When you own a business you have a lot of people that rely on your decision making skills and leadership. The way you handle yourself directly impacts the business. The wrong direction can sink a company, causing a lot of people to lose their jobs.
A poor leader will also result in a team of unqualified and unmotivated employees, which can also sink the ship. You need to always be aware of what you do and say — because it has a direct impact on everyone at your company.
So, what can you do to position yourself as a more effective leader? Here are some tips that you can turn to and make part of your routine.
Have an open door policy.
You will never know how people feel about what is going on at your company unless you welcome them to share their input and experiences. Simply stating that you have an open door policy and welcome feedback is going to get you a lot more useful input than any other tip.
“Allow employees to come to you with any comment or concern and take the opinions and ideas from everyone seriously, ” says Darryl Howard of Blogger Tips. “The best leaders treat everyone the same.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a suggestion from a VP or the janitor – everyone that works at your company needs to have the ability to come to talk to you and know you will be listening.
Hold open floor meetings.
When you get everyone together and everyone starts talking about company issues, problems and suggestions it works well because everyone starts to get into that mindset and you will hear ideas and feedback on hot topics from a lot of different people.
“Knowing what your team thinks about everything related to your company is important and can be used to not only make them happy, but also improve your business, ” says weighted blanket manufacturer and CEO of Therapy Blanket, Andrew Tran. “You are only as good as your weakest employee, so do whatever you can to encourage that they always speak their mind.”
You want everyone to feel as if they can make suggestions that improve the company and you will put those ideas into action.
Delegate and allow managers to manage.
If you micro-manage you are going to upset your managers and that frustration will be passed down to the other employees. If you make a mistake and handle your top level management incorrectly it will trickle down to the entry level team members.
“Your senior level management is there for a reason, ” says Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices. “You need to empower them and let them do their job. The best leaders cut their top level loose and let them do what they are good at.”
Too many business owners think they need to have their hand in every jar, but not only is it impossible to manage everything, but it also upsets those that are supposed to handle that particular part of the business.
Empower all team members to contribute.
Never only listen to senior level management. You never know the type of brilliant minds that you have, even those that are working in the least desirable positions within your company. Some of the best suggestions come from those in the least likely positions.
“You have to make it known that you want and welcome all employees to make suggestions, ” says April Gillmore of ClickFirst Marketing. “You can do something as simple as creating an email address along the lines of email@example.com that they can send you suggestions at any time. Or even better, encourage them to stop by your office in person.”
This gives you an opportunity to also stress your open door policy. Having regular face to face meetings with all employees is an easy way to also keep company morale high.
Allow anonymous feedback and suggestions.
Sometimes an employee will have a great idea but they are embarrassed. Or they may want to tell you something that you need to hear but they do not want to be labeled as a ‘snitch’ so they will withhold information.
“Have an anonymous feedback option, like a safe and secure maildrop slot on your office door, ” suggests Pedro Del Nero of e-commerce store Vaporizer Vendor. “Or you can even take it a step further and have a P.O. Box that they can send mail to.” You want to make it as easy as possible for anonymous information to be sent to you.
This can be some of the most valuable feedback you receive and also help you avoid or remedy major issues before they turn into large fires.
Lead by example.
This goes without saying, but it’s something worth noting, especially in the day of social media. You need to be very careful of what you do and say, especially on social media. You never know who is following you or watching your every move.
“Posting something insensitive or in bad taste can make your employees think poorly of you and your character, ” warns Ignacio Soria, CEO of cannandco.net. “If they don’t respect you do you think they are going to give 100% for your business? Not a chance.”
Always lead by example and your employees will follow.
Genuinely care about your team.
This might seem obvious, but it’s not always the focus point, as the daily grind, stress and duties of running a business can consume you, which is to be expected. When you make it a point to let every single person know you care about them it can rise the entire morale of the company.
“Look at the TV show ‘Undercover Boss, ‘ as it’s a prime example of how little acts of kindness can not only make a huge impact in the life of your employees, but also how that feeling can spread throughout an entire company, ” says Karen Anderson of The Probate Law House, where she specializes in helping apply for grant of probate. “You don’t have to do extreme acts of kindness to send a positive vibe throughout the company. The smallest token of appreciation can go a long way.”
Whether it’s following up with an employee after they return from being sick or having a health issue, the point is to show them that you care about them. An email, a hand written card or just an in-person “hello” can make a huge impact.