In the face of economic uncertainty and industry-wide mass layoffs plaguing various enterprises, all eyes are on leaders – particularly how their leadership style influences company culture and overall business health.
Unfortunately, in a recent survey of US employees, only 21% strongly agree that they trust the leaders of their organization. This is an alarming 24% drop from 2019.
When one thinks of leaders, some prominent and iconic names may spring to mind, enforcing a notion that excellent leadership is an elusive, unlearnable skill. But with proper support, anyone can train to become a better business leader.
Empower Your Team & Elevate Your Organization: 4 Practices for Effective Business Leadership
Improving leadership skills isn’t optional, as it is the key to rebuilding lost trust between management and their workforce. Here are a few practices for effective business leadership.
1. Adopting a continuous learning mindset
As society navigates the fourth industrial age, one thing is becoming painfully clear: business leaders can no longer rest on their laurels and rely on time-tested strategies.
With skills becoming obsolete at breakneck speeds – some experts suggest that 49% of existing workforce skills will be irrelevant by 2025 – leaders must shift out of their comfort zone and foster a learn-and-adapt mindset. This change begins with an acceptance that good leaders have the humility to pursue further growth and learning.
Learning can come in classes, conferences, and extensive consumption of relevant resources so leaders can be better at what they do. For those seeking further guidance, leadership development programs can equip leaders with the needed skills to embrace new competencies and behaviors like greater empathy and EQ, resilience, agility, and virtual leadership.
With a bespoke leadership framework that reports improvements aligned with a client’s competency and values language, HR departments tracking these leadership initiatives can see how such programs deliver real, attributable value. For their part, leaders should take the initiative and consult with their HR departments regarding opportunities for continuous learning.
2. Being receptive to feedback
Communication is the key to any successful business, but great leaders understand that this communication must be two-way. Being a good leader is inseparable from being a good listener.
Leaders can address this by scheduling ways to receive feedback through surveys, one-on-one discussions, or anonymous performance reviews. The responses allow leaders to modify their leadership style as needed and more concretely track changes in employee morale.
Employees who have the opportunity to give honest feedback are also 7.4 times more likely to trust their leaders and manage challenges.
3. Encouraging collaboration culture
Fostering a communicative work environment enables employees to take ownership of business initiatives by bringing up pain points that affect revenue.
For instance, they may suggest the use of automation and revenue intelligence to recover lost sales opportunities and create a more seamless workflow, a topic we touched on previously.
When employees benefit from improved leadership, they’re more likely to point out such issues, as they feel a greater sense of belonging and more intrinsic motivation to help a business thrive.
4. Setting clear and attainable goals
Leaders should strive to set realistic and clear goals to keep employees motivated. This helps order priorities and gives employees a concrete goal to work with, creating a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Good leaders want to see their team members succeed. Thus, identifying tangible goals reached by specific members can serve as crucial evidence when leaders advocate for employee promotions or raises.
Employees who are validated by their leaders in this way tend to be happier in their roles, improving company loyalty and decreasing turnover. A leader sets the tone for their workplace environment.
Creating a positive work environment has been shown to increase productivity by 12%. More than productivity, however, a good leader understands that the heart and soul of their business is their people. And by improving leadership skills, they can show up as the best versions of their professional selves, thereby honoring the hard work of their team.
Conclusion — Practices for Effective Business Leadership
In conclusion, effective business leaders are those who can foster a positive and productive work environment, set clear goals and expectations, motivate and inspire their team members, and make sound decisions.
By incorporating these four key principles into your leadership style, you can empower your team to achieve its full potential and lead your organization to success.