Be a great leader: increasing team engagement and productivity in organisations

4 min.
In order to remain competitive, organizations are multiplying transformation projects (Digital Target Operating Model, CX-Programs, Data-driven IT, Operational Excellence ...) but are still facing recurring challenges: communication issues, misalignment of stakeholders, inefficient collaboration, unclear objectives, lack of transparency in the decision-making process etc.

As team engagement and productivity are key to the success of these initiatives, it is crucial for companies to develop and rely on strong leaders: individuals that can mobilize and improve the structures in which they act and interact.

The 5Cs, the leader’s voices

Self-confidence is critical to respond authentically, constructively and effectively to any audience. There are several ways to cultivate it and increase leadership, here are five different voices (5C) that must resonate in each leader...

The character of a leader is key, he must be consistent and coherent in the intentions and motivations that guide his speech and actions. He must take distance, be driven by his values, not personally take things but manage it with strength and respect. His presence with the team is imperative. An absent manager is one of the main sources of team demotivation and disengagement.

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Engaging the team and helping them to focus on the most important priorities requires clarity in both attitude and messages

A leader needs to provide context and find ways to clearly express and communicate the vision as well as the rationale for action (setting the scene and draw the big picture). Not going into too much details is critical when sharing strategy or organizational change. In addition, contextual information brings transparency to the decision-making process and increase the effectiveness of meetings.

Engaging the team and helping them to focus on the most important priorities requires clarity in both attitude and messages. For example, to be more effective, it is important to demystify the pitch content by being concise and impactful. If necessary a leader must also redefine priorities and clarify the big wins of each team member in their respective areas, thus linking the achievement of overall objectives (project, organisation) to individual objectives. It is the role of the leader to empower and align all stakeholders and set the pace.

The leader's curiosity is also an overriding quality. It is critical to listen to the team's point of view before making a final decision, to take the pulse with everyone to highlight weak signals, to ask good questions to help the team grow and explore the challenges they face. Sourcing insights and data from the team increases impact and accelerates learning. The needs and perspectives of each stakeholder must be supported and understood in order to make the best decisions and find the best way to move on.

Finally, the leader's ability to connect is essential, especially since the stakeholders are sometimes numerous and distant. For example, it is important to know how to value, thank and recognize the team, or take the time for ice-breaking at the beginning of a conversation or a meeting to generate connection, sometimes cultivate friction and embark on a long journey with people. Communication skills are also vital to delivering powerful and memorable messages that drive team efforts.

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Sourcing insights and data from the team increases impact and accelerates learning

Today's leader must therefore know how to take responsibility, create links, share vision with character, manage elements of context, engage team over time with clear attitude and messages. The team cohesion and collaboration requires transparency on how and why. The leader is curious and listens to the team (internal) and ecosystem (external) in which he evolves, he accumulates data and knowledge to consider the best options for successful and sustainable transformation of the organizations in which he works.

Cultivating the 5Cs is a gradual process, based on a constant commitment to open-mindedness. Depending on the situation, the leader will be able to draw on these dimensions by cultivating his own confidence, building trust across the group, maximizing the impact of his decisions and safeguarding high-quality results.


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