19 July 2015

Why be a great leader anyway?

LinkedIn’s #HowIlead campaign demonstrates there are many great leaders to aspire to. But forget about How and think about Why.

Put simply: A great leader inspires and motivates employees – Inspired and motivated employees are better engaged – Better engaged employees are more passionate about the work they do and excited about how their contribution makes a difference – This passion then influences the customer experience – A great experience means happy, loyal customers – Happy, loyal customers mean repeat custom and, ultimately, more sales Makes sense right? Keeping your eye on the ‘why’ can be extremely motivational, but it’s no easy task.

Here are our top tips for success:

Get out there:

A great leader should be visible, honest, authentic and transparent. They should be understood by every single last one of their employees, not just their management team. Think about TV programmes like Undercover Boss and Back to the Floor and the incredible impact when leaders get closer to the action. It’s so important to walk the floors yourself. Remember to lead from the front and make time for face-to-face interaction and site visits. If it’s impossible to see everyone regularly, utilise technologies such as webinars and social media collaboration tools (Yammer, Jive etc) to hold live Q&As and discussions.

Don’t hog the limelight: 

Face-to-face interaction will always be number one but doing this regularly isn’t always realistic, especially for complex global organisations. Educate and influence your managers to become great leaders too – you may be the star, but cultivate an environment where everyone is able to shine.

Put internal comms on a level playing field with external: 

Too many times leaders forget to allocate the correct amount of time, resources and budget to their employee engagement initiatives and internal communications campaigns. Don’t let it be a bolt on. Don’t let it slip from your priority list. Don’t let it be a reaction for when things go wrong.  Be creative, innovative and consistent with your employees – exactly as you would with your customer.

Listen up: 

Run regular research into how your employees are feeling, what they’d like to see changed or things they’d like to see more of. Don’t be afraid of criticism and remember – good ideas can come from anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a yearly engagement survey either. Keep your ears close to the ground through small, regular focus groups, quick 5-10 question surveys, site visits and making the most of your brand champions on the frontline. We are an agency specialising in employer brand and internal communications. Our inside out approach inspires your employees to be brand ambassadors and turns your customers into brand advocates. Contact us today to find out more. Read more about the LinkedIn #HowILead campaign here.

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