Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

How managers can continue to improve their leadership skills

female employeeA big part of culture-building is employee development, but what about executive improvements?

It has been about a year since Entrepreneur noted management is “missing the mark,” and while job satisfaction is certainly high, the only way to maintain that is to consistently improve leadership. Hopefully in the last 12 months that has been the case, but there are always ways to get even better. A mere third of managers are engaged with their work, the media outlet noted. 

Building a positive workplace culture is a top-down task. It is up to management to push this sort of initiative. However, if the C-suite is not engaged then this is much less likely. It is essential that in addition to developing staff, leaders do the same for themselves. While people are certainly happy with their work as it is, as noted by a Society of Human Resource Management survey, there’s room to grow. If job satisfaction is high at a time when management engagement is so low, imagine how pleased people would be if more executives sought to be better leaders. 

Organizations that hope to have more engaged employees must first develop more engaged managers. These prospective leaders should have traits that make them the ideal individuals to run companies. While this includes being more engaged with the job, there’s more to it than that. 

More than capable communication
A great leader shouldn’t be just OK at communication, but, rather, exceptional at it. There are several elements that go into someone’s skills in this regard. The ability to get across messages clearly is essential, but so to is body language and listening abilities. The former is something that can be practiced regularly in front of a mirror or with a friend.  As for the latter, is important to always make an effort to take in everything employees are trying to say. Great leaders focus on all three components of communication. 

Delegation done right
People managers can’t do everything themselves, and that’s where delegation comes into play, Inc. explained. Leaders know their staff well enough to understand who to pass off certain tasks to and which responsibilities to prioritize. Delegation is an essential aspect of management – without it company leaders can easily burn themselves out with mountains of work. This is a skill that will almost certainly take some practice, but is necessary for effective leadership. 

Voice a vision
Culture starts with the goals and mission that leaders communicate to staff and implement in everyday operations. A manager’s vision should be “clear, distinctive [and] compelling,” Inc. noted. Connect the dots between the strategic goals of the company and the desires of the employees to ensure that everyone is engaged in success. When everyone is on the same page, working toward a singular and clearly defined objective, chances are it’s because leadership is active and, as a result, respected. 


Join us for one of our related conference sessions at INSIGHTS 2016 in Las Vegas (July 11-15)!

  • PD105 Driving Engagement Through Career Development
  • PD115 Engaging the Millennial Workforce

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