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The Importance of Leadership in Business

clock April 6, 2014 14:10 by author Administrator

How do you measure the importance of leadership in business?

A business may have the right strategies and qualified professionals. But that is not enough to succeed.

You can have all the right ingredients for the perfect business. But without proper leadership, it may not run smoothly. Leaders are expected to perform many important roles that help steer the business in the right direction.

Leaders Implement the Values and Vision

Most businesses have a vision of where they want to be in future and a detailed plan or strategy of how to get there. But, there is a big difference between having the strategy on paper and actually implementing it. Without a leader, all these values would only be on paper. They would never see the light of day because employees are almost always looking out for their own interests.

An effective leader reminds the staff of the company values and enforces them.

Leaders Inspire Positive Attitudes

It can be catastrophic if any team members do not do their part. Sometimes the person in question may be going through a trying time. A leader is charged with energizing everyone so that operations can run smoothly.

The team needs to know that their leader is aware of their grievances. Meanwhile, a leader is able to transfer his/her positive attitude and energy to the team as well.

Leaders Improve Productivity in the Workforce

Fundamentally, a leader is not only supposed to keep his/her staff happy and motivated. There are other pressing needs that require more attention such as productivity and profits. 

Leaders Encourage Creativity

An effective and experienced leader is able to identify creativity and innovation.

Different people have different talents or abilities. A good leader uses diversity to make the business more profitable and efficient. Sometimes the staff can make valid contributions that will make the business flourish. Many times all the staff needs is a little encouragement from a confident leader who acts as a catalyst for innovation. Without a leader, all these ideas would go to waste.

Leaders Look Out For the Business' Interests

A leader looks out for the business' interests to ensure the long term goals stay afloat.  Employees have to meet their targets and someone has to make sure the business is making profits.

The Power Of Stay Interviews

clock March 19, 2014 22:03 by author Administrator

In today's competitive business landscape, organizations cannot afford to lose top talent. Yet employees choose to leave and look for better opportunities. Realizing the need to keep valued employees, many organizations are conducting stay interviews.

Most organizations conduct exit interviews when their employees are about to leave the company. By then, it is too late to understand the reasons and take necessary steps to keep the employee. Stay interviews are periodically conducted. They track the general mood within the organization to understand the employees' perspective.

Here are some ways in which stay interviews can help you keep your best employees.

Understand What the Employees Want

Lack of communication causes several problems at most workplaces. Managers often overlook the importance of interacting with team members. As a result, they have little or no understanding of what their employees want.

One-on-one interviews are a good platform to discuss their role and career aspirations. Closer interaction can bring a lot of new insights to the table and enable you to reach out to valued employees. 

Identify Potential Problems in Advance

Most employees take the decision to leave after a lot of deliberation. If you can identify the issues prompting them to think of quitting, you can resolve them and keep your resources. One-on-one stay interviews give you the opportunity to identify problems that can get bigger.

Explore New Ideas Together

Driven employees can bring new innovative ideas to your team and organization. Let them share their ideas with you. You motivate them to explore more challenging and rewarding opportunities within the company. They feel they can grow professionally without looking outside the organization. You can inspire them to open up at the interviews where you can talk to each of your team members. 

Take Necessary Actions to Help Employees Stay

Stay interviews give employers the scope to take necessary actions, in time.

If an employee expresses concern over their present job, you can discuss new roles within the company. Or if an employee feels they are underpaid, you can explore the possibility of increasing wages.

More Time to Address Issues

You get enough time to identify problems and look for their potential solutions. Stay interviews are more relaxed and focused on identifying problems and their solutions. You have the time to go through the challenges and take necessary steps to address them.

Discuss the Positives

Treat one-on-one interactions as a platform to discuss things that are working. You can encourage your employees to discuss aspects of their job they enjoy and opportunities they value from you. A positive dialogue can help you motivate your workforce and give them the encouragement to stay with you.

Stay interviews address the communication challenges that distance employers from their employees.

Businesses are operating in a highly competitive market today and losing valued employees is not an option. Interviews are helping managers to reach out to team members on time and discuss issues in a more personalized way.

Dealing With Poor Employee Engagement

clock March 18, 2014 20:21 by author Administrator

Employee engagement describes how connected staff  feels to their job. 

Improving employee engagement ought to be the aim of all employers. An engaged workforce is more profitable for a business than a disengaged one. 

Take a look at US specialist mortgage company, New Century Financial Corporation. They discovered that account managers who were engaged in their work generated 28% more revenue than their disengaged colleagues. 

There is no doubt that some companies have improved their staff engagement levels

However, in general approximately: 

-20% of workers are disengaged

-25% are proactively engaged

-The remainder lie somewhere in the middle of these two extremes

How Engagement Surveys Can Help

The best method to find out if you have engaged employees is to survey them. Unless you have a clear idea of the opinions and perceptions of your staff, it is difficult to improve their morale. 

You should take the time to design a engagement survey that assesses the attitudes of your staff. Then, you should use the data from this survey to strengthen the culture of your organization. 

This survey will send the message to your staff that they are important. Also, it will reinforce the commitment of your organization to evidence based practices. This encourages your staff to be more open, more productive and more enthusiastic about their work. This will reduce staff absenteeism. 

Concentrate on areas that are important to your employees, and can be accurately measured. Autonomy, communication and training are just a few of the crucial areas to tackle.

Choose the Appropriate People to be Managers

Your vitality depends on recruiting people into leadership roles. And they need the ability to be effective and inspirational managers. 

