Transform managers into leaders


As the Chairman for Total Assist Group, I am very used to managing and organising teams of people, especially when building my company from the bottom up. Although having management skills takes a certain set of attributes, as well as generous doses of drive and determination, the most important factor is undoubtedly being a leader. Just by having the word ‘Manager’ in your job title doesn’t necessarily make an effective and inspiration leader, and for a company to grow organically and successfully, leaders are essential.

Leaders need more than the technical know-how; they need to develop soft skills surrounding HR and training for example, where they can engage and motive staff. Here is my advise on how to encourage managers into becoming business team leaders.

Become a leader

1) Provide autonomy. Trusting your team to get on with their daily tasks not only helps to free up your pressured time, but it also encourages your colleagues to think of new ideas of ways to manage their work loads. These styles of ideas can make processes better and more efficient, creating a win-win situation for you both.

2) Be flexible. Flexitime and different working options are fast becoming the norm, so you need to adapt to this if you want to keep up and retain your employees. At Total Assist Group our office is open both early and late on weekdays, as well as the occasional Saturday so that if staff want to put in some extra hours or work through a project at their own pace, they have the environment to do so. Equally, working from home is also becoming a popular option, with numerous studies actually revealing that remote workers are more productive. While not manageable for every business, it can be incorporated into some situations, for example, if an employee has an injury than impairs travel, or an appointment they need to work around.

leadership image 2

3) Provide feedback. A lot of staff complain about only receiving feedback during an annual review, so it is important for leaders to provide frequent feedback over the course of the year to help your employees learn and develop quicker. This also sets a more realistic expectation for the annual review. At Total Assist Group, we have a comprehensive review programme to ensure our staff understand what is expected of them and what targets they need to achieve.

4) Show concern. Your colleagues have a life away from work, so show genuine care and interest about these aspects of their life. Take into consideration that workers may have family commitments and also the all-important work/life balance.

5) Recognition. So simple but very effective at making your employees feel valued, and therefore more engaged in the workplace. When someone does a good job, a simple “great job” or “thank you” really can make all the difference.

6) Good communication. It is essential that you don’t keep employees in the dark about upcoming company changes, new processes or maybe a new recruit. Having excellent communication skills builds trust with your staff, which is key for creating a strong team.

7) Cut back on bureaucracy. No one likes hanging about whilst waiting for approval from three different people before they can get a task done and dusted. Reduce the number of approvals or you may risk hurting productivity, as well as creating more frustration for employees.

8) Take ownership. Although it is always easy to take credit for projects that have flourished and been successful, you also need to take responsibility for tasks that may have fallen through or been unsuccessful. This sets a good example to your staff and gives them the confidence to also try their hand at new ideas and schemes that may benefit the business.

9) Inspire.  To be a leader you need to be a constant inspiration to your team and set the bar as the role model, not just with your hard working business ethics and drive, but also the positive attitude you bring into the office and your behaviour towards colleagues and other staff, no matter what their position within the company. Behave how you want your staff to behave, and demonstrate how they can fully engage with the business.

10) Listen. Listening is absolutely vital as every single colleague will have their own area of expertise. To be a successful leader, you need to recognise this and utilise the skill sets that your team showcase. Your employees are a great source of fresh ideas and inspiration, so listen to them every step of the way.

11) Glory. Yes, there is a certain level of prestige that comes with being a business leader, however if you want to continue to be a success, then it is imperative that you are not a glory hunter, taking credit for all of the hard work and contributions made by the people around you and working with you. Your team won’t be able to grow and develop if they feel you will steal the limelight for their good ideas. Share credit where credit is due to further motivate staff.

[testimonial name=”By Justin Rich” who=”Chairman at Total Assist Group ” imagelinks=”” vertical=”no”]”Total Assist was founded by myself in 1999 specialising in the supply of Locum Doctors and today more than 70 ambitious employees occupy our modern offices and headquarters in Essex.”[/testimonial]