Every organization wants to do everything it can to improve employee productivity. This single factor plays a significant role in a business’s success, and achieving it is a core objective for management. Research shows that employee empowerment has been successful in helping team managers and leaders to boost motivation. Hence, I want to share a few tips for empowering your direct reports.
The key phrase in the above sentence is ‘direct reports.’ Although targeting the organization as a whole is beneficial, your solutions will only work through micro and macro policies. This blog will provide some context and empowerment tips to boost your success.
Firstly, let’s understand what we mean by direct reports. Direct reports are the subordinates on your core operations team. You are likely to have direct reports under you if you are a supervisor or a team manager.
This blog will address empowerment strategies that are effective for such team members.
Multiple research papers have explored these elements and concluded that increasing empowerment boosts performance.
Three critical changes happen when you empower your direct reports.
To start, empowering leads to `employee satisfaction. Most people, especially the younger generations, join organizations with the drive to achieve professional growth.
Therefore, allowing your subordinates to take more ownership of their work helps them encounter challenges better. Managers encouraging associates to take on such challenges also improve their professional and personal growth.
Empowerment helps people become more responsible, allowing them to show their talents and professionalism. Hence, the decision can help ambitious employees take the initiative and grasp incredible opportunities for career growth.
Empowering employees is one of the best ways to boost creativity and innovation. Taking more ownership of projects will push your direct reports to add novelty to their work in hopes of making their mark.
This factor is essential because several teams becoming more creative due to empowerment can set new performance benchmarks. Such achievements will push everyone towards excellence.
There is no doubt that delegating more responsibility is beneficial, but how will you empower your team? Following are some of the best tips for empowering your direct reports to increase team productivity:
Getting to know your team and becoming more comfortable with them is good for team spirit. Building better team relationships will improve internal communication and increase trust between you and your team members.
Creating such a dynamic encourages people to explore their potential and increases the likelihood of taking on more responsibility. Therefore, the better your team bonding, the more empowered your subordinates will be.
Delegating work is the first step to empowering your employees. Split projects into tasks and delegate them to your team members based on their proficiency and expertise. Assure them, let them take responsibility for their assigned task, and encourage them to do their best.
Work delegation is the primary responsibility of a manager, and your job is to assess how each person approaches their end of the task. Repeating this process and increasing task complexity will help your team ease into the responsibility and take on more challenges.
Micromanagement is one of the worst behavior a manager can exhibit and causes their direct reports to become frustrated. Getting elevated to a managerial role requires relinquishing control over individual tasks and shifting to the executive end.
Hence, you need to trust your direct reports to perform their relevant tasks independently without constant interference. Your role is to work with your team, understand their capabilities, and assign work accordingly.
The more you get involved in the minor details, the less opportunity they will have for growth. Such incidents eventually cause disgruntlement, and your team members’ motivation will drop.
Employee engagement is one of the first signs that indicate that people are likely to appreciate empowerment. Hence, create opportunities for engagement by organizing brainstorming sessions, feedback sessions, etc.
Maintain an open-door policy for communication to help your direct reports know they are welcome to discuss their concerns. The more actively your team members engage in such activities, the greater the likelihood of better empowerment.
Several team leads make the mistake of barely providing their direct reports any performance feedback. Not sharing performance feedback prevents your team members from knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
It will be challenging to know which aspects they need to focus on to achieve career development without such knowledge. Hence, schedule appraisals and feedback sessions to keep your subordinates in the loop about their performance.
There is a strong connection between rewards and motivation, and rewards don’t always need to be monetary. Recognizing your team members’ efforts in public will increase their motivation and push them to work harder and take on more responsibility.
It also motivates the remaining members to improve their performance to get recognized and rewarded similarly.
You are in a leadership role, which puts you in the best position to empower your direct reports. Take some time out to mentor them and help them become more confident about taking on more responsibility. They need assurance that they have what it takes to manage tasks independently, and your opinion as a supervisor matters a lot.
Mentorship will also help you understand them better and help you plan training to polish their capabilities.
We hope our tips for empowering your direct reports are helpful and enable you to achieve your goals and targets. Implementing relevant changes will take some time, but the effort and investment will be worth it.
Please also read our other blogs for more information and tips on the topic.
Sweaty palms, nervous breaths, and a shaky voice – is this what you usually go through in the interview room? Well, not anymore! It’s time to change that narrative!
Interviews can be challenging, even for people who are very confident otherwise. It’s the anxiety of being judged by a stranger in a position of authority and the stress of not being good enough for a position that makes an interview a dreaded and challenging task for most of us.
So, what’s the best way to overcome the fear and anxiety of giving interviews? Preparation! People who prepare for job interviews have higher chances of getting selected than people who go unprepared.
