Leadership: a position that has a great impact on organizations. For this reason, it is essential that companies seek strategies that contribute to the improvement of their professionals, besides offering inputs so that leaders can get closer to their men and women leaders, as well as contribute to the development of the whole team.
According to a study done by Gallup, a bad relationship with managers is considered one of the main reasons why 75% of people leave their jobs. In addition, according to a survey by Michael Page, 8 out of 10 professionals resign because of their leaders – and these are just some of the points that prove the need for these professionals for the team’s success.
In this material, we present a complete material on the subject so that you can clear up your doubts and understand how the leaders of your team can contribute to the team’s growth. Read on and learn more!
What are the main challenges companies face with regard to leadership?
First, we will present some of the main challenges for companies when we talk about leadership. Check them out!
1. Lack of preparation
The first bottleneck faced by companies regarding leadership is related to the lack of preparation of people. According to another study conducted by Gallup with more than 2.5 million managers in 195 countries, 70% of the people in leadership roles were not prepared for their roles. Consequently, there is an impact of more than $300 billion on the global economy.
Companies count on different criteria to define their leaders. If your organization is concerned only with technical skills, for example, this is a mistake that can lead to ill-prepared leaders.
2. Company goals and team goals
A study conducted by Great Place To Work found that in most companies, leaders fail to align the goals of the company with the goals of the team. While the organization seeks results, the men and women leaders demand career development, “care” from their managers, and continuous feedback.
In this scenario, change must come from the organizations’ boards, founders, and CEOs. Financial results are important, but employee development is also essential for companies to achieve the desired success.
3. Emotional impact
According to an article published by Harvard Business Review, being in middle leadership is considered exhausting for most people in this role. One of the impacts discussed in the material is related to the different levels of authority faced by the professional. He is a leader, but he is also led – which is allied to the previous challenge, related to the alignment of expectations.
In a report published by Exame Magazine, one of the employees with the greatest impact on emotional health are precisely managers. In 2019, 50% of them suffered from stress, while the figure for board members was 39%.
What are the essential competencies of good leadership?
Now that you know some of the challenges faced by leaders, it is time to understand what are the essential competencies of good leadership. Read on and find out more!
The concept of organizational ambidexterity should be discussed among teams, especially among leaders. After all, what is an ambidextrous professional? It is the one who can reconcile operational and important processes for the company, but who makes room for the team’s innovation and to bring solutions that will improve the various demands of the day to day.
Thus, despite considering the current processes and demands essential, they are always looking for opportunities to transform the business model, as well as enabling more dynamic work by the whole team.
2. Humanized management
Humanized management should be a feature of leadership attention. According to another survey conducted by Gallup, 70% of the level of employee engagement is attributed to the leader.
Other results of this research point to critical situations regarding the work of leaders, according to a survey by the Harvard Business Review: 75% of people highlighted that their immediate superior was the worst part of the job, while 65% of professionals said they would agree to a pay cut if their leaders were replaced by better and more prepared employees.
What could cause such worrying numbers? Leaders who do not prioritize their teams. Later on, we will bring you tips on how management can become more human and closer to their men and women leaders, contributing to generate a better performance of employees and, consequently, of the company.
3. Data-driven Decision Making
Whatever the decision to be made by the leaders, it must be based on data. Today, there is no room for hunches, regardless of the process. On the contrary, there are already tools that offer more science for the day to day demands, from people’s performance to strategic decisions.
4. Spread the organizational culture throughout the team
Finally, leaders must spread the organizational culture throughout the team, helping to strengthen it. First, let’s look at the meaning of organizational culture. It is the way people behave in a company, based on their values (personal and collective), examples, rituals, incentives, artifacts, and stories.
According to the Brazil HR Panorama 2018, 77% of participating companies have well-established values and a culture code disseminated throughout the company. However, it is not enough to have this definition: it is necessary that the culture is disseminated, starting with the leadership.
One of the most diluting factors of a company’s culture is precisely when there is the promotion of people who do not represent the values of the organization. Naturally, through their behavior or the lack of synchronization with what is preached as culture, the team as a whole perceives this discrepancy and starts to have lower incentives to act according to the pre-established values.
Otherwise, stories and behaviors directly influence how everyone behaves in the company. The founder, when he is present in the group, ends up serving as a great example to other people in the team, who naturally seek to emulate his beliefs and behaviors.
How to promote a more humanized leadership?
We emphasize humanized management as one of the essential competencies of leaders. For this reason, we will present some strategies for leaders to develop it.
1. Constant feedback practice
The first of these is related to the constant practice of feedbacks. This is the process in which one person contributes so that the other can develop from his or her own insights. Why is this important? The more feedbacks are exchanged between employees within a team, the better the individual results will be – consequently, the better the company’s results will be.
In the book, Thanks for the feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen bring research results that demonstrate the importance of leaders to encourage this practice and offer feedback continuously to their professionals. In the book, professionals who seek feedback frequently – especially constructive feedback – are perceived as more competent, settling into new roles more quickly.
Moreover, if we consider the Millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000 that will represent about 75% of the global workforce), the practice of feedbacks has no turning back: feedbacks reinforce positive behaviors and bring inputs for improvement. This generation, besides being prepared to receive, continually seeks to understand the perception of other people in relation to their work, especially the leaders.
One-on-one meetings are periodic meetings between leaders, male and female leaders to discuss a wide range of topics, from the employee’s personal life to the challenges faced by the employee in the organization.
