Leadership is a tough role in business. To encompass so many aspects that are constantly dealing with the pressures of running a business and or leading employees is something the overwhelming majority will never experience. Not only are you driving toward targets that you must take responsibility for, but you’re also dealing with the most dynamic and at times unpredictable component of any business; the people. As a leader or the boss, it’s your job to channel all the greatest talents and minds of your employees and getting the most out of them. Bearing in mind you’re in continuous competition with your competitors, and striving to climb up the ladder in profits, influence and quality, being a leader is a mentally demanding role. Keeping your employees enthusiastic and respectful of your command is a labor of love, or so it should be to you. However, to cultivate loyalty takes action more so than words.
Image by Victorgrigas
Maintain a line of order
As a leader in the workplace, you should be able to command your employees without being there. A code of conduct should be in action at work which allows personal freedoms and sensitivities not to be undermined. This means that racism and discrimination based on any other factor must and cannot be tolerated. Strict rules should be in place and clearly stated to everyone so there can be no excuse to fall back on. Employees don’t want to be lectured as if they have committed a crime or are about to. Most people are really decent and know the social interaction stigmas and way to behave. However, if an individual does feel sidelined or perhaps being undermined in some intuitive way, this can lower the standard of work. The dynamic of groups and friendships in business are like cogs in a gearbox if one starts to slow down the entire mechanism is affected. So have stringent codes of conduct and manners present in your welcome package, so new staff members know what is expected of them.
Meeting out punishment
There will come a time where you have to exert your authority onto employees for something they have done wrong. However, leaders who rule by fear are treated and seen like tyrants to their employees. This creates an atmosphere of fleeting respect rather than one that is a formation of dependence on just and logical judgements. It’s therefore important to know the understanding Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. There must be a judicial process of what happened, who saw and or heard and can, therefore, provide evidence. Handing out punishment is only the third step. After evidence and consultation, it’s now your job as the leader to know what the legal guidelines are and within that framework, what is the right and meaningful disciplinary action to take. Instruments that can put this into action are often legally available to businesses such as sending an employee home without pay or giving them the option to take formal classes on anger management and other such classes.
Source LIBER Europe
The chain of command
All good businesses are run on a well-respected hierarchy. There is an absolute need to display a chain of command to all employees regardless of rank, role and time served with the business. This means you do need to have limited communication with your employees as in daily. If you are too accessible, it’s unfortunate to admit, but your social status as the leader is going to erode. If this is allowed to happen at some point down the road, you will become just another one of the guys and gals. Make sure to let your staff know that if there is a problem with anything, they must go through the correct channels. Either they can talk with the human resources department, or they can communicate with their immediate superior. A standard small business chain of command will go something like boss/leader, executive committee and or partners, heads of departments, section managers, and finally the employee. Issues that are taking place at ground level must first be brought upward rather than bypassing immediate superiors. This way, small problems do not take up valuable time for you as the leader, but you’re still informed on what is going on and a stone’s throw away from taking action.
It’s true what they say, it is lonely at the top, but this is because it’s necessary. A leader shouldn’t get involved in petty workplace arguments if it can be helped. This is why your power and authority should be implemented by superiors in their own departments. The traits of a tyrant are typically totalitarian, so not giving your employees a feeling of you’re looking over their shoulder doesn’t destroy your relationship with them. At the same time, when a serious matter is brought before you follow due process and be fair. Gather evidence and take the proper disciplinary actions according to your business policies and employment laws.