However, before prepping for an interview, you will need to understand what employers look for in a candidate. So, let’s get started.
Keeping these significant points in mind, you should always prepare for job interviews to perform well.
Don’t worry; it’s not as difficult as it sounds. We have compiled some tips for job interviews you can follow to land your dream job.
Do you have a job interview scheduled? No need to panic or stress over what’s going to happen. Just take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this. Then, use the following tips to prepare for job interviews and eliminate interview stress.
The more you know, the more confident you feel. Hence, you should conduct full-fledged research to learn everything you are expected to know, like the job description of the position you have applied for, details about the company and the employers, and industry norms.
Proper knowledge and research help you know what to expect during the interview and show that you are passionate and qualified enough to get the role. Knowledge of the company is one of the best ways to get an edge over the competition and create a positive impression on potential employers.
Some information you should specifically look out for is the company’s culture, competitors, and financials.
The Internet is filled with examples of basic interview questions employers ask, no matter what industry their firm belongs to. You will automatically feel more confident by planning how to answer them. List down those questions and prepare appropriate answers to ace your interview.
Think about what to say when the interviewer asks you to describe yourself. The employer might also hold an evaluation test during the interview process, so ask for examples of such tests from people in the same position.
Other questions you should prepare are why you want to work here, why you are interested in this role, and your strengths.
The questions employers usually ask are related to the following aspects.
Remember that your words are not the only thing evaluated by an interviewer. Your actions, gestures, and body language are equally vital in your selection. Although these elements might come naturally to you, you can still improvise if needed.
Practice your speaking patterns, posture, and body language to leave a positive and lasting impression during the interview. You can do this alone in front of a mirror or perform mock interviews with family and friends.
Make sure you focus on minor aspects, like smile, stride, and handshake. The more you practice, the more confident you will be at the time of the actual interview.
Job interviews do not mean you only have to keep on answering questions. It doesn’t hurt to ask the employer about your concerns regarding the job and the organization.
Asking intelligent questions demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in working with them. It shows that you have researched the company and want to know more.
Check out their website and make a short list of questions about things that are unclear to you. You can ask about their policies, working environment, growth opportunities, and next steps in the hiring process.
Your appearance can make or break your chances of getting hired.
How you dress is a critical part of preparing for job interviews because it reflects competence and attention to detail.
Choose a formal attire that makes you feel confident and looks professional. Make sure your clothing fits well and keep it cleaned and pressed the night before. Leaving such tasks to the last minute can cause delays. You should also pick out appropriate shoes and accessories to complete your look.
We all know how much punctuality matters in corporate and professional settings. Not being on time without a valid reason shows you are not serious about the job. It significantly decreases your chances of getting hired; the employer might even decide not to conduct the interview.
Print out the directions and estimate how much time you need to reach the venue. Plan to leave early just in case you get lost on the way or get stuck in traffic, but also ensure you don’t reach earlier than the interview time.
If you will be late due to a valid reason, inform the interviewer.
Interviews are scary, and the stress often leads to mistakes that can hamper your chances of being hired. However, with these tips, you can prepare yourself better, thus ensuring you boost your chances of landing your dream job.
Can you begin a journey without deciding on the destination? No, because you would not know where to start.
Creating a vision statement for your company is just like deciding on a destination for your journey. This statement describes your company’s direction, making it a crucial part of the company’s identity.
Continue reading to know what a vision statement is and how to write one for your business.
A vision statement refers to the document that defines the current and future goals of your business for all the stakeholders, including employees, customers, and investors.
More precisely, it describes the expected long-term results of your organization’s efforts. It also provides a common goal and direction for the employees, motivating them to be a part of something bigger than their jobs.
You can easily align your mission statement, effective strategies, and relevant core values if you have a powerful vision.
People often confuse a mission and a vision statement because both talk about an organization’s purpose. However, they are quite different from each other in the following sense.
Here are some practical tips to help create a unique vision statement for your company.
You can easily set a clear vision for your company if you focus on your company’s basic information, like the mission statement, company culture, and core values.
Firstly, your vision needs to be aligned with your mission, which explains the organization’s current position and objectives. So, evaluate your present objectives to plan for the future.
Moreover, you also need to ensure that your organizational culture can support your vision. Employees will find it challenging to connect with the organization’s vision statement if it is not in tune with the culture.
Remember, your company’s core values are also vital to its identity. They determine how your firm interacts with the environment and communities. You should set a vision that falls within the parameters of these values.
Don’t forget to involve your employees when developing your company’s vision. They are the ones who will be doing the actual work to achieve those long-term goals.
Their involvement in the process will make them feel valued and help you understand the kind of goals they would like to work on. They might find it difficult to accept a vision that does not involve their feedback.
