According to Gallup polls, 50% of the employees who quit their jobs cite their managers as the reason. Although baffling, it is also true and this must be fixed.
A good manager is a lynchpin in the success of a team, but effective leadership skills are not naturally ingrained in most managers and leaders, especially when it’s their first time taking up the role. However, some important and extremely useful advice for leadership development can help you sail through the first few months as a manager or leader.
Here’s are a few things to keep in mind as a:
Don’t Pretend to Know Everything – Honesty is one of the most important qualities of a good leader. So, do not pretend that you know everything and also don’t assume things. Always ask, talk and communicate. Start with having a kick-off meeting with your team members and let them know that you will need their help and feedback to run things smoothly. Clear communication and intent will help you build trust with them.
Understand the True Meaning of Leadership – According to Brandon Hall’s State of Leadership Development, 71% of organizations do not feel their leaders are able to lead their organization into the future. The problem, perhaps, is that sometimes, managers think that leadership is about asking others to work. Now, what can be done? You will find lists of leadership skills you must develop in yourself on a single google search, but in simple words, here’s what you need to do:
- Don’t let your team be on its own. Conduct weekly meetings to measure the progress and help each member with their shortcomings.
- Don’t force your team to meet unrealistic goals or deadlines. This may require you to defend your team when needed.
- Learn to trust easily and give people responsibilities. Making employees feel trustworthy is the key to employee motivation.
- A ‘thank you’ goes a long way. So, never miss a chance to appreciate and encourage your team members. Here’s why: 79% percent of employees leave their job because they don’t feel appreciated.
- Collect feedback on a weekly basis and understand exactly where you need to improve.
Pluck the Low-hanging Fruit – Don’t dive right into the complicated issues; begin with working on the easily achievable goals. Understand that there is no small feat. Every little decision that contributes to a better work environment counts. It helps managers or leaders build a rapport with the team members. And, this helps in building trust within the organization. And we all know that the lack of trust can make the whole system come crumbling down.
Don’t Do Everything Yourself – You’re a new Manager and you’re all set to hit the ground running. But going at a slow pace will ensure that you’re not too exhausted too soon. Your priority should be managing your team because your success will be evaluated with your team’s performance.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Break your responsibilities into separate tasks and assign each task an objective.
- Identify the people who can commit to the tasks and perform well.
- Make the best use of each member’s unique skillset. The efficiency will go a notch higher.
- Train them briefly to get them started well. It will take lesser time than reworking on everything yourself.
Become an Advocate – Here’s a familiar saying: “People leave managers, not companies.”
Up to 90% of the difference between outstanding and average leaders is linked to emotional intelligence. The relationship between a manager or supervisor and an employee is just like any other relationship, strengthening it requires empathy and putting yourself in other’s shoes. Managers should empathise with their team members and help them in a way that doesn’t hurt anybody. They should become the advocate of their case and figure out a solution that helps them meet in the middle.
Read a Lot – Reading helps you live experiences that you haven’t had yourselves. So, read and learn from other mistakes. You will not believe how reading books related to time management, stress-free performance, etc. will help you start seeing small opportunities to meet your goals.
The most important tip is to stay patient and consistent with your efforts. Come out of your comfort zone and you will realize that all things are difficult before they are easy. Good luck!