Traditional forms of leadership don't make sense in the modern workplace. Leadership today isn't a charismatic person leading their employees. Instead, it's a collaborative and diverse team that shares ideas.
Today, it's common to work with people from different parts of the country and the world. More companies offer remote jobs and work-from-home options. The availability of computers, electronics and increased internet penetration creates greater work flexibility.
You're very likely to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Team members, vendors and customers will come from different locations and time zones.
Leaders need to adjust not only to a more diverse workgroup, but also to changing employee expectations.
People today are no longer satisfied with a job that just pays the bills. People want meaning and purpose in what they do. They want to participate in designing their work environment for a more fulfilling life.
These changes and challenges mean that leadership needs to be more flexible. It fact, putting some of the responsibilities into the hands of one's team can be the most effective way to meet these new changes.
Empowering your team to lead itself is a subtle form of leadership. There's potential in this type of leadership for people to be proactive and work in the way they feel best.
Let's explore practical ways that you can help your team lead itself while meeting your business goals.
Create a community.
Team members who have a personal stake in your goals and business successes will put in more effort. They are more likely to seek unique and helpful solutions to problems, and embrace company values.
You can create a greater connection between team members and your company by building a community. A community can create a sense of belonging and also foster loyalty.
It's possible to build an online community on a membership platform or by using messaging hubs. A community can be a place for your team to interact with each other and have discussions.
This is especially helpful when you have remote workers. An online community can enable team members from around the world to feel engaged. They'll be on the same page when it comes to company information, and they get to know their peers.
When your team members feel connected, they're more willing to take on responsibility and grow your business. You will also create a collaborative environment where your team members support each other.
Giving people the means to share their ideas empowers them to come forward with creative solutions. Your team is your best source of ideas, because they know your business and also interact with your customers.
By fostering innovation and encouraging co-workers to be creative, you develop a culture of innovation. A work culture that encourages innovation and creativity creates greater engagement and satisfaction. Your team will see that their work is meaningful and that they help shape your brand.
Creating outlets for idea generation in your organization impacts your business in a positive way. You'll find ideas for new product developments, which will lead to business growth.
Ask for and provide feedback.
Timely and meaningful feedback is necessary to nurture leadership. Feedback makes it possible to identify when something isn't working and to fix it. It's also a way to reinforce a job well done.
Feedback is necessary to accomplish business goals. It can also enable you and your team to support each other. Regular one-on-ones and team meetings are essential for staying on the same page. Your team can inform you where they need help, and you can give them the right support. Help them by giving ideas, or by providing access to tools and assets.
Also, spending time with each team member gives you the opportunity to understand them better. When you give your team feedback, you're creating the opportunity for them to learn and grow. You can provide them with the perspective and support they need to close a sale or deal with an unhappy client.
Feedback also helps your team make information-backed decisions that help your business grow.
It's important to not only give feedback but to receive it too. Create a feedback form to streamline your communication. Accepting feedback from your team empowers them and gives them a say in the working of the company. They'll be more invested and will be willing to improve how they work.
Provide training and coaching opportunities.
A practical and effective way to develop leadership skills in your team is to offer them training opportunities. Bringing in experts to teach your team members valuable skills can increase their effectiveness at work.
It's important to help your team develop skills in areas that are different from what they already do. Leadership is less about technical details and more about the bigger picture. Having broader interpersonal skills and the ability to handle conflict leads to better interactions at the workplace.
Provide your team members with training in communication and personal development. Such skills, along with marketing, negotiation skills, and other skills, helps them develop strong leadership abilities. You'll find you can delegate more responsibilities to promising team members. It also shows employees that you recognize their potential.
You can also train your team directly by acting as a mentor and by providing resources. Share helpful content, such as thought leadership articles, or give them access to online courses and tools. There are many ways you can give your team the right training and guidance to create leadership abilities.
When your team does a great job, it's important that you celebrate it. Recognizing your team gives them a boost and makes their work appear meaningful.
Showcase some of your team's best work to the rest of the organization. Use your communications channels to offer praise. You can make it part of your company newsletter or highlight peer accomplishments during a meeting.
Appreciating your co-workers is important because it shows that you're listening. After all, monetary compensation is not the only thing that matters. Your team members care about growth and recognition.
Today's workforce wants to feel like they're doing meaningful work. Giving them positive feedback and recognizing their efforts creates increased work satisfaction. It can build a drive to do more. You'll build loyalty and motivate people to do their best.
Empower your team to boost your business.
Empowering your employees to develop leadership skills does not mean that you're abdicating your role as a leader. It's about creating a workplace that encourages proactive behavior and self-sufficiency.
Your brand is only as strong as the people behind it, which is why giving your team the ability to take charge wherever possible will grow your business.
It's also helpful to create greater work flexibility to get the best from your team. They can manage their time effectively while meeting their tasks.
Work flexibility in the form of remote work also benefits your business – you can save on office space and operations costs. It also boosts loyalty; 95% of companies that hire remote workers find higher employee retention rates.
Empowering your team has powerful benefits for your business. Support them in having more autonomy at work, and you'll create a strong workspace.