As a leader, it is your responsibility to create a healthy workplace environment, which helps everyone around you to thrive and perform to the best of their ability.
Many people assume that you are either born a leader, or you’re not. However, this could not be further from the truth. Being an effective leader takes hard work and commitment.
With that in mind, below, we are going to take a look at some of the different leadership skills that are required for a healthy workplace environment.
1. The ability to give quality feedback
Knowing how to give feedback is imperative when creating a healthy workplace environment. You need to understand what tools to use when providing someone with feedback on their work.
Make sure you are giving a healthy dose of supportive feedback and praise, as well as constructive criticism that will help employees to do better in the future.
Understand when group feedback is important but also when one-to-one meetings make more sense. You can read this informative article on the benefits of 1:1 meetings for more information. Some people may feel embarrassed if you criticize their work in front of the group, so it is vital to be sensitive to this.
You also need to carefully consider how you’re going to explain your point in an effective manner. For example, you may want to support what you’re saying with graphs and charts or some sort of interactive element that makes it easier for people to understand the points you are trying to make when giving feedback to them.
2. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to express, perceive, evaluate, and control emotions.
Leaders with a high level of emotional intelligence can understand how their workers are feeling and act accordingly in that situation.
For example, they may realize when a member of staff is struggling and needs some extra assistance. They will also understand what type of help to offer and what sort of setting is most appropriate, as they are tuned into how the other person is feeling.
You can use emotional intelligence in a variety of ways in your daily life. Here are some examples:
- Not being judgmental of other people
- Knowing why you do the things you do
- Practicing excellent listening skills
- Having empathy for other people in the workplace
- Being able to solve issues in a manner that works for everyone in your team
- Being able to share your feelings with other people
- Knowing how to say ‘no’ when you need to do so
- Being able to move on after a mistake has been made by yourself or someone else on your team
- Knowing how to accept criticism and responsibility
3. Be a great motivator
There are going to be moments whereby the mood is pretty low in camp. Energy levels can start to dip. Frustration can set in. Whether your team has been working on a long project or they are simply in need of a day off, once this feeling starts to take over the team, it spreads like wildfire, impacting everyone’s mood.
It is up to you to get those motivation levels high once more. You need to understand how to keep your team motivated and increase enthusiasm in critical moments.
Remember, as a leader, you’re always leading by example. Your mood and approach will impact the entire team. If you are moaning all of the time and have a “cannot be bothered” attitude, the rest of your team will feel the same way.
Instead, you need to be positive and encourage your team. Actively look to motivate others, without being patronizing.
Here are some of the different ways you can boost team spirit and increase levels of motivation amongst your workforce:
- Show everyone that they can count on you. Be there to answer questions. Have an ‘open door’ policy whereby people feel like they can ask you questions and talk with you whenever they need to.
- Give people praise whenever they do good work. When we hear that our efforts are appreciated, we want to work harder because we know that it is not going unnoticed. A small bit of praise can go a very long way in the world of business.
- Listen more and speak less. Being a good listener is a difficult skill, yet it is one of the most important for any leader. Do you genuinely listen to your team? Or, are you simply waiting for the moment in a conversation where you can start speaking? If it is the latter, it is time to start practicing your listening skills so that you can ensure your team feels heard and respected.
- Create an environment where people feel confident in making suggestions. Not every idea is going to be a great idea. However, if you create an environment where people feel silly for making suggestions, you are going to miss out on some incredible sparks of innovation. Motivate your employees by encouraging them to speak up and share their ideas in a safe and unjudgmental environment.
- Set clear goals and objectives for your team. If your employees know exactly what they are working toward and why they are doing so, they will feel motivated to achieve this. Instead, if your team is aimlessly going about their business without any understanding of what you expect from them, what targets they need to hit, or why their role matters, they will quickly lose any motivation they had to begin with.
4. The art of delegation
Effective leaders also know how to delegate successfully. A lot of leaders try to take on too many tasks themselves because they feel like they will do a better job.
However, there is only so much that one person can do. Plus, when you have this approach, you’re telling your team that you don’t trust them, which will have further negative consequences on the workplace dynamic.
Instead, you need to become a master of understanding what tasks to pass onto your team and how to delegate them effectively. Rather than handing work out on a first-come, first-served basis, hand out tasks based on the skill set of your team.
5. Embrace and manage change
Let’s get one thing straight; things rarely go to plan in life, especially in business. You could have spent a long amount of time, expertly planning every element of your next project. Then, something happens that throws a spanner in the works and derails all of your efforts.
You only need to consider the recent Covid-19 pandemic as a prime example of how we never know what’s around the corner. The best leaders understand that change is a part of business, and they are agile and adaptable in the face of it.
They know when to scrap plans or make changes. They are quickly able to assess change requests or deal with events that have an impact on their team’s day-to-day work.
They also know how to cope with scope creep due to change requests made by the client. Rather than blindly saying ‘yes’ whenever a client makes a demand, they are able to evaluate the impact this will have on the project, ensuring the client is aware of how their request will impact the deadline and budget.
Last but not least, one of the most important skills for any leader to display is dependability. You need to be someone that your team can count on at all times.
Even if you feel like things are falling apart at the business you work for, you cannot let your workers get a sense of this. Instead, you need to inspire confidence. You are the solid foundation that enables the rest of our team to thrive. If you start to display unsureness or concern, your team will quickly pick up on this, and it prevents them from doing their best work.
Make sure that your employees can count on you and that they feel comfortable coming to you whenever they have a question or concern of any nature.
Focus on the leadership skills needed to create a healthy work environment
So there you have it: some of the most critical leadership skills when it comes to creating a healthy and productive work environment.
From learning how to give effective feedback to working on your emotional intelligence skills, if you concentrate on the areas we have mentioned above, you will be able to create a positive and healthy team dynamic that enables your workforce to flourish.