Since defining a leadership edge, we’ve since focused on how to share your vision, providing guidelines on how to bind your vision to your overall business plan whilst outlining which factors need to be considered when formulating your strategy. For example, the company aims, how to align goals with strategies, while assessing risk.
Our previous article in the series focused on sparking engagement and we shared our insight on how to introduce a variety of methods geared towards empowering, inspiring and motivating the workers within your company.
Having shared your vision and considered what you want to achieve, as well as considering who will work with you in the relevant capacities, this blog will now shift the emphasis towards methods that can be utilised to establish how you can manage talent and prompt performance, as you continue the pursuit of your company goals and aspirations.
Executing Your Plan
Manage Your Talent Performance
Leaders should ensure that they effectively manage their talent and inspire high performance. Different leadership approaches should be incorporated, dependent on the individuals within a team.
Inevitably, there are varying degrees of happiness within a workplace and passion for a job doesn’t necessarily correlate with productivity. There are times when an engaged worker is underperforming. Moreover, while disengaged performers may not be happy with a particular circumstance, they can be a vital part of the business, regardless.
Leaders must manage the talent within their company and ensure that their staff are given a platform whereby they can perform and flourish. Introduce a development plan to inspire growth amongst your staff and ask yourself:
- Do your indispensable members of staff have the most important value-creation opportunities in the work area/organisation? If not, why is this the case?
- Are you providing your talent with enough development stretch opportunity? How are you ensuring that they feel positively challenged?
- Developing strengths is 10% education, 20% engaging with others and 70% applying knowledge.
- Have you got a clear plan in place to enhance the performance of any underperformers in your company? Who will support you to ensure that this plan is effectively implemented?
Differentiate the type of support provided for your team. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that can be utilised, so consider the requirements of each team member and manage them accordingly.
Communicate with Staff and Stakeholders
Communication is the cornerstone of successful leadership and effective leadership correlates with liaising with colleagues at all levels.
Communicating with staff and stakeholders eliminates confusion and can significantly enhance morale within the workplace. A communicative, collaborative approach encourages creative thinking and aids productivity.
The workplace is a melting pot of different personalities. Therefore, it’s essential to revise your leadership and communication style depending on who you’re addressing. There are different forms of communication strategies that vary in effectiveness, so remember to use a range of written, visual and spoken styles to communicate your message and maximise understanding amongst your team.
Nonetheless, irrespective of who you’re talking to, don’t address your workforce via an intermediary. In making the time to speak with the members of your team, this encourages respect and a subsequent drive to produce work of a greater standard.
There are times whereby people may not understand a task or message that you’ve conveyed. In such circumstances, encourage team members to ask questions if they require clarification and encourage a flexible mindset; never harvest a working culture whereby your team are fearful of asking for clarity. This will negate avoidable errors and improve the overall standard of work being completed at the company.
Open forum meetings are often introduced to encourage interactivity, granting staff with an opportunity to query any potential issues, make suggestions or promote their ideas. Use feedback from these meetings to enhance the quality of your team. Sharing feedback with your team can prompt considerable improvements and boost morale.
Track Performance and Development
The higher the calibre of a team, the more competitive they can become within their respective sector.
Career development opportunities and performance evaluation goals are essential to developing staff members, in turn, improving overall service and the likelihood of recognising short and long-term ambitions.
Appraisals are useful to establish whether or not staff members understand the intricacies of their role. If there are areas whereby their skills are waning, then a development plan can be established to improve areas where they’re struggling. However, ensure that you only use 20% of the appraisal time focusing on weaknesses; 80% of the time should focus on strengths.
An appraisal meeting can be used to encourage staff to incorporate their skills on a broader level. For instance, identifying their long-term career ambitions can highlight that an alternative role in the company could be more suitable to align with their skill sets and interests, with the added benefit of assisting the company.
Leaders often consider themselves to be visionaries and aspire to accomplish grand ambitions. Nonetheless, team members often dictate the outcome and their performance is influenced by whether adequate resources and development opportunities are provided to support their professional development.
Case Study: How Does Michelle Execute Her Vision?
Michelle has shared her vision with her associates; she hopes to increase sales by 5% by the end of the year and wants to introduce one new product to phase one clinical trial by July.
To fulfil her aspirations, Michelle considered which members of the team were best-suited to help her expedite her goals. During this phase, multiple factors were considered, such as:
- Is the sales team adequately resourced?
- Are there improvements that need to be made to the team?
- What are the strengths of each person within the team? Are they well equipped to fulfil the requirements of the vision?
- Is the sales team engaged?
Having built her team, Michelle and her team considered the leadership actions that would have to be taken to inspire the team to skilfully execute their talents to fulfil the goals outlined within her initial vision.
Michelle and her team devised a detailed strategy, during which time she considered the following: What does the overall vision look like? What steps need to be taken and of the people within the team, who has the best skills to complete certain tasks? For instance, within the sales team, is there a particular team member who excels in business development or client acquisition?
Along with her colleagues, she acknowledged that the delivery of high-quality services is essential when pursuing business goals. Therefore, they place a firm focus on establishing which staff members are focused and which staff members aren’t; their observations then dictate which members of staff may benefit from additional training.
The aforementioned measures are part of a widespread plan, focusing on how to successfully achieve desired targets. However, long-term success and continuity are paramount, with the business keen to ensure that standards don’t slip; our final blog piece will focus on how to successfully sustain progress.