Entrepreneur Richard Branson’s much-repeated view on the importance of investing in the workforce sums up a very modern truth; “train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Despite the current technological age, where AI and automation are growing in significance, the success of any organization still depends on the caliber and engagement level of its employees. Authentic organizational leadership is required to recruit, train, and motivate workforces. These leaders are specialists, decision-makers, and managers who have all the skills needed to achieve tangible business growth and development. What exactly do those skills entail, and what is the best route to becoming effective organizational leaders who can get the best out of any workforce?
The Importance of Investing in People
The drive to stay ahead of competitors – and deliver a product or service profitably – depends on having productive employees who are ready and able to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. Much of this depends on their sense of job satisfaction and engagement with the organization and its long-term aims.
In other words, low morale and poor loyalty lead to underperformance in an organization, as well as costly ‘staff churn.’ Constantly battling to fill vacancies and onboard new staff can also be highly disruptive.
The ideal scenario is to be able to recruit the best people for each post and then retain the workforce. This is only possible if employees feel valued, supported, and motivated to achieve a shared vision and their own goals.
Organizational Leaders Build Strong Cultures
Authentic leadership involves being people-oriented rather than task-orientated. Leaders influence and guide their teams to be the best they can be as individuals, as well as a cohesive whole. One of the key factors in this is providing a clear, nurturing, and supportive culture.
The research company Gallup reported that organizations enjoyed an 85% net profit increase – over five years – due to their success in building and maintaining a strong organizational culture. This is just one of many reports that suggest performance relies on employees who feel connected, recognized, rewarded, and motivated by their leadership.
Path to Leadership Success
The starting point for senior staff who want to develop the most valuable leadership skills is often finding a qualification that optimizes their work experience to date.
For example, Ed.D. degree programs can be a superb option when professionals need to master the correct abilities, knowledge, and perspectives to fully invest in strong employee teams. Rockhurst University offers various Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program concentrations, enabling students to focus on a preferred role or industry. They universally deliver advanced acumen in vital areas such as communication, corporate social responsibility, and innovation.
The programs also demonstrate how leaders create strong cultures and well-motivated teams. This can involve knowing how and when to delegate responsibilities, for example. Treating employees with respect and trust is a key part of empowering them and getting that respect and trust reciprocated.
Training, Development, And Mentoring of Staff
Business doctorates enhance each graduate’s personal as well as professional abilities, including vital interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence in the workplace. Once in a position of authority, delivering that same combination of personal and professional development opportunities could release the full potential of the workplace team. It helps senior staff to identify and foster leadership abilities in their junior colleagues. To create a learning environment that the entire team ‘buys into,’ senior staff must be role models in the pursuit of lifelong learning.
A truly inclusive and empowering organization takes a holistic approach to staff training, development, and mentoring. This starts with organizational leaders taking the time to drill down on what support every staff member needs. They can then deliver education and training programs that are ‘made to measure’ and not entirely about business performance.
For effective delivery and implementation of workplace education programs, leaders must remember that not everyone learns at the same pace. While one person may instantly grasp something new from an on-the-job instructor, another may prefer to rehearse and revise the task virtually a few times before putting it into practice.
Tandem Investment in Digital Transformation
There are numerous ways that technology can simplify and streamline business processes and reduce both time and costs, especially via digital workplaces and data analysis. For example, exploring the benefits of marketing automation in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can be highly effective.
Technology can remove some of the mundane tasks that employees are tasked with and make it possible to eradicate mistakes, gaps, and overlaps more easily. Therefore, authentic leaders introduce technology in ways that employees accept and embrace as something that enhances their roles rather than replacing them. This includes empowering the team to make full use of data-driven decision-making, as well as using it to make their own important managerial choices.
Empowering workforces to fully embrace technology and the value of data depends on organizational leaders ensuring that enough time and support is given to employees when changes occur. Whether that change involves new software, systems, and devices, or new policies and procedures, the best leaders plan to create a well-orchestrated switch that excites rather than overwhelms the affected employees.
Finally, there is another highly beneficial outcome of using powerful leadership skills to create fully engaged employees supported by a strong corporate culture. The workforce will be far more likely to contribute to the organization’s team spirit and collaborative activities.
Employees who have high job satisfaction and sufficient communication and recognition will be empowered to make suggestions for improvements and innovations, for example. They will also be more comfortable flagging up problems if they benefit from a ‘no blame or shame’ environment and managerial willingness to address knowledge and skill gaps constructively.
From a collaborative, creative, cohesive, and communicative workplace comes optimal levels of performance and profit. This proves once more that organizational leadership skills are the best way to release the full potential of employees and realize both medium and long-term goals.