This practice directly influences the building of a humanized leadership precisely because it brings:
- the feeling by the employee that there is someone who cares about him on a personal level;
- the feeling that the leadership is also attentive to their professional development within the company;
- the certainty that he is heard in the professional sphere.
As a result, there is a better flow of information in the company from the bottom up, since the leaders will have the opportunity to hear, without judgments, what the men and women led have to say. In addition, it is a great opportunity to promote the engagement of the people on the team through feedback, contributing to their development. Finally, it tightens the bonds between leaders and subordinates, a strategy that allows for talent retention and greater satisfaction of the entire team with the company.
Recognizing the professional brings great gains to the company.
According to Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, “keeping so many people motivated to do their best involves a number of programs and systems that we have developed at Wal-Mart over the years, but none of them would work without one very simple thing that brings it all together: recognition. We all like to be praised. So what we practice in the company is to look for behaviors that we can praise. Look for things that are working. We want our people to know when they are doing an excellent job, and to know that they are important to us,” he says.
Such a strategy is borne out by research. According to BCG, in a 2014 survey, appreciation and recognition are considered the top driver of “happiness at work.” In addition, recognition is considered a top driver of engagement, according to a 2012 survey by Aon Hewitt.
Finally, according to a Gallup study, 33% of professionals say they have not been recognized for good work in the last seven days – a failure that can be corrected by leadership.
Those who think that leaders cannot be vulnerable are mistaken. Quite the contrary! We must take into account that leaders are professionals just like any other, who have challenges throughout their career, fears, doubts, among other common points to the team as a whole.
For this reason, leaders don’t need to fear not having all the answers for their leaders and followers. This attitude will make him/her show to be human, contributing to create a greater connection with the team, precisely by arousing the empathy of people who live together on a daily basis.
Edoarda Malzoni, Head of Marketing and SDR at Qulture.Rocks, gives some tips on how to demonstrate vulnerability: “be honest when you don’t know something, share your difficulties and how you’ve been overcoming them. This will not only make you closer to your team, but you will also send a good message that they can trust you when something is wrong – and that you will help them correct the course as soon as possible.”
In addition, leaders can exercise vulnerability:
- recognizing the emotions and practicing self-knowledge;
- asking for help without fear of being condemned by others;
- not running away from conflicts – here, it is an opportunity for the acquired learnings to be constructive.
What are the existing leadership styles?
Below, we have also selected some of the main leadership styles that exist. Check them out!
Visionary leaders are inspirational. They are the ones who will guide teams to where they are going, but without telling them how to achieve that result – which helps to encourage the autonomy that is so important among companies.
It is usually effective when the company needs to go through a major change, or to help the team manage these transformations. But if the team is more experienced than the leadership, this is not the best style.
To develop this style, the ideal is to increase the macro vision of the business and by studying the company’s market. Although these are simple tips, they contribute directly to bringing a positive impact to the business.
Coaching leadership will connect the personal goals of the person or team with the goals of the organization. Key characteristics include:
- focused on the development and motivation of people.
It should be used when a leader needs to develop skills, or is lost as to his or her role in the organization. To develop it, it is necessary to know the people in the team deeply, guiding them through useful tools for their growth – that is, it will focus initially on reflection and then on action.
The main goal of the Afilliative leadership style is to promote harmony within the team by continuously emphasizing emotional connections. Important characteristics include:
- connects people;
- encourages inclusion;
- resolves conflicts.
It is usually used precisely when there are conflict situations. To develop it, one must learn how to resolve them, understand how to stay optimistic, and exercise active listening on an ongoing basis.
Democratic leaders seek to focus on team collaboration. In this case, they rely more on listening than directing – unlike visionary leadership, this style is suited to when there are people on the team who are more experienced than the leaders.
In this sense, there is sharing of ideas, guidance for discussions and important debates about the strategy as a whole, as well as guiding the team to make the final decision in a more coparticipative way.
To develop it, involve the whole team in problem solving and also in decision making, teaching the team the skills needed for this role.
This leader is also known as the “goal scout”, since he has a fast pace and always expects excellence from his team. It is basically indicated when there is a need to count on good results at an accelerated pace.
To develop it, one must focus on high performance, and constantly seek to improve the quality of the team’s work through problem-solving techniques. You still need to:
- to constantly train oneself;
- work on motivation techniques;
- raise the results bar.
Commanding leaders have a more autocratic, micromanaging approach. Consequently, it will be more difficult for management to move away from the day-to-day details, also moving away from strategic vision.
This style of approach is only useful for teams that need to follow processes “to the letter,” in high-risk situations, and that need quick decisions. In addition, the team needs to understand where they are going and have confidence in the decisions made.
Which one to use?
As we can see, there is no right or wrong leadership style. It will depend on the reality of your company, the needs faced by the team, and the way the team works. Each of these representations has strengths and weaknesses, which must be studied and well developed in order for the desired objectives to be successfully achieved.
For this reason, you should ideally choose one that:
- adapt to the situation the team is facing;
- to the people involved in the team;
- to the emotions experienced in the team;
- to the challenges faced by the industry as a whole.
In this material, you have been able to learn some important information about leadership. We have seen, for example, about their importance in the company, about the main styles, as well as giving tips on how to build a more humanized leadership.
To contribute to this process, having a performance management solution is essential for the team. If you want to know a little more about this topic, contact us, talk to our professionals and clear your doubts!