Leadership is central to the success of any business, and it appears as though British firms are lagging behind their European counterparts in this respect.
To this end, some four-in-ten (40%) of UK employees are unhappy with the current quality of their leadership, compared with an average of just 33% across more than 2,000 workers located in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
With this focus on senior leadership teams on these shores, what steps can you take to become a better leader for your team? Here are some considerations to keep in mind:
#1. Engage in Open Communication and Listen
Let’s start with the basics, as there’s a tendency to misunderstand the impact of leadership and the attributes that enables leaders to do their jobs effectively.
While many people talk of a leader’s ability to inspire and command the respect of others, for example, they often overlook the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between senior leaders and employees alike.
This not only requires the ability to explain instructions and ideas concisely, as leaders must also be good listeners who can take on the feedback and concerns of others while being willing to adjust their own ideas where necessary.
Keep this in mind at all times as a leader, no matter what you’re trying to communicate or the industry that you operate in.
#2. Encourage Career Progression
This is another important consideration, both from the perspective of your employees’ mental wellbeing and managing the cost of running your business.
Certainly, employers are more likely to be content in their role if they have access to skill development career progression paths, while it’s also considerably cheaper to retain talent than it is to acquire new staff members.
So, by encouraging career progression and providing employees with the necessary training to achieve their ambitions, you can optimise productivity and the value of each staff member while reducing the overall cost of recruitment in the long-term.
#3. Guarantee the Safety of Your Employees in the Workplace
No single workplace has been created equal, and each one will pose different and variable risks to the physical and mental wellbeing of staff members.
As a good leader, it’s your duty to identify and evaluate this risk (through the process of risk assessment), before implementing practical steps and measures that seek to safeguard each individual employee.
For example, employees working in fields such as construction and warehousing should be provided with varies garments, including hard hats, high visibility clothing and safety footwear. Other examples of this type of clothing include gloves and goggles, depending on exact roles and the type of work being carried out.
You can also take other steps to optimise safety within the business, such as implementing a transparent accident reporting process and providing comprehensive training when using specific items of machinery.