Jot down the differences and similarities among the employees who report to you, and draft an action plan for acknowledging those differences as well as the similarities. Use this planning technique to identify goals for your employees, according to their skills, aptitude and capabilities. One of the traits of an outstanding leader is the ability to develop effective interpersonal communication skills that adapt to the varied work styles, culture and needs of employees. Management and leadership are two separate functions; however, to become a good manager, your leadership style needs to be one that acknowledges the strengths in the different personalities and skills within your work force. An effective manager works to adapt her style so it works for the entire work force, not just a select few employees. Attention to the needs of a diverse work force will encourage your employees to perform well.
Exhibit behavior that your employees will emulate; modeling behavior is likely the best way to train employees in the nuances of professionalism in the workplace. When workplace professionalism becomes standard procedure, employee performance improves because your work force is proud of the manner in which they perform duties and interact with internal and external customers. Employees are most likely to exceed job expectations when they have a sense of pride in their work. In addition, praise employees for their efforts and for a job well done. Providing regular feedback to employees is another trait that true leaders and effective managers possess.
Reward employees whose performance exceeds expectations and develop performance improvement plans for employees whose performance falls below expectations. Work together with your employees to construct plans that will enhance skill sets and prepare them for future roles within your organization. Investing the time and energy in developing your work force has significant returns. In addition to improving performance, this leadership activity demonstrates you have a vested interest in your employees. This can increase job satisfaction, which can, in turn, raise the level of job satisfaction among your work force.
Communicate with your work force on a continual basis. Do not leave your work force uninformed about work policies, organizational change and, importantly, job expectations. Employees who feel they are valued tend to have better performance records and work remarkably well in a collegial and cohesive environment. Without leadership communication, employees will feel unimportant and devalued even if the lack of communication is unintentional. Share all necessary company information that can help employees understand their role in overall business objectives. This technique ensures a fluid exchange of ideas and opinions between a manager and his employees.
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