We’re now a little way into the New Year, so now that you’re settled back in to your January routine, it’s time to check back in with those workplace new year’s resolutions, particularly those that focus on your becoming a better leader. If you haven’t made any yet, it’s never too late to start, and we’ve got a few ideas of what you can opt for if you’re struggling for inspiration. Make 2020 your year, and become the success leader you know you can be.
Leaders always have 101 things to do at any given time, so making sure you’re organised ensures that things don’t fall through the cracks. This might mean upgrading your diary to a more tech-savvy solution or implementing a new process for getting updates from your team. Anything that enables you to keep looking ahead and be proactive rather than reactive will help you really shine as a leader.
If you hired and/or trained your team, you have to be able to trust them. Whether this is trusting their judgement on a new project, or giving them more responsibility so that you are freed up to work on something else, trusting your team is crucial when trying to become a better leader. This will also make your team feel more invested in the outcome of your department and work more cohesively together.
Talk To People
As much as you’d like to believe it, you can’t have eyes and ears everywhere, sometimes you just have to ask your team what’s going on. In order to lead effectively, you need to know what your team are working on, what problems are arising and what they think would be beneficial. Your team are the people who are on the ground and know the lay of the land - they’re also the ones who are going to have the most practical knowledge of their roles.
Try New Disciplines
In addition to asking people about their roles, if you can, try shadowing them or working in different specialties so that you can better appreciate what goes into your team member’s day-to-day workload and the problems that they face. You’ll be better equipped to help if you can really see where the inefficiencies lie.
Experiment With Flexible
Flexible working is the future, it’s been touted as such for a couple of years now, so if you haven’t experimented with it yet now is the time to try. This closely ties in with trusting your team more. Whether it’s allowing people to shift their hours slightly so that they can attend a class or drop off their kids or maybe it’s just that they’re more productive in the earlier hours - let them do so on a trial basis - if your team members are happier, chances are they’ll be more engaged in their work too.
Look At The Data
The majority of the time, as a manager or leader, we’re too bogged down reacting to crisis or checking in on our team to actually look at how your team is performing. Getting in the habit of looking at your team’s performance statistics and finding inefficiencies in the data is an ideal way of identifying room for improvement. This way, you’ll save your team the time of having to do tasks that aren’t successful, as well as freeing them up to pursue more worthwhile projects.
Remember To Reward
To ensure that your team is engaged, make sure you remember to reward them for a job well done. Everyone likes to be told that they’re on the right track or that they’re going above and beyond, and having an incentive for high quality work creates a positive workplace environment, where each team member strives for success. It doesn’t have to be a massive monetary reward or a constant stream of recognition, but something worthwhile that you can publicly share to show that you recognise that team member’s contribution in a positive way.
In addition to asking your team for their opinions and input on the day-to-day activities of the team, remember a great leader always makes time to listen. Now, you don’t necessarily need to have an open door policy where people come in all the time, but making sure you’re contactable if anybody has new ideas or issues is of the utmost importance. Being a leader means taking things on board as well as dishing out tasks.
Block Out Your Time
Often, when we’re trying to be a successful leader we go into overdrive and think that we need to work all the hours in the day. This is not true, not healthy and you’ll burnout quicker than you’ll succeed. Whilst it’s true that occasionally you’ll have to work late or log on to manage a crisis, but on the whole, separate your work life from your home life. Turn off your laptop and come back the next day renewed and ready to rock another long day of leading. You’ll last longer that way.
Most importantly, enjoy it. It might sound weird to enjoy the stresses of being a leader but it’s true to sit back and reflect on what you’ve achieved and enjoy your successes. Appreciating the importance of what you’re doing is a great way of linking your everyday tasks back to the bigger picture. This in turn makes you remember that you’re part of something bigger and that the smaller stresses are minor compared to your future goals.
So, it’s a New Year and a new chance for you to become the best leader that you can be. These 10 resolutions are the foundations for your 2020 leadership goals, so what are you waiting for? Implement these workplace resolutions today.