12 Dec Let’s Talk Business Leadership Skills: How to Get Employees to Perform Better
There’s lots of advice out there about how to be a great business leader. As is so often the case, some of it’s good, some if it’s bad, and much of it is subjective. But here at MindKube, we’re daredevils who love nothing more than the thrill of going out on a flimsy limb.
So, today we offer the wildly controversial opinion that one of the more important business leadership skills is the ability to motivate and inspire better performance from the team.
And, since we don’t merely talk the talk, but also, uh, write the write, here are 5 effective ways to do so:
Smart Business Leaders Incentivize Better Performance
A universal truth, and a no-brainer: People like getting good stuff.
Employees work harder for things that directly benefit them, and they usually respond well to positive reinforcement. Consider profit-sharing or equity or another system that provides financial rewards for long-term success.
Alternatively, transform your organization into more of a meritocracy. Forget seniority for the big corner desk by the bright, happy window. Make someone earn that seat. Make people prove they deserve raises and promotions. And offer sporadic rewards. Surprise your best-performing employee with an unexpected bonus or gift card or spa day or weekend getaway.
The Best Bosses Provide Job Perks
Not much has changed since we wrote a few paragraphs up. People still like getting good stuff.
Perks are similar to incentives, but smaller or more frequent or shorter term. If your company’s an enjoyable place to work, your employees value their jobs more, have greater respect for you and the brand, have higher morale, and generally feel more motivated to do their best.
Free food and drinks, a gym membership, a special weekly lunch, a few monthly work-from-home days, parties, a snazzy company sports car, or whatever else you can come up with—and afford—that your team will genuinely appreciate.
Yes, Arguing with Your Employees Is a Leadership Skill
Even if you agree with them, play devil’s advocate.
Make them defend their intentions and ideas. You’ll more easily uncover the half-baked plans and bad concepts before investing any time or money in them. Plus you’ll see whether someone’s passionate and confident and informed enough to lead a project.
This also forces team members to think things through more extensively, do a little more research, and seek feedback from others qualified to give it. Especially once you have a reputation for drilling them. Nobody wants to squirm and sweat and suffer and sink ashamedly down in the hot seat.
Strong Leaders Delegate Responsibility
Lift team members up closer to your lofty heights so they can smell the air up there and take in the views.
Show your best employees that you recognize their abilities and appreciate their contributions by letting them helm a project or take on an important task. They’ll be eager to show they can handle what you give them.
Employees should know the boss is willing to hand over the reins sometimes and offer opportunities for people rise to new challenges. And they need to know there’s real potential for upward mobility; team members who feel dead-ended rarely come in day after day and give it their all.
Never Over-Promising or Under-Delivering Is a Key Business Leadership Skill
Another universal truth and no-brainerism: Just as people like getting good stuff, they dislike not getting good stuff they’re expecting.
It’s not uncommon to be boastful or overly optimistic or particularly promotional when you’re hiring or trying to inspire your employees. But tread cautiously and don’t resort to exaggerations or stretches of the truth or hyperbole. And definitely avoid dangling carrots that may never be available for the chomping.
Your team notices when things don’t manifest or match the hype. And they’ll be disappointed, maybe even thinking that they or the organization failed. That typically isn’t good for morale or motivation. Even worse, they may consider you less competent or less trustworthy.