You can gather your employees and hold a brainstorming session to get their input. A brainstorming session with employees from different fields and backgrounds will give you various ideas to develop a powerful vision.
The competition in every industry is intense today. Every business is struggling to gain maximum attention from potential customers. Hence, it is vitall to have a vision that stands out from others.
You can offer products and services similar to hundreds of other businesses in the market, but make sure to add a twist of your own. Come up with a unique selling point that can become the core reason for your organization’s success.
This unique selling point can be related to anything, from a rare feature of your product to a particular service that no one else in the market offers.
A vision statement should not just mention the goals but also set a fixed time in the future for their achievement or evaluation. This statement usually talks about long-term goals, so the time should usually be around five to ten years.
You can plan to operate in a different geographic area, sell another product or service, or double your company’s profits.
Whatever goals you choose to achieve, ensure they will not be affected by technological or market changes.
The longer your vision statement is, the harder it will be to understand and remember. It should be brief and catchy, something your staff can remember and repeat accurately. Try not to make it longer than a single sentence.
So how do you make your vision statement concise? You do so by focusing on just one primary goal rather than fluffing it with many scattered ideas. A short vision statement with one clear objective is easier to focus on and achieve.
A challenging vision helps your employees dream big. So, develop a vision that makes you and your employees come out of your comfort zone and achieve more than what you think you can.
Achieving a challenging vision also gives you a greater sense of fulfillment and pride than a vision that is too simple and easily achievable for any business.
However, you shouldn’t develop something too unrealistic or far-fetched that becomes impossible to achieve. Such unrealistic visions will demotivate you rather than push you toward success.
Managing teams is arduous, no matter how excellent your employees are. You need to keep track of each member’s progress, review their work, ensure they are okay, and sketch out their career progression. However, the role can be quite fulfilling if you know what you are doing. For example, giving autonomy to your employees is a tried and tested technique that can be fulfilling.
But what is meant by giving them autonomy? Giving your employees autonomy means assigning tasks and letting them control how to complete them. It requires refraining from micromanagement and relinquishing control to give people the opportunity to become comfortable with taking responsibility.
This blog will discuss the impact of employee empowerment and provide suggestions for incorporating it into your management strategy.
I understand that giving autonomy can sometimes be challenging. You’re working on deadlines and are responsible for the overall submissions and project completion. Hence, failure on their end will also reflect negatively on you.
However, that challenge is part of your journey as a leader or manager. You must train your team, communicate with them, and explain the task. Once done, you must trust that they will do the job correctly.
Following are some of the benefits of giving your employees autonomy over their work:
Employee empowerment is directly related to job satisfaction, which is responsible for motivation. Placing your trust in your employees instills confidence and pushes them to respond to this trust by giving it their 110%.
Job satisfaction boosts retention and employee happiness; therefore, you will achieve several goals by giving them autonomy.
A motivated employee is a creative employee. Giving employees autonomy will increase the chances of taking ownership of their task. They know their task performance will affect their evaluation, so they will be more creative and innovative when presenting their ideas.
Some team managers also throw in some recognition to create a little extra spark in the team and drive them to have a healthy competition.
Most people look for growth and learning at their workplace, which is impossible if they carry out tasks like robots. Giving them autonomy and the freedom to put their spin on things will get them more interested in the job and increase their engagement.
Employees typically engage more when they feel their manager or organization values their opinion. The best way to do that is by giving them more responsibility if they have the skills and aptitude.
Nobody wants to stay in the same position forever, especially the younger hires. Getting more autonomy pushes them to learn how to leverage their network, skills, tools, etc., to finish the task creatively.
Multitasking, time management, and learning are critical skills for leadership, and autonomy prepares them for it. They also learn to handle pressure and take responsibility, which is necessary for such roles.
The path to career progression will require you to evolve beyond your existing capabilities and improve your skills. Empowerment will push your employees to do that, especially when you add more responsibility to their task panel.
The more they meet new challenges, the greater the chance of developing their skills to give the best results.
Motivation goes hand in hand with productivity. As mentioned above, giving autonomy to your employees increases their motivation. Hence, giving your team members the freedom to explore their tasks will improve their productivity and overall performance.
Lastly, employee empowerment, or giving autonomy, improves the trust between managers and employees. Giving people more responsibility shows them you trust them to handle more challenging tasks. This trust boosts confidence and pushes them to give their best.
This situation has mutual trust, and both ends need to work to ensure it remains intact.
The list above shows that assigning more responsibility and giving people freedom is good for overall performance and motivation. However, how will you do it? Following are suggestions for giving more autonomy to your employees:
First, discussing your plans with your team before introducing any changes is vital. For example, if you want to shift to a model that focuses on giving them more autonomy, let them know and ask for their opinions.
