7 Ways to be an Awesome Leader
Updated: Sep 13
It’s a candidates world and we love that! But, your company may be facing retention problems when ten years ago those candidates would have stayed.
The old saying that “People don’t quit companies, they quit people,” is true. People stay for good leadership, for teams they enjoy, growth opportunities, and might even take a cut on pay or some benefits for the right culture fit. Don’t misread us, you should be paying competitively and offering the best benefits that can be afforded. However, in the end most studies find that it’s the human element that keeps talent on board.
Here are seven tips on how to become a leader that retains and enriches those under their management:
Be a safe person. Be the kind of leader or colleague that others feel comfortable coming to when they need a sounding board. Whether asking for feedback, hearing suggestions, or just talking about the weather, being someone that others feel at ease around goes a long way in helping people decide to stay where they are.
Focus on facts. Keep emotions out of it. Focusing on the facts; namely, what the business needs- will help guide your conversations, actions, and response. And when in doubt, take a deep breath and think about your words. It’s easier to say nothing sometimes than something you cannot take back!
Lead with integrity. Do you do what you say you will do? Are you the same person behind closed doors as you are in the conference room? Presenting your authentic self, no matter the circumstance, helps your employees to understand who you are and how you lead, without fear of getting more than one personality.
Be fair, firm, and friendly. Whether having a coaching conversation, performance review, or anything in between, a leader is usually recognized by how they speak to others. When offering feedback, create a “love sandwich”- starting with a compliment or praise, moving to the opportunity or difficult piece, and then finishing with another praise or compliment. This style of conversation has been proven to make employees much more receptive to constructive criticism.
Delegate and trust. Hire great people who are good at what they do. Trust that they will get it done. Stepping back and allowing your team to complete what you’ve given them to do without micromanaging not only allows for ownership but promotes self-accountability. Remote and hybrid environments are great examples of this, in fact, companies are reporting an increase in productivity when allowing
Take time for you. Coming back to your own goals and your own “why” is such a key piece to becoming a better leader. Your employees will be ignited by your excitement and enthusiasm for what you do. Take time off, unplug after office hours and allow your employees to do the same. Finding a mentor within your area is also a wonderful way to see how others in your position lead and put things in perspective.
Boost team morale. Allow time for team bonding. Do you have a remote team? Invest in a team retreat a couple times a year. What about a virtual escape room or after-work virtual happy hour? Post-COVID, so many at-home activities can be delivered right to your employees’ doors. Pop some time on their calendar and make it a surprise for your team.