by Sheri L. Heiney, ASBC, President and CEO, Prescott Chamber of Commerce
Good leadership is incredibly important for any business regardless of size. Whether an individual is an owner, executive, director, manager or supervisor, that person’s success is a byproduct of good leadership.
Business leadership inspires employees to achieve common goals. Successful leaders do not demand but, instead, motivate employees to pursue paths of action that align with the goals of the business. Since every employee has a different personality, and is driven to achieve in a different way, this can be a challenge but a challenge worth the effort.
Consider the following leadership actions that consistently work in the pursuit of higher employee performance.
Motivate — A dynamic workforce requires motivation. Management should never assume that employees are self-motivated. Although some employees will always be self-motivated and try to achieve the best they can for their own self-satisfaction, others, unfortunately, require a needed “push.”
One ingredient that inspires employees is a positive attitude from management. Management must demonstrate and lead by example. When managers are motivated and have the right attitude toward the business, work and employees, it is much easier for employees themselves to become motivated and passionate about their own work and position in the company.
Recognize — Encouraging employees means great work should never go unnoticed. Work that gets noticed gets repeated. It takes little effort for management to recognize someone for an outstanding job, extra determination, superior attitude, cooperation, attention to detail or dealing with customers as if they owned the business. When this type of superior performance goes unnoticed by the boss, attitudes to duplicate such performance start to diminish as each situation of outstanding work goes unnoticed.
Likewise, poor performance should never be overlooked. In these situations, positive counseling can be the encouragement needed to turn a marginally productive employee into a top producer. This type of special attention is worth the effort to try and change an employee’s behavior and attitude.
Challenge — Employees at any level can and should be challenged to perform to the best of their ability. Just as each employee has a different personality, each employee will have different skills and talents. Challenges, therefore, must be communicated clearly and specifically to make sure each employee understands what is expected. Challenging a weak performing employee is just as important as challenging and giving praise to the high achiever.
Mentor — It would be wonderful if all employees knew exactly what to do in every situation they might encounter during the work day, but this is not the case. Mentoring is an important aspect of leadership and management.
As employees progress from one job to another and from one level to the next, they cannot be expected to perform at peak efficiency without some assistance. Although eventually, they might learn what to do in various situations through trial and error, the fast track to higher productivity regardless of position comes through mentoring. The lowest-level employee to the highest-level manager all benefit from proper mentoring. Obviously, the company benefits as well.
The importance of good leadership should not be underestimated. A business needs a leader the same as a plane needs a pilot, a ship needs a captain, or a sports team needs a coach. Good leaders work to develop and strengthen the talents of all employees.
The mission of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership and resources to create a vibrant business environment for Prescott. For more information about the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, please visit prescott.org or call us at 928-445-2000 or 800-266-7534, or stop by the Visitor Information Center located at 117 W. Goodwin St., Prescott, AZ 86303.