You must also clearly state your expectations so everyone knows what they are expected to do. The clearer they are on the subject, the better.
Your communication doesn’t end once you discuss project or task details. You will need to stay in touch with your team members regularly to ensure they do not feel overwhelmed. You can also offer one-on-one meetings to encourage them to discuss issues they may be facing.
Some roles require specific tools, and your team members cannot complete them in their absence. Therefore, check with your employee and confirm if they have all the tools they will need to use to get the desired results.
Additionally, offer assistance when possible and encourage other team members to offer help.
Micromanaging is one of the first motivation-killing techniques you will ever use at your workplace. It destroys employees’ confidence, stresses them out unnecessarily, and pushes them to question their skills.
Keep your interference to a minimum unless they request it or if you feel the work is going too off track. Otherwise, let your team members work after a lengthy communication and check the results they get.
In short, giving autonomy to your employees is beneficial for the team and the organization’s performance. I hope you enjoyed reading the blog and will check out the other blogs for more information about the subject.
Leadership has always been defined as the act of influencing, guiding, and managing individuals or groups. In organizations, corporate leadership sits at the top of the hierarchy. It is tasked with leading its teams through everyday operational storms and navigating the future to ensure continuity and profitability.
However, this definition merely scratches the surface of what leadership entails, especially in the post-pandemic digital age where the advent of emerging technologies, socio-demographic shifts, and economic certainty have disrupted “business as usual” almost beyond recognition.
As a result, modern business owners and managers are exploring different styles of corporate leadership to help smoothen the transition into the new normal and beyond. If you’re looking for the same, keep reading to learn five corporate leadership styles you can adopt in the post-pandemic digital age.
Here are five styles of corporate leadership along with their unique benefits you should know about:
With digital transformation becoming a trending buzzword in every industry and organization, it’s only fitting we kick things off with transformational leadership. This leadership approach is specifically designed to inflict change in employees, management, and social systems within an organization.
Today, businesses of all scales and niches are adopting new technologies, revamping their workplace culture, and exploring new domains/revenue streams. Thus, they need a leader who can create valuable and positive change by strategically turning followers into aspiring leaders. This allows them to delegate tasks without constant supervision.
This leadership style is desirable for growth-minded companies with a learning environment. It doesn’t merely focus on organizational goal achievement. It fosters personal connections with teams, boosting motivation, collaboration, and overall performance.
Coaching leadership is a relatively new, guidance-based leadership style designed to help teams gain short-term and long-term wins by fostering self-responsibility, collaboration, and effective communication. Coaching leaders assess their team members’ motivations, capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses to offer personalized guidance and support that brings out the best in them.
Leaders who adopt this leadership style are better suited to recognize and cultivate talent, promote upskilling, and encourage free-thinking. This leadership style fosters a more confident company culture and a positive, motivating environment. However, this style of corporate leadership can be incredibly time-intensive. Therefore, it may not be suitable for organizations with a deadline-driven environment.
Also known as altruistic leadership, this corporate leadership style fosters a decentralized organizational structure where autonomy, collective decision-making, and power-sharing are encouraged and prioritized. Servant leaders are characterized by having a people-first mindset and are tasked with ensuring team members are professionally and personally fulfilled.
Thus, they emphasize employee satisfaction so employees can focus on their performance and improve productivity, which leads to an increase in revenue. However, to facilitate this win-win scenario, businesses must create a reward-based work model to incentivize their teams to collaborate and commit to self-growth and responsibility.
However, servant leaders are susceptible to burnout since they usually put the teams’ needs above their own. Secondly, this form of leadership can often lead to a conflict of opinions due to the absence of a central authority. Therefore, it’s not suitable for traditional organizations and businesses with a hierarchical system in place.
Transactional leadership is one of the most common corporate leadership styles in the market. It focuses entirely on incentivizing employees to achieve targets and improve their performance. Employees that succeed are rewarded, whereas those who fail might be subject to punishments depending on the circumstances.
For instance, policy violations could lead to disciplinary proceedings. Similarly, failing to achieve targets could lead to demotion. However, the main purpose of this leadership style is to ensure employees have a clear vision of their responsibilities and performance targets so they can chase them down.
Transactional leaders are laser-focused on setting goals and monitoring performance. They’re essentially pacesetters that rely on mentorship, regular training, and managerial psychology to meet organizational goals. Therefore, these leaders are perfect for businesses that depend on specific goals and short-term success, such as sales agencies and consultancies.
Transactional leadership isn’t the best style for businesses that rely on creativity or those that don’t want to incentivize employees every time through rewards to improve operational efficiency or boost loyalty/satisfaction.
