Workplace leadership is an ever-evolving equation. Naturally, Covid-19 has had a significant role in redefining how people work. The “workplace” itself is something of an abstract term in a world where cooperating teams may very well consist of people who never actually wind up sitting beneath the same roof.
Company cultures the world over have also taken a considerate shift towards employee autonomy. Whereas micromanagement was the strategy of the past, a diversity of options—remote work, four-day workweeks, no more office meetings, etc—are often considered fashionable and even preferred in the modern workplace.
It’s still exciting to become a team leader. However, to find success in your new post, it’s important to consider how you will handle your new responsibilities on the front end.
In this article, we take a look at a few tips for new team leaders in the workplace.
Flexibility is (usually) not optional
It’s no secret that the labor market in the United States is currently a seller’s market. With lots of jobs and a relatively modest number of people interested in working them, employees enjoy a little bit more bargaining power than they have had in the past.
This power puts a premium on workplace incentives. Many of these are handled contractually—competitive pay, generous vacation days, etc. Some, however, fall to the team leader.
Modern employees expect a degree of autonomy. Team leaders in a modern workplace will often find success simply by giving their team members lots of leeway in how they complete their tasks.
Remote work has naturally trended most businesses in this direction anyway. Without office meetings and other tedious tasks that are built into the brick and mortar experience, workers could, say, pick their kids up from school, and still have a very productive day at work.
Of course, there are limits. Sometimes, a project might require all hands on deck for a very specific form of collaboration. Other times, you may find that some team members simply don’t do their best work without a little bit of structure. Nevertheless, assuming the responsibilities of team leadership with a flexible attitude will go a long way towards helping you find success.
Good leaders are consistent in how they approach their responsibilities. There are specific styles of leadership, each with its own attitudes and behaviors.
Participative leaders allow their team members to have lots of say in the workplace decisions that get made. While the leader will ultimately have the final say, team members are allowed to provide input and feel ownership over the choices that get made.
Transformative leaders have a very specific vision for their team or business and will direct all of their decisions towards that vision. The specifics of the vision are less important than having one. It could be higher sales volume. It could be a revamped production strategy. Whatever the goal, transformative leaders are consistent in their ability to direct their team towards it.
Situational leaders are adaptable. They may be hands-off most of the time, and then authoritarian when circumstances require it. Inevitably, most team leaders will have a degree of situational fluidity in their leadership style.
It’s important to assume a style that is appropriate both for the team and your own personality. Once you decide what kind of leader you will be, you should make a point of sticking to that persona as much as possible. Consistency makes leaders approachable, and relatable.
Feedback is an important component of collaboration. Often, employees are only given feedback when they’ve done something incorrectly. This needn’t be the case. By consistently telling your team how they are doing, you can boost their confidence, and encourage behaviors that are most conducive to success.
About the Author:
Abby Thompson has worked as a young adult education consultant for the past six years. Her passion is to teach future generations about business and S.T.E.M and the impact business technology will have on their lives.