A 4-Step Process To Effective Leadership
Regardless of one’s role in the commercial cleaning industry, having tried-and-true leadership strategies can go a long way to growing a company’s bottom line and keeping top employees onboard and engaged. In a SmartBrief article written by Paul B. Thornton, an applicable 4-step template can be followed by managers when it comes to both staying organized and keeping employees motivated and happy to be at their position.
Step 1: Diagnosing A Situation
While it's admirable for any manager to seek improvement, it can't be done correctly without having a clear idea of the work environment. Analyzing this can be compartmentalized into three parts:
- The organization as a whole — does a proposed strategy feasible for the current working environment and company culture?
- Key processes — understanding the scope of services and products, and if they are optimized
- People on the job — do employees have the right approach to everyday tasks, have a personality that fits company culture, and have the required knowledge to be proficient?
Tips for analyzing each of these facets include analyzing data such as financial statements, garner feedback from employees about day-to-day operations, and make sure a good variety of voices are being heard in those discussions.
Step 2: Identifying Opportunities
This applies to both an individual and organizational level. Individually, it means analyzing senior leaders and assessing if their feedback is timely and helpful, and if they have the right resources around them to succeed.
Organizationally, it means evaluating everyday systems and potential areas that need improvement from an efficiency perspective. Tips for identifying opportunities include having open discussions with customers, consultants and coworkers to see if any ideas haven't been brought to the forefront. Additionally, studying the habits of the company's top employees can breed a lead-by-example approach where other people in the company can learn useful tactics.
Step 3: Delivering Your Message
Having an improvement plan is place is a good start, but it can fall flat if it isn't communicated correctly. Employees need to understand why exactly it will lead to positive change. This comes down to understanding the tendencies of employees and what they will be most responsive too. This is likely to vary based on personality type, but some prefer a purely logical argument about bottom-line improvement, others like the emotional argument that pulls at their heart strings, while others like examples such as one's own experience and why it encouraged them to change a process.
Tips for doing this effectively include practicing a presentation multiple times beforehand, and welcoming input from others on how ideas can be best shared.
Step 4: Enabling Others
Any improvement to a company means that the employees that will bring it to fruition have to be adequately prepared and equipped with the right resources. This includes offering incentives such as bonuses, reducing demands on peripheral tasks, and giving employees the opportunity to take the lead on different projects.
This can be best accomplished by inquiring employees on what they believe they can do best, and provide them with early opportunities to succeed which will give them a confidence boost.