Democratic leadership, or shared/participative leadership, is one of the most popular leadership styles in the post-pandemic digital age. This style of corporate leadership involves collective decision-making. Every employee has an equal say in the company’s or project’s direction, with the leader eventually making the final call.
Therefore, it’s perfectly suited for businesses with a modern (Gen Z/Millennial) workforce that’s much more vocal than its traditional (Baby Boomer) counterpart. The most important benefit of this leadership style is that it enables employees at every level to exercise authority and take on more responsibilities. Empowered employees become eligible for leadership positions in the future.
As a result, a democratic leader needs to be always ready to ask for input from their team and generate as much feedback as possible before making a decision. They are rational, flexible, and excellent listeners that value group discussions. They want members to feel unafraid and share their opinions openly as they believe this can improve engagement, performance, and workplace satisfaction.
So, there you have it – 5 different styles of corporate leadership perfectly suited for the post-pandemic digital age. However, before you adopt one, you need to carefully assess your organization’s culture, team behavior and dynamics, and your industry, including the competitors and customers. You can ask yourself a few questions, such as:
Whether you manage a big or small team, answering these questions (and more) will help you determine your corporate leadership style and what you believe constitutes a healthy team dynamic. In many cases, this requires professional intervention from leadership experts.
DTG Consulting Solutions, Inc., a specialized, industry-leading, and highly experienced staffing company, can help you discover the ideal leadership style for your business and adopt it seamlessly. We can also equip your enterprise with a highly skilled and experienced talent to fill your leadership roles.
Feel free to get in touch with us anytime for more details.
Adapting employees’ skills and roles has become one of the main drivers of continuity and success in the new normal. With the unprecedented acceleration of digital transformation initiatives in modern organizations, leaders need to transform their teams’ capabilities to keep pace with emerging technologies and socio-economic changes.
While most large enterprises take the DIY route to upskill and reskill their existing IT staff, startups and small businesses generally lack the tools, resources, and expertise to carry out this endeavor successfully.
Here, IT consultancy firms can help businesses fill the skills gap and adopt the latest tools, technologies, and practices as per their industry’s and personnel’s requirements. Unfortunately, many smaller firms remain blissfully unaware of the benefits of outsourcing IT training to specialists.
Therefore, in this post, we’ll share why you should hire an IT consultancy firm to assess your skills gap and help upskill or reskill your existing IT team. However, before we dive into that, we’ll briefly talk about the importance of improving your IT team’s skills and technical competence in the new normal.
In the fast-paced business landscape, it’s ideal to work smarter rather than harder to maximize operational efficiency and productivity. By regularly upskilling and reskilling your IT staff, you can keep them in constant transition, so they feel more confident adopting and using new software and technologies.
Reskilling will also help you pick up new trends and adopt emerging industry standards. For example, as the internet grows more complex, IT teams are switching to new web development technologies, such as headless architectures and emerging coding languages (Rust, Swift, Python3, Ruby, Kotlin, etc.).
As a modern organization, the last thing you want is to rely on a team of digital dinosaurs accustomed to conventional, obsolete technologies and outdated IT practices. With regular upskilling, you can ensure your IT staff understands how new IT processes and technologies work. Upskilling will ensure they can troubleshoot any issues in the infrastructure (hardware/software/cloud) and minimize downtime.
Every industry is becoming more technology-focused and software-reliant in the post-pandemic digital age. However, this puts them in a bit of a predicament. The more they digitalize their operations, the more security risk they take. Moreover, technologies become more advanced and sophisticated with time, and cybersecurity threats become advanced too.
Therefore, another important reason to upskill and reskill your existing IT staff is to ensure they’re well-versed with the latest Cybersecurity solutions and practices to close any security gaps and minimize/prevent IT downtimes and data loss. Regular training helps them adopt new security software, perform real-time security analysis, and automate incident response to shut down threats instantly.
Now that you understand the importance of IT upskilling and reskilling, you’re probably thinking of improving your team’s capabilities and devising a training plan. However, you can outsource this task to an IT consultancy firm and focus on your core business activities. Here are some key benefits you can reap by avoiding the DIY training route:
Modern IT consultancy firms have a dedicated network of highly trained IT experts and certified consultants across several IT disciplines. Therefore, they offer unparalleled expertise compared to in-house IT teams or professionals in small firms with limited skills, experience, tools, and resources.
For instance, many traditional businesses adopting cloud technologies may have teams specializing in on-premises infrastructure but with limited knowledge of cloud migration or trending solutions.
Many small businesses can’t find the breathing space to conduct IT upskilling and reskilling training programs either due to strict deadlines, project pileups, more in-foot traffic, or remote/hybrid work models. In many cases, they have to trade off some of their daily activities to fit training into their daily schedules.
