Written by Janette Martin, CEO of 360 Resourcing
Businesses have faced several unknowns over the last 18 months, highlighting the importance of strong leadership to support and guide teams, especially when the ease of face-to-face interaction was stripped away so suddenly. This has made the art of communication and engagement a vital leadership skill that is essential to inspire, motivate and celebrate our teams.
Employee engagement is so strongly linked to customer retention and business growth, that it should be a number one priority for any business leader. A positive step towards this is the creation of a clear culture and company values to help employees feel emotionally connected to their work and that they are making a difference.
I recall in 2007 I joined a business with undefined culture and was standing still in terms of growth. By instilling strong behaviours, internal culture and clear expectations, the business was transformed into a consistent and high performing business. Company culture is the foundation of a business, it brings the team together to create purpose, innovation, and a shared vision, so it is not surprising that it is linked to business success.
A defined company culture should feed into hiring practises too; bringing in people that match your culture and align with your vision is vital to overall employee engagement and ultimate business success. People don’t like to see a high staff turnover with peers coming and going from an organisation, they thrive on high job satisfaction, promotions and development. A business that stands out to candidates and employees for all the right reasons helps to attract the right skill set and retain the talent that will maximise consistency and deliver results.
In the early days of my own career, ‘women in leadership’ was not the hot topic it is today but developing women into leadership roles is key to business success. A good example of this, in a business where all leadership roles happened to be women, we were achieving 133% growth year on year. Our team was engaged and empowered; however it is not about hiring just women into the workplace, it’s about diversity and inclusion and surrounding yourself with fresh and different points of view. Leaders need to embrace people’s differences to enable innovation by bringing together distinct opinions, ideas and backgrounds.
The best advice anyone ever gave to me in my early career was ‘what would you do if it was your business?’. If everyone within a business is empowered to make decisions and empowered to innovate success has no limits. Investing in your people so that they are confident, passionate and their personal goals match the business goals, the growth opportunities ahead of you are vast. Having an empowered workforce and instilling a passion for growth and customer service are vital ingredients to business success.
Strong leadership is about taking the whole team on a journey and encouraging them to think for themselves. If you have to be authoritarian, then you’ve lost your people and as a leader you have not conveyed your vision and goals well enough. There might be times when decisions need to be made quickly to react to the market, this shouldn’t be the overall style of management. For micro-managing to be necessary, something must be off-balance, either poor leadership style or wrong person for the job. Leaders who micro-manage are not empowering, inspiring or even really leading.
Communication and collaboration
The way leaders communicate to their teams has changed quite significantly as working from home, flexible working and virtual meetings have become the norm. Provided the vision, goals and culture you have developed are clear and inspire everyone to work together, this new way of communicating should evolve and fall into place. Consistent communication is essential to progress these goals and make everyone feel involved in the journey.
During a significant growth phase, openly discussing company culture and messaging is imperative to safeguard its place at the heart of your business. At 360 Resourcing this is something everyone is passionate to do. Growth is an exciting time for any business, and it is easy to get over-excited and forget about the end goal, which is where strong leadership should help to keep the objectives clear and top of mind.
How we move forward now is key; leaders must keep talking to their people to understand what they want and how it can be delivered. Covid-19 has sparked a transformation of working and hiring practices and we, as leaders, need to adapt our businesses with it. Attracting the best talent and bringing them with you on the wider business journey will be fundamental to ongoing business success.
To learn more visit https://www.360resourcing.co.uk