Recent studies indicate that many people have a low opinion of their boss. Parade Magazine reported that 35% of workers would rather have their manager fired, than receive a significant pay increase.

Businesses need to hire managers who genuinely care about their staff. You need people who can identify, embrace and adjust to people's differences. 

Good managers unite workers, offer clear instruction,  and help you achieve their true potential. 

The best managers know their success is directly related to how much they invest in their staff. 

Provide Staff With Everything They Require

Whenever staff members lack the resources or expertise to perform their jobs, they feel ignored. If employees feel undervalued, or that what they do is unimportant, they become disengaged. 

Providing staff with more say over their working environment has a noticeably positive impact. It causes workers to feel appreciated, and encourages them to go the extra mile for their employer.

Final Thoughts

Engaging your employees is not easy and, if you fail to follow through with this practice, your previous efforts will count for little.

Where Would Your Business Be Without An Employee Management System?

clock March 10, 2014 15:10 by author Administrator

Do you really need an employee management system?

Imagine if your mother told you to clean your room. But, she didn't inform you that it meant more than just picking up your clothes and actually included dusting and vacuuming.

Then again, she didn’t provide you with a dust cloth or vacuum cleaner, so how were you to know what was expected?

That, in essence, is what a good employee management system resolves. The system should let employees know what's expected of them and give them the tools to complete the task.

The Flower Shop Scenario

Consider the troubles a florist shop could encounter without a credible employee management system. Each employee likely would do whatever was in front of them, rather than stick to an assigned task.

The front counter could be un-attended while employees are out making deliveries. Or expensive flowers could wilt, as employees aren’t sure who is to make the deliveries. Besides, the shop does not have a delivery van. Bouquets would be made from whatever flowers are available because no one reordered supplies. Customers would leave in frustration and the shop wouldn’t be in business for long.

All these problems could be solved if the shop established an employee management system.

It would:

  • Train employees on what their duties are, and
  • How to accomplish them
  • Give them the equipment they need
  • Reward them for a job well done 

Methods of Management

To start off, a goal setting management system should be based on the SMART concept. 

  • Specific: Management defines specific goals
  • Measurable: Progress in these goals should be measurable in numbers, graphs, and charts
  • Agreed: These goals and measurements should be agreed-upon by employer and employee
  • Realistic: Given the right training and tools, these goals should be attainable
  • Timely: Employees should know of any deadlines for the task

To get the most out of employees, while providing them with a pleasant and motivating workplace, there are basically five essential parts to a management system. Including the SMART goal-setting system, the other four include:

  • Delegation: Proper procedures make task delegation more progressive. This includes meeting with employees to go over tasks and time lines. It also means discussing the results once the task is completed to identify any problem areas.
  • Feedback: Stay in touch on a monthly or weekly basis with employees to discuss the performance development plan.
  • Training: Establish training programs to help employees understand their responsibilities and better ways of achieving them. Mentorship or coaching programs with an experienced staff member could improve the business culture.
  • Recognition: Reward employees who meet management expectations. This is a prime method of providing feedback and promoting productivity among the staff

The correct system helps employee morale and reduces competition that could hurt team atmosphere. How a system is designed matters, but using it the right way is just as important.

Measuring employee performance by pitting them against each other is bad. It makes for a disruptive subculture of competition and results in two separate tiers of workers: the winners and the losers.

To resolve this issue, management would more likely achieve its goals by measuring employee output by a set standard of markers that each can attain. This would allow employees to work with each other rather than compete and undermine progress.


Why Employees Should Have Management Skills

clock March 10, 2014 12:39 by author Administrator

It's not just your managers who need to have good management skills. All employees should have them in order for your company to operate smoothly.

Employee management skills can be good for a lot of reasons. The more your employees are able to handle and motivate others, the more opportunities your business will have to grow. 

Building Future Leaders

When employees have good management skills, it sets them up for leadership opportunities in the future. Companies that promote from within often see big benefits that way. Their employees are ready to be promoted and don't need as much training. 

Just about anyone can be trained to handle the basic aspects of a job, but not everyone is destined to be a manager. People in management positions should be leaders, and being able and ready to lead is a valuable attribute. When you hire new employees, look for those who have leadership abilities.

Working in Teams 

Teamwork is a big part of many types of business, and good employee management skills can make working in teams so much easier. If there aren't any leaders on the team, things simply won't get done as quickly or efficiently. Some things may never get done at all, or the quality standards may not be what the company was hoping for.

When an employee on a team has skills that translate to good leadership, they become the informal leader of that team and move the project in the right direction. The majority of other employees will go along with that person if he or she treats them respectfully.

Taking Charge of a Project

Employees that are able to take charge of a project are among the best employees a company can have. Natural leaders are generally highly valued for their abilities. The more of them you can get into your company the better off you'll be. It's also important to consider that too many employees with leadership on their minds may not be a good choice for the same project.

Spread out the employees who have management skills, with one or two on each project. That will help them lead the other employees and keep them from conflicting with one another. 

Moving the Company Forward

Employee management skills are vital to making sure the company moves in the right direction. Eventually, older managers will retire or move on to other companies and career opportunities. When that takes place, you'll need new leaders to step in and take over. When employees are already good leaders, they are natural choices for moving into new roles.

They'll still need some training, but they'll have all the basic leadership and motivation skills they'll need.

Providing New Ideas

When a company doesn't stay innovative and on the cutting edge, the company can struggle.

That's especially true if competitors are moving forward with new and interesting ideas for customers.

Employees with leadership thoughts look out for the company and consider ways it can be more innovative.