These issues inevitably lead to unnecessary delays and prolongation, which can be costly and counterproductive. You can accelerate the transition and upskill/reskill your staff faster. They can equip you with specialists (L&D professionals) that work behind the scenes to design the IT training material and courses according to their routines and capabilities.
Consultancy firms are often hired temporarily to guide organizations regarding the dos and don’ts in their quest to improve their teams’ capabilities. Many small businesses that usually opt for the DIY route often fail to achieve tangible results or do so at steeper costs. Consultants can help you find the most cost-effective route to success and equip you with the expertise and tools to get you there.
As your business and industry evolve substantially, your team may need to learn how to leverage emerging technologies and practices to improve productivity and performance. However, finding the right mix of solutions requires careful consideration, and not many small businesses have the expertise to help make strategic IT decisions.
IT consultancy firms are familiar with the latest trends in different industries. Therefore, they can help equip your business with the right tech solutions and train your team to use them effectively. Moreover, they can identify critical skill gaps and develop tailored training programs to help fill them.
So there you have it – four game-changing benefits of hiring an IT consultancy firm for upskilling and reskilling your IT staff. With the IT industry rapidly evolving since the pandemic, you need to invest in employee training programs to ensure your team is up to speed with the latest solutions and industry practices.
DTG Consulting Solutions, Inc., a specialized, industry-leading, and highly experienced staffing company, has been an authorized partner for several tech companies in the market, including Microsoft. Therefore, they can equip your business with the right mix of IT experts and L&D specialists to help improve your IT team’s capabilities.
Feel free to get in touch with us anytime for more details.
The corporate world has been witnessing a major shift toward remote working and hybrid workplace models for the past many months now. The employees and the leadership of businesses are required to make lasting adjustments for that purpose to try to achieve long-term successes.
67% of companies expect their implemented work-from-home policies to remain in place permanently, or at least for the long term, according to a survey. In this article, we will discuss some useful tips that can help the managers and leaders of an organization in leading a remote workforce effectively. But before that, let us look at some benefits of a hybrid workplace model and challenges that arise during the management of a remote workforce.
There are several issues that the leadership of businesses, especially SMEs, that are working remotely need to remediate.
While it is true that these and many other challenges have introduced new stresses for the leadership of businesses and their employees, there are several advantages of having a remote workforce as well. Some of them are increased savings due to better disaster preparedness, diminished turnover and absenteeism, lower costs of real estate, increased productivity, etc., reduced carbon emissions, availability of extra time in the day, etc.
All organizations, especially medium and small businesses, need to sit down and evaluate the needs and challenges of the employees, as well as the managers, before launching an environment for remote working that is utilitarian for everyone. Corporations need to equip their employees with the necessary tools and resources required to communicate and work effectively, the needed training to operate in isolation, and team-building activities for enhanced engagement.
In a brick-and-mortar setting, close supervision was a workplace normality that does not translate in an environment with a remote workforce. Remote leaders and managers need to trust their employees and give them space to work. In a remote or hybrid workplace, the leadership should provide their employees with opportunities to prove themselves and assign them the responsibility to be accountable. When you trust your remote workforce, you equip your teams with confidence, consequently making them trust your decisions in return.
It is not right for leadership to look at technology as the answer to every remote work problem. Some elements require the personal involvement of the management, and no tool can replace that need. You can find technological resources for most components of remote work, from communication platforms for a virtual coffee or smoke break to mental health apps. However, these tools cannot solve all the issues that your remote workforce faces, and you need to ensure frequent on-on-one virtual meetings or phone check-ins.
The leaders and managers of an organization need to try to find common ground by shifting the focus away from the issue and towards collaboration. We all know that communication is one of the most instrumental components when it comes to a remote working environment. The leadership of a company should involve its teams when turning the chapter in its business or solving a problem. The four ‘we-based’ questions that are highly useful in this regard are:
The best thing that the leaders and managers of a business can do is not just to acknowledge but appreciate what employees bring to the business, be it their ingenious ideas or hard work. When the leadership of a business puts its people before its processes, the staffers help the company grow by functioning in ways that are highly meaningful to its customers.
Be cognizant of the problems and obstacles your employees are facing, empathize with them, find ways to foster mutual respect and connect and allow them to take advantage of the ease that a remote or hybrid workplace model offers.
Some other things a corporate leadership can do to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its remote workforce management are:
Like every other work model, a remote or hybrid workplace model also comes with its own set of challenges. The impact of these obstacles gets amplified when it comes to SMEs due to their lack of resources. The above-mentioned best practices for remote workforce management help the leadership of an organization to remediate and mitigate remote workplace issues and enhance the productivity of the business.
