Every business leader seeks the magical insights that will help people thrive and produce excellent results. Finding that special insight involves understanding individuals’ and your team’s needs, leveraging technology, and promoting a healthy work-life balance among various other things.
Below, we present a sampling of thoughts and strategies that could contribute to the success of your staff.
Understanding Social Support and Technology Needs
In today’s interconnected society, social support is crucial for staff members. Whether it’s a quick Slack message or a full-blown team meeting, connectivity is key. Advances in technology have made it easier for staff to communicate. Technology has also raised “speed and ease” expectations. While technology does make tasks quicker and simpler, leaders must be observant. It’s easy for technology to trump work ethic and expand people’s social support needs. Online “followers” can become substitutes for direct interpersonal relationships, replacing relationships with workplace colleagues.
The Importance of Recognition
Acknowledging achievements is vital. Employee recognition is a fundamental need that has [increasingly] been influenced by educational systems and social-media role models. This is where expectations of immediate gratification come into play—people appreciate real-time feedback and other rewards. For some people, a quick “well done” can make a world of difference. For others, expectations can be excessive. Amidst this range of expectations, leaders must know how to nurture and grow individual and team success.
Removing the Contractor-Employee Conundrum
Given the fluid nature of work these days, transitioning from a fully employed staff to a mix of contractors must be considered. It offers flexibility, which many employees seek, especially those who have high-income skills and those who prioritize work-life balance.
Engaging Different Income Brackets
Leading both people with “high-income skills” and people with “lower-income skills” is now a crucial requirement. The former should be rewarded in a manner that befits their skill level—with a focus on more complex and challenging high-impact projects. For the latter, the emphasis should be on creating a comfortable work environment, complete with essential support and resources. Also, leaders must create opportunities for education and training to assist those who are ready, willing, and able to “upskill”. Leaders must not assume people with lower-income skills cannot advance their skills beyond lower-income skills. Roles can be customized to assist skill advancement.
Variations in Personal Values
Being authentic as a leader means sharing your personal values and ensuring they align with those of your staff—although perfect alignment is unrealistic. Considering the fact personal values differ, leaders must prepare themselves and their teams to anticipate and be prepared for staff turnover.
When it comes to communication, one size doesn’t fit all. Some may prefer text messages while others feel more comfortable with face-to-face meetings. Leaders must use different communications that align with the individual’s communication style and messaging needs.
Small Business Customization and Rule-making
Unlike large corporations, smaller businesses have the advantage of customizing each staff role. However, a balance must be struck between having clear, overarching rules and giving high-income skilled people the freedom they crave. Leaders must not constrain highly-skilled people with rules.
Sharing Stories about Vision and Values
Displaying integrity and sharing stories that emphasize your vision and values will resonate with your team. While everyone’s personal values must align to some degree and personal visions of success must overlap, it’s essential to remember that we are all human, and perfect alignment is impossible. Leaders cannot make a habit of commanding performance because that will create deterioration of performance. Leaders must educe performance as consistent role models.
Finally, constant growth and development are integral to roles that are evolving and advancing. This is where experiential learning comes into play. Whether it’s the leader or their [aligned] designated experts, someone must always be teaching and sharing new insights.
Leading a team to success requires special skills and strengths. It requires a nuanced approach, taking into consideration multiple factors—from the influence of technology to the individual needs and preferences of each staff member. By adopting these strategies, you not only pave the way for your team’s success but also grow as an authentic leader who can adapt to the ever-changing demands of business.