The leadership skills exhibited by an organization’s executives, managers, and supervisors set the tone for employee productivity and morale. When leaders are disengaged, untrustworthy, and fail to ask for input or give any kind of feedback to their team, employee morale and performance suffer. But, when leaders are competent, accountable, inclusive, and are genuinely engaged in the day-to-day functioning of the organization and their employees’ lives, team members take notice and feel excited to come to work every day.
Providing comprehensive, effective leadership training to your formal and informal leaders is the best way to improve their leadership skills. Leaders must understand how vital their own behavior is to the success of their employees – they should lead by example by being present, trustworthy and generous.
Be Present and Engaged
Ask any lower-level employee, and they can describe immediately what a disengaged leader looks like: someone who spends meetings (and even one-on-ones) looking at their phone or tablet, and who is disinterested in status updates, employee ideas or participating in discussions or company functions. Instead, learn to be a leader who pays attention, is fully present in meetings and who asks thoughtful questions to draw out the input of your colleagues. Set the standard for your team’s work by showing employees that you are highly competent and are interested in what they have to say.
Another leadership skill that is an employee morale-booster is trustworthiness. Leaders can build trust by being open and forthcoming with information, even bad news. They can also demonstrate trustworthiness by doing what they say they’re going to do – being someone who can be counted on and who keeps their word.
Lastly, leaders should be generous – with their time, their praise, and their credit. Leaders are busy people, but you should learn to recognize when a person or a situation warrants a bit more time – avoid acting rushed, and be giving of your time. Also, good leaders go out of their way to praise employees for their efforts and results; this builds morale because everyone likes to feel valued and recognized. Also, a leader can show their generosity by sharing credit with others when he or she is successful. A sure way to lose credibility with your team is by taking all the credit for a success, so never pass up an opportunity to “share the glory” with your team members.
You don’t have to be a born leader – exemplary leadership skills can be learned. CRM Learning has been providing award-winning, effective leadership training videos for over 40 years. Leadership: What’s Trust Got To Do With It? tells the story of a team leader who, when met with budget cutbacks and his own lack of accountability to his team, regains their active participation by learning five essential trust-building behaviors.