Happy and satisfied employees function and perform much better, resulting in stress reduction for managers and leaders. While it is crucial to leverage the available technology to support the operations and activities of a remote workforce, a human touch is also of paramount importance. With that said, the employees of a business also have a major role to play in ensuring that operations of the company run smoothly and its targets are achieved. To equip your enterprise with exceptional and highly-skilled talent, get in touch with DTG Consulting Solutions, Inc., a specialized, industry-leading, and highly experienced staffing company.
Many organizations do not look beyond the aspects of sustainability that directly relates to the immediate concerns of their company. One way to assure the sustainability of an organization, as well as its corporate culture, is to develop individuals within the organization to be leaders. Developing future leaders of an organization is a key responsibility of the current senior management in any organization. More than 60 percent of senior executives in developed economies cited a lack of succession planning in leadership positions as their top business challenge (Bergelson, 2014). Adding to the problems of sustainability and corporate culture that leaders currently face is the fact leaders today need to operate in the changing global business environment that may not have been part of their responsibilities when they became part of the senior management of a company. The current leaders of an organization need to realize that the corporate culture that they helped develop can best be sustained through the promotion of individuals in the organization who possesses the shared vision of the organization and the ethical traits consistent with the culture of the organization (Torugsa, O’Donohue, & Hecker, 2013).
When developing employees for leadership roles, senior management must learn to recognize ways in which the corporate culture presents opportunities and constraints on the development of individuals. Then the executives should seek out individuals with great leadership potential, and identify what will be needed to groom them as successors to the leaders of the organization (Kotter 1990). In setting out to develop the sustainability of organizational culture, senior managers could benefit by identifying and developing possible leaders that share a vision for the organization consistent with the current leaders while exhibiting traits of a transformational leader. By developing employees for leadership positions within an organization, companies can help to assure corporate sustainability while reducing employee turnover and maintain longer-term employment opportunities within a company (Bateh, Heaton, Arbogast, & Broadbent, 2015). When management develops future leaders of an organization from within, they are helping to assure the mission and corporate culture of the organization while preparing for a smooth transition of leadership.
Bateh, J., Heaton, C., Arbogast, G., & Broadbent, A.(2015). Defining sustainability in the business setting. American Journal of Business Education, 6(3), 397-400. doi:10.19030/jsm.v1i1.8386
Bergelson, M. (2014). Developing tomorrow’s leaders: Innovative approaches to mentorship. People & Strategy, 37(2), 18-22. Retrieved from https://www.hrps.org
Kotter, J. (1999). What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review, 79(11),85-96. doi:10.1007/978-1-137-24203-7_4
Torugsa, N., O’Donohue, W., & Hecker, R. (2013). Proactive CSR: An empirical analysis of the role of its economic, social and environmental dimensions on the association between capabilities and performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(2), 383-402. doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1405-4
Aspects of corporate sustainability, such as human rights, ethical marketing rules, fair labor standards, and environmental protection are becoming expected from all business entities. These aspects of business known as corporate social responsibility (CSR) bring benefits to both the environment and society, and have typically been developed and implemented in large companies (Snider, Hill, & Martin, 2003). However, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are now facing pressure to adopt CSR programs. SMEs have an advantage over larger firms and represent a perfect opportunity for the implementation of an environmental sustainability initiative. Due to the relative size of SMEs, fewer layers of management exist in these firms. Hence, there is an absence of bureaucratic constraints which hinder the passing or corporate initiatives such as a program to focus on environmental sustainability. SMEs enjoy the advantage of being well positioned for the quick implementation of a CSR solution (Freisleban, 2011). But how can SMEs implement a CSR program to best reach the intended beneficiaries?
One way in which small businesses can implement a CSR program and have it reach its intended target is through the cluster or network approach. The challenges faced by the SMEs in implementing CSR will be minimized by being part of a network. The cluster approach relies on strong, consolidation and trusted information channels amongst other small businesses. The cluster approach is made possible by setting up specific clusters of SME’s based on a geographic location. The cluster of SME’s share in communication tools to annunciate their expertise and best practices, operational models, and guidelines in support of working towards a CSR initiative (Battaglia, Bianchi, Frey, & Iraldo, 2010).
Collaboration amongst SME’s presents an opportunity to bring together the core competencies of different businesses for the achievement of common CSR goal. However, all participating SME’s need to share in their common values and their alignment should be based on the long-term interests of each member of the formed SME’s coalition (Wall, 2008). The forming of a cluster amongst small businesses also helps in the sharing of the costs of associated with implementing a socially responsibility program (Harggett, & Williams, 2009). Thus, small businesses can look at a cluster as an chance to provide shared costs and an opportunity to be responsible, as its contributions to social and environmental programs do more than just add costs to the company.
