This article first appeared on the ADP@Work blog.
It’s that time of year when many companies are doing annual reviews and employees are thinking about their own performance as well as their relationship with their team and their boss. When you consider that nearly 50 percent of workers leave a company because they aren’t happy with their manager, now’s a good time to think about how to improve your leadership skills in order to retain your top talent.
Jerome Gouvernel, Vice President and General Manager of ADP Ventures recently sat down with Jill Malandrino, Host of Nasdaq’s TradeTalks to share five steps to becoming a better leader.
- Don’t take it personally, it’s not about you. What makes a leader successful is not a specific skill set but how well a leader’s skills fulfill the needs of those working around them. It’s about what your team requires of you as a leader.
- Identify what your team needs. Examine what you’ve asked of the team and how your actions can help drive their success. They may be happy with the goals initially set but if a new project is assigned when they are already juggling multiple projects, they need specific guidance and priorities outlined. While establishing a dialogue is important, you also need hard facts. You can’t sit down with a blank sheet and ask what they need from you.
- Honest feedback needs to be confidential. Assure your team that feedback will be confidential since they won’t want to share useful inputs if they think it will lead to conflict. Once you get confidential feedback then what?
- Debrief with your team to get any clarification needed and provide acknowledgment that you received their input. This is good for morale, teambuilding and builds trust and respect. They need to know you are taking this seriously and you care.
- Acquire the skills needed to fulfill the needs of your team. The best way to do this is through coaching. While dedicated live coaches that can come in and sit down with leaders is most effective, scalability can be an issue since this is expensive and time consuming. Consider personalized online coaching, webinars, eLearning courses or push coaching directly to individuals to reach the most people. For example, Compass powered by ADP emails leaders with coaching tips on the one area they need to improve most. By getting just eight emails over three months with coaching tips, leaders demonstrated a 10 percent average improvement in the targeted leadership skill by just reading a simple email!