Everyone Wasn't Meant to Lead Teams
Put very simply, we have to stop promoting the wrong people. Did you know that just 34% of Americans aspire to have leadership positions, and a mere 7% have their eyes set on the C-suite?
Since your succession planning and performance management should be intertwined anyhow, make leadership roles and promotions part of that dialogue. If only 1/3 of your workforce has the passion to do what their boss does, you might want to figure out which third that is, and work with them.
So, instead of promoting the wrong people to leadership roles, identify those who have a passion for leadership, and facilitate those career advancement opportunities with them.
—Andre Lavoie, CEO, ClearCompany
Build a Relationship with New Hires, Not a Dictatorship
Professionalism isn’t quite what it used to be. Today, workplace transparency trumps traditional ideas of professionalism. In fact, a recent 15Five survey revealed that 81% of employees would rather join a company that values open communication than one with flashy (and quite generous) workplace perks.
Add to that environments that thrive on collaboration and trust and you’ve found yourself immersed in a workforce that needs to have a strong connection with their leadership to develop, especially with those most closely involved in the day-to-day contact.
Get started: Managers can build trust first, by embracing transparency about the details of the job and company during the hiring stage.
After a new hire is brought on, communicating frequently about their current strengths and delicately guiding them on improving their weaknesses will pay off in the long haul through a strong work ethic and ability to continuously improve.
–Noelle Murphy, PR Manager at Red Branch Media
Besides showing that you care and are supportive of your team, you need to actually exert yourself to engage with them – even if it’s just over morning coffee in the break room. When employees come to you with concerns, ideas, or questions ask them to expand on their thoughts and ensure that there is a full understanding of what they need or want.
It is equally important to not only understand but also follow-up and be responsible for what they are asking or concerned about. This means that they will know that you are indeed listening, and interested in what they have to say. Creating this type of relationship is important considering that companies with engaged employees generate 2.5x the revenue than those companies with low engagement levels.
–Michael Heller, CEO, iRevu
Just Say Thank You!
If you’re an employer, it goes without saying that employee appreciation is important. In fact, it can make or break your retention reputation with employees leaving when they don’t feel valued. On the other hand, implementing a recognition program of some sort can make a big difference as 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated. You don’t need a super-robust program in order to get the ball rolling – a simple thank you can go a long way!
–Stevie Howard, SEO Coordinator, Red Branch Media
Effective Communication is a Must
Clear and effective messaging will boost morale, increase loyalty and increase employee engagement. As a Human Resources leader, it’s vital that you develop and demonstrate your communication skills.
When HR is able to clearly explain their company’s mission, values, policies and procedures, it helps their workforce understand their roles in driving organizational results and motivates them to outperform.
—Talent Success University
Listen First, Then Act
Working with a leader who doesn’t accept feedback is a recipe for disaster. This is not news. Employees don’t want to work for a leader who doesn’t take their considerations seriously and neither do co-founders and investors. Therefore, leaders should have the ability to balance what they think is right with what others think is right. If a leader brushes off your feedback or is determined to do it their way, consider finding someone else to model your career after.
Lead by testing your own perspective with that of others. A leader can think it’s their way or the highway, but if you’re open to new ideas and feedback they should be able to A/B test opposing opinions.
One caveat? A leader who follows every piece of feedback they get will likely get nowhere. Make sure you have both the ability to listen and pairs it with discernment.
–Jonathan Kestenbaum, Talent Tech Labs
About Maren Hogan:
Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer, writer and business builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. Founder and CEO of Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and outsourcing and thought leadership to HR and Recruiting Technology and Services organizations internationally, Hogan is a consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques. She has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies and been a thought leader in the global recruitment and talent space. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and The Red Branch Media Blog.