The Top Attributes of a Strong Leader

Anyone from the professional world has undoubtedly heard the phrase, “Employees leave managers, not companies.” While data from a Gallup study indicates that nearly 50 percent of Americans have in fact left a job at some point throughout their career as a direct result of something a manager did or didn’t do, there is a more pressing issue at hand: leaders across all industries are failing to recognize their own shortcomings.

Facing the tough questions

According to Inside Intercom, data from a Leadership IQ study revealed that 18 months after hiring 20,000 employees, 5,247 hiring managers concluded that 46 percent of new hires failed, while only 20 percent succeeded. However, as Inside Intercom explained, the idea that nearly half of all new hires would fail to learn or become engaged is unrealistic. Using the phrase “management overconfidence”, the source noted that these higher ups were unable to recognize their own failings when it came to teaching and engaging new hires.

Though they may not vocalize it, each year thousands of employees are moving on to other organizations because of poor leadership. Retention is not only necessary for company morale, continuity and success, it also helps to keep unnecessary hiring and training costs down.

If a workplace has begun fostering a revolving door, the first and most essential step for managers is to face the music and evaluate their own performance. Anyone can be appointed manager. But becoming a strong and successful leader requires a few fundamental traits.

The following leadership qualities among managers are what keep engagement high, retention low and employees happy:

Practices strong communication

Inc. magazine cites honesty as the No. 1 management trait for success and top performance among employees. Maintaining open communication through a variety of channels is crucial for production as well as team comradery. When employees are left in the dark, it is that much more challenging for them to feel connected and engaged.

Moreover, communication works as a two-way street. By managing with transparency, you also allow employees to feel comfortable approaching you with their own ideas, questions and concerns. Gaining the trust of your employees sets the entire team and company up for uncapped success.

Recognizes individual strengths 

Each of your employees have different strengths and weaknesses. One of the best ways to leverage performance is to tap into these individual qualities and personality traits, explained Workforce.

Distributing projects and assignments based on specific talents can help bring out top potential, drive and sense of accomplishment among your employees. When strengths line up with work, the outcomes are much stronger.

Fosters engagement 

Another finding from the Gallup report indicates that each year, less than 33 percent of employees across the country are engaged in their work. Engagement, according to Gallup, is based on three factors:

-Commitment to their work and organization.
-Enthusiasm about their work and organization.
-Involvement in their work and organization.

Support and encouragement from management can help employees feel committed, enthusiastic and involved. When an employee can see that a leader truly cares about his or her growth and aspirations at the company, it improves their confidence and drives them to work harder. Even the smallest actions to show you care can improve morale and translate to engagement and success for the company.

As a leader, it is key to recognize your management traits and practices before it’s too late. Incorporating the above attributes now can set both you and your employees up for a long road of success.

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