As a small business owner, you do everything you can to encourage teamwork and promote cooperation. Sometimes, though, an uninspired and unmotivated culture creeps in. When dealing with an unstable cash flow, low lead generation, and your daily realities of expanding a small business, disagreement happens, and your team feels divided and uncommunicative.
Even though everyone knows everyone can achieve results with the right communication, you aren’t getting the results you expected. Growing a small business involves other challenges that cannot be easily resolved simply by holding meetings to discuss goals and responsibilities.
So get into leadership mode and use these strategies to help your employees be happier and grow your business.
1.Show up as a leader by example
All of us have had a boss who wanted us to do something we rarely did, such as helping them plan for a flight that they were supposed to fly by dawn, and then they were late for the flight. Being too domineering doesn’t earn you respect from your team either.
As a leader, you need to lead by example. If you expect your team to be transparent about their work, then you should do the same. By practicing what you preach, you earn the respect and loyalty of your team, and you’ll see your team following in your footsteps before too long.
2.Recognize everyone’s strengths
Leaders who lead more effectively need to develop employees’ strengths or unique skills through training, teaching, or company-wide recognition. With none of these, the company cannot achieve its goals.
A leader can have a positive impact on everyone involved in the team because they recognize and work with everyone’s strengths. Leaders can recognize them with a shout-out during a meeting, in the internal company newsletter, or through email. Employees will feel valued and recognized as strategic partners to the success of the team. Leaders can harness the strengths of employees to overcome barriers and bridge gaps by leveraging those strengths into power.
3.Encourage a positive work-life blend, not balance
Make unrealistic demands on your employees and you could create a toxic company culture. If they work so hard that they are overwhelmed, they may feel they have failed themselves and everyone else, especially if they can’t spend more time with the people they love.
You should first assure your employees that their wellbeing matters first, and you care about them taking time to recharge. There will always be more things to do, more people to call, more meetings to attend, and more appointments to schedule, no matter what the time of the year.
Let employees take some personal time off. Avoid passing judgment if they seem distracted or distraught and check with them to make sure they’re okay. Keep in mind that employees are human beings with families, friends, and shortcomings, and it is important to be open about life outside of work.
Group activities, after-work socials, and one-on-one conversations that don’t always involve work-related topics are all ways to help you and your team bond. By learning about each other’s day-to-day lives, you can create meaningful bonds that carry into work.
4.Less email, more face time
Think about how many times you wrote long email chains that could have been done over a short phone call or texted in the middle of a meeting. Does this sound like a leader who is present and willing to listen to their employees?
In order to establish a healthy pattern of clear communication, transparency, and follow-up, switch up your method of communication and meet with your team regularly, whether it is via video call or by meeting in person.
Taking the time to see employees face-to-face helps encourage continuity of investment, ownership, and accountability — all of which are important to the success of the company.
5.Be confident and assertive
Sometimes a leader is forced to venture into unknown territory, which means taking risks and breaking rules.
An effective leader cannot back down from such a challenge. Leaders must be confident to speak up about the things which really matter. They should be open about the standards they expect their employees to meet and a trustworthy leader who everyone can count on during tough times.
Many people are naturally confident, but you can learn to be more confident. Knowing you’re not dependent on others’ acceptance, proving you have the competencies and skills to be an effective leader, and leading the team to a common goal, are all important aspects of confidence.
Work hard to be the leader your employees want you to be
It is important for small business owners to realize that they affect the workplace through their everyday behavior—whether positive or negative. An outstanding leader develops solid relationships with their employees and is trustworthy, motivating everyone to bring their A-game. This type of leadership motivates everyone to work together as a team and deliver outstanding performance.