Leadership Essentials in a Recovering Economy

Brandon L
September 13, 2011 — 1,861 views  
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The worst is hopefully behind us, but there is no doubt our economy is slowly recovering from one of the worst recessions in history. As many businesses struggle to climb out of an unfortunate 2009, there have been emotional strains within organizations that need to be somehow addressed.  It starts with the company's leadership. Leadership has an unusual opportunity to keep the organization from slipping financially, emotionally and productively, and actually thrive during an irregular economy. Here are five practices that will help lay the foundation for future growth.

Organizational Transparency:

Be open and consistently communicate the vision of your organization. Talk about challenges and new opportunities, and even share financial information, whether it's fully disclosed or in a limited fashion. The point is that you keep employees involved and ensure they have a clear understanding of how their individual and team contributions impact the success of the organization.
Productivity is mostly driven by the employees; and if you are authentic about where the company currently stands and where the company intends to go, employees will more likely be engaged and dedicated to achieving company objectives. 

One-on-One Coaching Sessions:

Organizationally speaking, front line managers are a key influence of employee productivity and engagement. Similar to being transparent, have one-on-one coaching sessions with managers to clearly articulate company goals and share challenges, opportunities and new ideas. And, ensure that the managers and lead employees are doing the same with their staff.  This will keep leadership more connected to what happens at the ground-level. These sessions not only help improve communication, but can build strong relationships between leadership and employees.

Responsibility:

A great leader will take sole-responsibility for organizational mishaps and give credit to its managers and employees when positive results materialize. Employees notice when a leader places blame on others and will likely attach a negative association with that characteristic. On the contrary, when leaders practice personal accountability, do not take sole credit for success, and recognize others, employees and managers will gain trust in their leader and have visions that are in-line with each other.

Employee Recognition & Appreciation:

Recognition and appreciation are exceptionally important in each organization. It's what tends to keep management and employees excited to achieve new successes. It's important that leadership commends those who deserve special recognition for positive outcomes. Recognition reassures the organization that achieving company and individual goals are extremely important and will likely lead to increased productivity and higher levels of long-term achievement.

Willingness to Change:

In down economies there are an enormous amount of opportunities; however, leaders need to be cognizant that as opportunities arise, organizational change may be necessary. There comes an instance when a leader must recognize that certain processes, products, or services are not working, and alter the approach of the organization. This could be due to technological advances, changes in an industry, inefficiencies, etc. Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." This has never been truer than in today's business atmosphere due to the constant changes in the way business is done.

Change first starts with the leader, but ultimately leaders must obtain complete buy-in from management and employees to succeed long-term.  Therefore, it is leaderships' responsibility to create a positive change environment and carefully guide people through transition.  A culture of innovation, continuous learning and change as the ‘norm' is important for maintaining long-term sustainability and relevance.

Brandon L

Xenium HR

Brandon Laws is the Sales and Marketing Specialist for Xenium HR. Brandon's focus is on search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), copy-writing and lead generation for Xenium HR.