There are bosses, and there are leaders. You can easily tell the distinct differences between the two. A boss manages their employees, while a leader works tirelessly to innovate, create and inspire them. Leaders imbibe a sense of work ethics and other positive traits in their employees for their growth and always stick to them in difficult situations.
Leaders direct their employees to strive for excellence while bosses do not involve themselves much in motivating them. This blog is not to highlight the differences between them or to weigh them. However, a boss could be the leader your organization needs if they overlook the leadership practices that make them one.
This blog discusses the leadership practices that must not be neglected in any organization.
6 leadership practices that every leader must follow
Being a good boss is essential for a happy workforce. While bad managers cause high turnover, good managers boost morale and are honored on National Boss's Day!
1. Put Conscious Efforts in Building Relationships
Building relationships with the employees has its benefits. Leaders invest efforts in knowing the employees personally, listening to their problems, and creating a mutual respect and commitment culture. It boosts the overall morale and employees’ job satisfaction and becomes more aware of their strengths and weaknesses. That further helps in developing their skill sets with strategic planning and leadership training. Move beyond the titles and roles and build relationships with your employees with an open mind.
In today’s workplace, leaders could easily be drifted towards solving problems at their forefront, giving less emphasis on the people who work for them tirelessly. If you want to be a successful leader, your leadership practice must include building a healthy relationship with your employees. It includes making conscious efforts to know them and their challenges for sustainable organizational growth and development.
2. Take Feedback and Lead Better
Leadership practices in organizations are many, and taking feedback from the employees is arguably the most important.
Giving the employees regular feedback related to their work has a positive psychological impact on them. First of all, it boosts their engagement. It gives them a clear picture of what is expected from them by creating a transparent communication channel. Secondly, it motivates the employees to work harder and achieve the company goals. But this is just one side of the equation.
Leaders receiving feedback from their employees is a great leadership practice and tells a lot about the company. It fosters equality in the workplace and also gives freedom to the employees to question their leadership. In addition, it creates a great opportunity for the leaders to improve and implement strategies for their betterment based on the employees’ feedback.
3. Trust your Employees
Leaders who do not trust their employees fully are not confident about their leadership. Let’s see a recent example here. During the covid-19 pandemic, many big/small companies adapted to the new normal of working remotely. Companies like Google have reinvented their policy to help their employees and provide more work flexibility.
Not many companies can confidently take this step. However, it is a no-brainer to understand that it all boils down to one word - Trust. Also, employees who trust their leaders are more committed, more satisfied, and less likely to leave. Trust can be built by making the work processes transparent, involving employees in decision making, and, most importantly, treating everyone equally.
When you trust your employees, you build a loyal workforce who supports you in every organizational change or uncertainty of the future.
Also read: 6 Practices To Ensure Trust In The Workplace
4. Practice Transparency
As mentioned above, transparent work culture leads to better trust and equality in the workplace. Not only this, when leaders promote transparency, it impacts other vital aspects of the organization too. For example, problem-solving and decision-making become more efficient.
Relationships in the workplace grow authentically. People are more likely to understand what is expected and are clear about their goals and objectives. Leaders who practice transparency keep town hall meetings to keep the team informed about the organizational changes and strategies
Great leaders always stand with their people with dignity and integrity. They are authentic to the people and are honest in all their approaches. The great way to do that is by practicing transparency in the workplace.
5. Don’t Impose, Listen to All
Effective leaders are great listeners; you have heard it many times. They say effective listening makes you a better leader. And rightfully so. The leaders who listen to the employees are more aware of their needs, problems, and feelings.
Those who listen to their employees lead the highly diverse and multi-generational workforce even more efficiently. Conversely, leaders who impose their ideas without considering others’ views or opinions are inefficient and fail to deliver what is expected. Therefore, to be effective leaders, it is critical to respect diverse ideas, leave the ‘one approach fit all’ attitude in the dustbin, and embrace active listening.
6. Leadership Practice and Recognition
Employees seek recognition and appreciation for the hard work they put into their work. Leaders who acknowledge this and recognize their employees from time to time keep the workforce happy and engaged. When employees are recognized, they are motivated to keep up the good work with more enthusiasm. Recognition cannot wait; it must be instant. Also, in today’s time, many workforces are working remotely. To recognize teams who are dispersed in different geographical locations could be a difficult task. So how to do that effectively? One of the easiest ways to do it is by implementing a digital rewards and recognition platform for recognizing employees instantly. Leaders must leverage it and make the best out of their recognition processes.