Research shows great leadership and trust can increase your business's profits. Learn how to correct 3 common leadership mistakes in your business.
Leadership in business is crucial. It's often associated with large, multinational companies, but its essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Every business needs a great leader to be successful, from a successful conglomerate like Apple to a profitable Subway franchise. Without exemplary leadership, your business will flounder with no direction, your employees won't have anyone to look up to and your profits will surely suffer.
However, so many leaders fall victim to common leadership pitfalls. If you want your business, no matter what size, to become a big player in your industry, you need to identify these common mistakes and learn how to overcome them.
Common Leadership Mistakes
If you ever attend a professional leadership coaching class, you may learn what are the most common challenges leaders face. These challenges can be external or simply a misguided approach to leadership. Below are three of the most common leadership mistakes and what damage they can do to their business.
1. Not Fostering Trust
Employees and their employers don't necessarily have to be friendly with one another, but there should be trust between both parties. You as a manager or businessowner should trust your employees to do their jobs, and they should trust you to look after their interests. However, this is not the case with a shocking number of businesses.
A survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review showed that 51 percent of full-time employees don't have a great deal of trust in their employers. This can cause unnecessary friction between hierarchies. Such distrust means neither side are effectively working together and your business's operations will slow down and suffer for it.
2.Not Showing Appreciation
When was the last time you took an employee aside and told them they did a great job? When was the last time you showed your employees that you value the time and effort they put into your business? Showing appreciation for your employees may seem trivial when you have to meet deadlines and quotas, but not doing so can be more damaging than you think.
According to a recent survey, an astonishing 79 percent of employees leave their jobs because they didn't feel like they were appreciated. A high turnover rate seriously impedes your company's efficiency and can cause employee morale to plummet.
When you craft policies or come up with business strategies, how often do you consider the situation of your employees? As a businessowner or a manager, you have to look after the welfare of your business. But you should also consider what your employees are going through. Putting the needs of the business before the needs of the employees all the time is bound to cause friction.
The key to breaking this thought pattern is by empathizing with your employees. Sure, you may be aware of their deadlines and duties, but the realities your employees face is much different. Not understanding their stresses and concerns is a fast track to low morale and poorly received tactics.
Improving Your Leadership
There are a few simple ways you can avoid the leadership pitfalls mentioned above. Implementing them can mean the difference between having a solid core of loyal, hardworking employees and a constantly rotating body of unproductive people. These measures can also help improve your business's operation as well as its profitability. According to industry experts, great leadership can double your profits.
Trust is a difficult concept to handle because once its broken, fixing it is an uphill battle. The key to maintaining trust is consistency and transparency. You must be consistent with your communication with employees, which means no double-talk and your efforts must always follow the same rules. As for transparency, your employees should have some idea why you're enacting certain strategies. Sharing your motivations behind plans can mean a great deal in cementing trust.
- Acknowledge Employee Efforts
Employee recognition can take many forms. Some can be as simple as mugs or personalized messages to the employee in question. But you could also employ other methods such as awarding more vacation days, certain perks or even a monetary reward. Provide a meaningful framework and criteria for doling out these tokens of appreciation and be sure to show some appreciation even to employees who may not be performing as well as others. A little encouragement can go a long way in boosting morale.
Empathy requires communication. If you want to understand what employees are going through, you need to have open dialogues with them. Schedule regular one-on-one sessions with employees from all levels of your business. You could also have focus groups and similar events where employees can share their concerns and suggestions in a safe space. This is essential in stepping into their shoes and making informed decisions.
Great leadership skills aren't always about making massive business decisions or outfoxing the competition. More often than not, they're about people and connecting with employees meaningfully. Hone up on these essential facets of leadership and you'll enjoy a prosperous business and productive employees.