With pressure from government agencies demanding that small businesses start to comply with CSR programs as larger companies do, some small businesses maintain a CSR program as merely a reactive-defensive strategy rather than as a concentrated effort to do good (Clarkson, 1995). By joining a cluster of SMEs with a concentrated goal, companies can do more than merely comply with the minimum regulatory requirements. The combined costs and efforts of businesses to comply with CSR initiatives can be viewed as a built-in activity, and embedding as a substantial part of business strategy, thus helping companies to not only comply with regulation but also to help generate profits (Grayson and Hodges, 2004). In using a cluster of SME’s, the sustainability of a small business as well as the achievement of a CSR program becomes enhanced.
Battaglia, M., Bianchi, L., Frey, M., & Iraldo, F. (2010). An innovative model to promote CSR among SMEs operating in industrial clusters: evidence from an EU project. Corporate Social Responsibility & Environmental Management, 17(3), 133-141. doi:10.1002/csr.224
Clarkson, M. B. (1995). A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluating corporate social performance. The Academy of Management Review 20(1), 92– 117. doi:10.5465/amr.1995.9503271994
Conway, E. (2014). Assessing Sustainability Support to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). International Journal of Performability Engineering, 10(4), 377-386. doi:10.1186/s13705-015-0060-x
Freisleban, G. (2011). Benefits & burdens of CSR for SMEs. Financial Executive, 27(8), 53-56. Retrieved from: https://www.financialexecutives.org
Grayson, D. and A. Hodges: 2004, Corporate Social Opportunity! 7 Steps to Make CSR Work for Your Business. Sheffield, UK: GreenLeaf.
Hargett, T. R., & Williams, M. F. (2009). Wilh. Wilhelmsen Shipping Company: Moving from CSR tradition to CSR leadership. Emerald Journal 9(1), 73–82. doi:10.1108/14720700910936074
Snider, J. P., Hill, R. & Martin, D. (2003). Corporate social responsibility in the 21st century: A viewfrom the world’s most successful firms. Journal of Business Ethics, 48(2), 175-187. doi:10.1023/b:busi.0000004606.29523.db
Wall, C. (2008). Buried Treasure: Discovering and Implementing the value of Corporate social Responsibility. Sheffield, UK: GreenLeaf.
The transformational leadership theory is one of the most studied and thus most popular theories of leadership. The ability to translate across cultural boundaries while being applied to more situations than many of the other studied theories of leadership contributes to the popularity of this theory of leadership. The main premise of this theory is the transfer of the leader’s vision to their subordinates, which inspires the subordinates to focus on a higher order of intrinsic needs and organizational goals (Zwingmann, et al., 2013). To accomplish this goal, transactional leaders have to inspire followers through motivation to become engaged in their work, thus sharing in the vision of the organization. Transactional leaders use these four components to become an effective leader: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration.
Having idealized influence refers to a leader’s ability to provide a clear vision, and instills pride in accomplishing the goals of an organization. Subordinates will respect and trust a leader who exhibits an ethical behavior and has high morals. When a leader inspires motivation in their subordinates, that leader demonstrates the ability to communicate their high expectations goals which followers are expected to accomplish. By having been provided with such motivation, the followers become committed to the shared vision of the leaders of an organization (Northouse, 2013).
Transformational leaders stimulate the intellect of their subordinates by allowing for innovative and creative approaches towards accomplishing their work within an organization. Subordinates are encouraged to create new methods of accomplishing tasks by questioning assumptions and applying new frameworks to established situations (Bass & Riggio, 2006). The final component of the transformational leadership theory is an individualized consideration which requires leaders to take on the role of a coach or mentor to a subordinate. Managers using a transformational theory of leadership provide a climate that is supportive to their followers, and they listen carefully to the needs of all members of their team.
Because the transformational leadership theory creates a strong bond between leaders and subordinates, the transformational leadership theory leads to longer lasting benefits between leaders and subordinates. This theory is unlike another popular theory of leadership, the transactional theory, which tends to view the relationships between leader and followers as shallow and good only for a short period of time. The exchange of rewards for achievements in a transactional leadership theory often leads to resentment between the leaders and followers. Thus the bond created is not as strong as in the transformational leadership theory.
Bass, B.M. & Riggio, R.E. (2006). Transformational leadership. New York, NY: Psychology Press.
Northouse, P.G. (2013) Leadership Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Zwingmann, I., Wegge, J., Wolf, S., Rudolf, M., Schmidt, M., & Richter, P. (2014). Is transformational leadership healthy for employees? A multilevel analysis in 16 nations. Zeitschrift für Personalforschung, 28(1/2), 24-51. doi:10.1177/239700221402800103