticking over is hugely beneficial. It’s always positive to have a presence and for people to know that you care even if you don’t want to devote all your time to the business.
Communication and teamwork
Everyone knows that a cohesive team works better than a group of individuals. As the head honcho, it’s your job to encourage cooperation and create an environment that fosters collaboration. If you want people to work together, plan regular meetings and set up communal spaces. Make it easy for people to share ideas and to work on projects together by investing in technology and innovative software systems, and encourage socialization outside of work. Not everyone has to be best mates with their colleagues, but if you get on with the people you work with, the working day is likely to be a lot more enjoyable and productive. Go out for a drink after work on a Friday, organize a team movie trip once a month or look at options for a weekend away doing team-building exercises.
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Understand your role
When you oversee everything, it can be easy to blame others if things don’t go to plan or there are delays or hiccups. As the boss, it’s important to realize that the buck will always stop with you. Although somebody may be at fault for an error, it’s your company, and therefore, it’s beneficial to understand that getting involved in finding solutions is more constructive than shouting and screaming. Be the person your employees look up to and inspire to be like and understand how your actions affect and influence others.
This is one of the tips leading entrepreneurs usually share in interviews or articles about their career. When asked about what makes a good leader, the ability to listen makes it to the top of many lists. Being in charge isn’t always about calling the shots. It can also be about listening to the people you work with and learning. Perhaps you could learn from your mistakes sometimes, or you could take other people’s ideas on board to improve your business. Think about people you’ve worked for in the past and how their actions affected you. Did you feel that your boss never really had time for you or that you were overlooked, or were they always eager to try new things, give people opportunities and engage in open conversation? It’s wise to take time to get to know your employees and to be available to them if they have concerns or they simply have a brilliant idea they want to share. If people do raise issues or you receive feedback that isn’t wholly positive, use it to improve your leadership skills. It’s not always nice to hear negative comments, but it can help you develop as a person as well as improving the business.
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If you own a company, you’ve probably realized that life at the top isn’t always a bed of roses. Leading a team can be difficult, and not all entrepreneurs are blessed with management skills. Hopefully, this guide will inspire you to be a better boss and to move your business in the right direction. Pay attention to your employees, take time to communicate with them, listen, and make sure you set out clear goals and objectives so that everyone’s pulling in the same direction. Be passionate, be enthusiastic and ensure that everyone knows that their hard work is valued.