After setting up your business, there will come a time when you’ll need to hire staff to help you run it. How you lead these first employees will determine whether your business will continue to grow, stagnate, or crumble and fall. Because beyond anything else, good leadership is what makes or breaks a business.
But let’s face it, being a good business leader is not easy. Leading your small business will be very different from working alone. You will, therefore, need to develop your leadership skills to be able to build a team that will take your business to the next level.
Here are some actionable leadership tips that you can put into practice when you hire your first employees.
- Lead by example. What you do sets the tone for the kind of behaviour that is acceptable in the workplace. Don’t just tell, show. Do what you’d like your new employees to emulate. If you establish rules of conduct and don’t follow them yourself, you can be sure that no one will follow them too. If you want to encourage your employees to behave in a certain manner, precisely and correctly demonstrate the behaviours you want to them.
- Be humble. Be sure to share the spotlight with your staff by crediting them for their good work. If you happen to make a mistake, admit that you made a mistake. If an apology is needed, be sure to give one. Show your willingness to seek solutions from others when you’re beaten. Showing your human side earns you respect from both your employees and customers – a crucial ingredient for successful leadership.
- Communicate effectively. Effective communication is just as important in business as it is in your personal life. A good leader needs to be able to articulate their message in a way that is understood by everyone. And remember, communication is not a one-way-street, you also need to be a good listener.
- Know your team. Interact with your employees to find out more about them. Know about their families, what they like to do, their dreams and ambitions. This will not only help you show them that you care about them but will also enable you to get information that you can use to motivate them. You can write the information down after conversations if you think you might forget it.
- Get a mentor. Great leaders know when they need help, and if you’re just starting, you definitely do. Find someone who has more experience than you and ask for advice when faced with a difficult issue.
- Work on your emotional awareness. As a leader, your primary job is maintaining relationships. A wise leader strives to accommodate the sensitivities of others.
- Provide feedback. When an employee does something good, make sure you commend them for it. If there is something you don’t like, tell them privately in a respectful manner so that they can work on improving themselves.
- Encourage creativity. Empower your team to bring forward their ideas. Giving your employees the opportunity to try out their ideas gives them a deeper commitment to your company, enhances their problem-solving skills so that they don’t have to constantly rely on you for guidance, and improves productivity.
- Be fair and just. Treat all your employees equally without any prejudice. Whether you are reprimanding, rewarding or promoting, make sure you do it uniformly for all your employees.
- Always keep improving. Great leaders are constantly seeking to improve their leadership skills. Keep your mind open to new things and seek to acquire the best possible practices.
If you have just hired your first employees and need to improve your leadership skills, CDL Insight Consulting can be of great help to you. They provide tried and tested programs to help entrepreneurs become better leaders for the success of their businesses. Check them out at www.cdlinsight.com.au to find out more on how to be a better leader.