Employee success is intrinsically tied to the success of the leader. A leader can’t truly succeed if their employees are not succeeding, and vice versa. It is always useful to work on personal career development and to build leadership skills, but a great leader also spends a significant portion of their time helping their employees be their best because that’s what leadership is really all about.
Here are six ways that great leaders help their employees succeed:
1. Maintaining open lines of communication
A great leader is accessible and someone who can be turned to for advice and encouragement. An open-door policy can help facilitate a workplace culture where people feel comfortable voicing their ideas and their concerns, which helps everyone get on the same page and succeed together.
2. Being humble and grateful
A great leader doesn’t pretend to know everything or claim credit for things they didn’t do. By being open and honest about your own limitations, you help set the example that we all should be learning and growing together. Being humble also allows for credit to be given where it’s due, creating more cohesive and grateful teams.
3. Offering specific, actionable feedback
One of the most important things a leader can do is offer feedback. When feedback is withheld or not specific, it can be nearly impossible for employees to understand what they must do in order to succeed. Learning how to give feedback in a way that is kind but firm, and honest but encouraging, is an extremely valuable skill.
4. Being decisive
A great leader knows how to correct course when the ship is drifting out to sea, but in general, a strong leader should be confident in their decisions and clear about their expectations. There are few worse feelings in this world than finishing a project only to have the boss say, “You know what, I’ve changed my mind.” Perhaps even worse is the boss who can’t make a decision. Clarity is key.
5. Rewarding good work
Great work deserves to be rewarded at every level. Regular recognition and praise go a long way, and when the time is right, offering promotions, raises, and new duties will help your best employees flourish.
6. Leading by example
In every respect, if you ask something of your employees, give the same thing back to them. Be punctual. Strive for balance in your life. Meet deadlines. Express gratitude. Treat everyone with respect. These lessons we learned in preschool are fundamental to success in business and in life.