Three core strategies of outstanding leaders

Irrespective of industries and kinds of markets an organization needs to survive or is targeting, leadership plays the most vital role in shaping the destiny and destination of the organization. Every organization is struggling to be at the top of the chart and wants to be on the first page of Google. A leader needs to be the source of inspiration to the employees whom they could find in times of intricate issues related to their existence in the organization. The leader should be a friend, guide, and philosopher in every sense. Sometimes, different roles may conflict because of different obligations a leader needs to meet. In this condition, keeping a balance between those roles is necessary. So, the question is how can a leader keep a proper balance between different roles they need to play?

It is truly said that replacing an employee is simple. Any organization can do so at any time. Every day thousands of employees are retrenched, laid off, or transferred in the corporate world across the globe. But it costs much to the company. When an employee is replaced or the position is just kept vacant for lack of a skilled employee, the organization suffers in the long-run. Though the financial sufferings are immediate and visible, damage to production or marketing or supply chain as a whole apart from economically measurable parameters are overlooked or remains unknown. It is never possible to replicate the specific skills of an individual, especially if they are holding the key and responsible positions. This is where leadership plays a vital role in any organization. The primary target of leadership would be to retain employees and retain their values. They should also ensure that an employee’s value increases with time; otherwise, retaining that employee is fruitless from the organization’s perspective. At the same time, leadership quality could be questioned!

A leader must find rational ways to bring out the best possible performances of the subordinates. Leadership must set the standard of performance for employees. This may necessitate setting high targets, need-based training, organizational changes, motivation, and understanding the team as a whole as also an individual employee. A bold leader leads from the front but provides optimum freedom to the employees. They make future leaders for the organization. Moreover, they introduce the culture of responsibility and partnership.  

Below are three key ways that a leader should practice to motivate their employees:

  1. A leader should “sketch” the prospective career for each employee and the organization must approve it

Growth is life. This is true not just for an individual or a society but for an organization and its people as well. Coming to the workplace, working and meeting the daily targets, getting the salary, etc. all are routinized and normal. After a certain period, employees do not get motivated with the paychecks or with new challenging works. People in organizing want to know where they are heading next? What will be the pay scale after a year or after getting the promotion? What types of careers waiting for them in the organization? What if they do an executive management course? Career development is one of the major sources of motivation that keeps the employees going, lack of it is harmful in many ways including poor performance and higher turnover.

In this condition, leaders have a vital role to play. A leader should be concerned about each and every employee in their team. A face-to-face meeting with an employee or with the group solely for the purpose of their future prospect in the organization or industry should be a highlighted part of team management.

Leaders should show the employees that the organization does care about them, is concerned about their career growth, and has created a vivid career path for them. Leaders should understand this apparently simple but mostly ignored matter actually matters a lot to the employees. Employees may not show any concern or would not say anything but foggy career prospects undermine organizational performance. It is one of the most important aspects of employee retention and performance in the long-run.

1. Periodical meeting with employees face to face or in groups for the sake of their career.
2. What is wrong with the employee (if anything is wrong) and what is keeping them behind.
3. Has the employee understood what they can achieve? Is it clear or any confusion still existing? Their confusion should be cleared.

2. A leader should inculcate the culture of learning

Every experience teaches some lessons. Sometimes, people miss that lesson and sometimes they just don’t care. You should motivate your employees to learn from their everyday work experience. The “culture of learning” turns a so far “dull” human resource into a dynamic one. In some organizations developing such culture may be a lengthy process due to different reasons (not within the purview of this article) when leaders should come forward take charge of this utterly essential aspect of organizational development. Inculcating the “culture of learning” is a tedious process that wouldn’t come overnight. It’s a leader’s responsibility to start demonstrating to their team how to learn from experiences and events, how to learn from responsibilities, how to get updates from communication with peers and seniors, and many such aspects of organizational life that keep the employees and organizations going.

Leaders should emphasize three primary aspects related to employees and the culture of learning:

First, what an employee did in the recent past or earlier really appreciable and what other employees could learn from that?

Second, what went wrong with an employee in the recent past or earlier and what other employees could learn from that?

Third, what the organization as a whole has been doing right or wrong and what could be learned from that?

Fourth, what the chief competitors have been doing right or wrong and what can be learned from that?

Fifth, what the industry as a whole has been doing right and wrong and what could be learned from that?

Sixth, what the other organizations of the industry have been doing right or wrong from which the employees can learn a lesson that could add value to their jobs?

All these learning experiences and sharing such experiences with others have profound effects on individual and organizational performance. As the culture of learning develops, its impacts could be felt in several other ways as well. Employees become more responsible and independent, managers get time to concentrate on other vital jobs, and the organization or the team quickly adapt to a new environment or accept a change quickly. There are dozens of other capabilities develop or the existing capabilities strengthens, the culture of learning is amazingly powerful.

1. Discuss with the team why everyone should learn new things from an experience or observing others.
2. Initially, introduce regular classes and encourage the employees to share their experience.
3. Ask the team members to discuss a problem they or anyone has faced.
4. Reward the employees whom you find an excellent learner and who are influencing others to learn.

3. A leader should develop “relationship” with the employees

Relationship plays a vital role in the team and organizational performances. A leader should build a strong bonding with employees. It is not just a professional relationship that ends as the employees leave the office or factory premises. Such a relationship should go beyond a professional relationship. There should not be psychological distance. The leader should be 24×7 support to employees whom they can call even after office hours and even for consulting a personal problem.

Employees spend almost half of the day working for the organizations. It is their second home where they shouldn’t feel alien. To develop relationships with employees, the leader needs to spend quality time with the team and individual employees. Meeting the team members during lunch, keeping news of their families, participating in the parties, and arranging family get-togethers or short weekend trips with family members make relationships with employees strong.

1. Relationship building is important for team performance.
2. Leader should have different innovative ideas in mind that would help in developing relationships with subordinates.
3. Leader should take time out from their daily schedule to develop or strengthen mental links with the employees.

These three strategies are essential parts of effective leadership. A true leader integrates these three strategies with their leadership style in order to improve the performances of the employees inculcating a zest for bigger achievements in their careers. These three strategies have far-reaching consequences that help to develop a resilient organizational culture, alleviate organizational performance, and reduce redundancy.

Above all, the organization gets enviable leaders and employees that add momentum to branding and competence.

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