As a business leader, can you:
- Adopt a high-quality, results-driven approach
- Develop a fully engaged team that’s enjoyable to be part of?
If so, you’re amongst an elite groups of top leaders in the world, according to research by the Harvard Business Review. From a review of 60,000 business leaders, only 13% in the top quartile ranked for both these skills. That’s just 7,800 people.
The midlife choice
Drilling down into the data, the HBR found that age played a large part. Not surprisingly, those aged under 30 were good at creating a fun team environment, and around 30% were equally effective in terms of driving for results and building engagement.
“Around age 40, it seems, leaders appear to have made their choice between being results driven or interpersonally strong. From there forward, only 10% of leaders in any age group would do both things well.”
The mobile generation
At first, the team suspected that the younger generation’s ability to engage might be because were more willing to build informal work relations with employees. This could be fuelled by their affinity and affection for social interactions that blur the boundaries between work life and personal life, both online and in person.
Then, the HBR team realised that it was also due to position. Supervisors were more likely to use both skills more effectively than a senior manager, who had less interface time with employees. Also, as people age, both skills decline, so those who have worked their way up to senior positions over the years were losing their skills in these key areas.
Six major skills for success
Those senior leaders in the top 13% who were rated for both engagement and results exhibited six major skills to both drive for results and remain engaged with employees too. We were delighted to see that our employee communications app has features that precisely correspond to these six required skillsets.
1. A clear communication strategy
Clarity is key: if employees know the direction of the business, they can engage with it and move forward as a team.
Talkfreely feature: Our comms app gives you the ability to communicate with all employees, at the same time, with the same message, reinforced with highly accessible resources.
2. Integrity and trust
In these days of disparate workforces, how can a leader really ‘walk the talk”? In fact, it’s probably easier than ever before to demonstrate that you are a leader to be trusted. By being open, straightforward, and approachable in both the real and virtual world, leaders can prove in almost every action that they have everyone’s best interests at heart.
Talkfreely feature: Accessibility and presence is key to building trust. A leader that implements a comms app like Talkfreely can be accessible wherever the employee works; in an office, at home, in the field. By posting updates, information, celebrating success and recognising achievements, leaders can be the face and voice of the company with both integrity and transparency.
3. Inspire and motivate employees
As the HBR team explain:
“Leaders who can inspire and generate loyalty, commitment, passion, and enthusiasm in their team members excel at creating a positive work environment.”
Talkfreely feature: Our employee comms app enables leaders like you to communicate in a whole variety of ways. It’s this sharing of messages via a diverse range of media that helps turn information into inspiration.
4. Stretch goals (aka Challenges)
How many people, when asked why they took up a hobby or changed their job, say, “I needed a new challenge”. Team challenges bring employees together to strive for a common goal through cooperation and respect for everyone’s contribution and role.
Talkfreely feature: With Talkfreely, you can issue Challenges to solve business challenges to any size of group: company-wide, departmental, a small defined group of specialists, or even just one individual. Team members can collaborate wherever they are in the world, share resources, see the latest updates, and be just one click away from peer-to-peer help and advice. Then celebrate their success and tell the whole company, to inspire others to rise to your next Challenge.
Good leaders actively encourage feedback, and act on it too. Their ability to take on board what they are told ensures people are happy to speak up in future, knowing their views will be heard.
Talkfreely feature: With a full range of survey options, leaders like you can ask anything from a simple question to a complex survey, and get the results in real time. Since you are on the app’s contacts list, employees can contact your direct if they wish too, and in turn you’re able to keep everyone up to date with changes made as a result of employee feedback.
6. Employee development
Most employees relish the opportunity to build their skills and develop their capabilities. A leader who encourages and actively supports these goals elevates performance levels, makes work more stimulating and enjoyable, and is also the best recruitment advert your business can have!
Talkfreely feature: An employee app can provide almost instant access to a whole variety of training materials, from e-books to videos, to be viewed when and where the employee wants to. Mentors and mentees can communicate directly and in private at times to suit both parties. Training events can be created and opened to employees not able to be there in person through broadcasts and webinars, all through one single app on their mobile device.
For more information on how Talkfreely can take you into that top 13%, call us, or try the app for yourself with our free demo.
Talkfreely: the easy way to create your own mobile friendly employee communication system