I think most of us would recognise that managing a team falls well short of leading a team. With the younger workforce, the older style of management practises such as tell people what to do, micro manage to make sure they aren’t making mistakes and decisions are only made at the top, just doesn’t work anymore. It had limited success even 20 years ago, yet there are still some senior leaders who prescribe to this style of management.
Even more so today, this style of management will certainly de-motivate most team members and send them to hunt for a job elsewhere. Most team members, not just the millennials, want to feel as though their thoughts and views are able to be heard and having a say in how to solve problems or increase productivity is extremely motivating. Team members have a much greater social conscious as well and want to work for a business that is making a profound difference.
So how is your leadership style stacking up? Here are some tips on how to lead and better motivate your team:
- Delegation of tasks is an absolute key. Unfortunately from my experience, I still see a lot of leaders that struggle with this concept. The excuses of ‘it’s faster if I do it myself” and “they won’t do the task to my level”, just don’t cut it anymore.
Most team members want to learn and grow, and are crying out for opportunities. Leaders have to let go so they can focus on the bigger picture of working on the business.
- Empower your team to make higher level decisions. Leaders have to train and set guidelines so team members can make most of the decisions without having to get approval. Not only is this much better for the customer (who’s query/problem gets solved much faster), it’s great personal growth for the team. There’s much more ownership and pride for team members and you will soon find out who’s ready to step up as well.
Another massive benefit from team members making more decisions, is it creates the opportunity for so many more diverse ways to solve problems. This encourages creativity and promotes ideas that otherwise might have died on the shop floor.
- Challenge your team to get outside their comfort zone. The best learning always takes place outside of each person’s comfort zone, so look for ways you can do that. Delegating and empowering decisions is one way to do this, you can also allocate projects, change job roles, encourage new learning and set challenging yet achievable goals.
One of the most important things when challenging people to get out of their comfort zones and try new things, is to make it safe for them. By this I mean, it’s ok if they make mistakes, as long as it’s used as a learning situation. Some people will need baby steps whereas others you can push them quite hard. It’s all based on how well you know them and what makes them tick.
I know this style of leadership takes more effort than just telling people what to do. As I say when I train leaders on how to delegate and empower their teams, by doing so you create team members who are committed not just compliant!
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.