The key to running a successful business is effective leadership. It has the potential to bring in more profits for a company than any cost-cutting effort. Research shows that leadership styles of managers are responsible for 30 per cent of a company’s bottom-line profitability. But due to changes in work culture, traditional top-down leadership policies are soon losing their relevance today. There is an urgent need to revamp many such outdated leadership policies.
With more and more companies adopting the culture of open innovation, employee engagement has taken the centre stage. Collaborative leadership policies are taking the place of traditional ones. Research says that employees are more engaged in their work and deliver their best when they are given more autonomy and flexibility. This makes it more important that today’s leadership policies concentrate on the concept of team-building through power sharing.
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Coercive leadership policies are now losing their relevance. The emerging idea that is taking its place is more democratic and participatory in nature. The team is now encouraged to give suggestions and ideas, and the management looks into these carefully. Information sharing among the whole team is encouraged. Initially, information stayed only within the top management. Sharing information with the whole team helps to bring everyone on the same page. With such a collaborative approach, solutions to complex problems can easily be arrived upon.
While implementing changes in your organisation, support from your team is of prime importance. Change management does not mean telling your team that change is good for the organisation. Clear and complete information regarding the exact changes being made should be shared with them so that they have a better understanding about the effect such changes will have on them as well as the organisation. Try to sell the change to your team and convince them why it is necessary to work towards it.
Today, as the business environment is becoming increasingly unpredictable, managers are expected to be more creative and flexible to provide innovative solutions to unexpected problems. Leadership policies should not be reactive. Instead, they should be proactive in nature. Applying traditional leadership policies to new challenges won’t do any good. A new approach called ‘adaptive leadership’ is the need of the hour. The importance of flexible hours
Ensuring work-life balance is another challenge faced by corporate managers. Policies regarding work-life balance need to be modified with time, as this is the single most important factor that affects the productivity of employees. Working longer does not necessarily mean increased output. Allowing flexible working hours and work-from-home opportunities will ensure that your employees are happy and productive.
Policies regarding performance appraisals are also changing for good. Instead of periodic appraisals, immediate and constant feedback with one-on-one coaching is preferred.
Leadership policies should evolve constantly with changing times. Today’s practices may not work for tomorrow’s problems. So it’s up to the leader to come up with innovative solutions and drive his team to success.