americas-workforceEvery leader has the best of intentions. They want the business to do well. They want their people to do the right things and be successful. No leader sets out to create a crappy workplace. The reality is, strategy execution is really hard. It’s difficult to focus on everything that needs to be done to keep the business running smoothly meeting key objectives, while still minding the store to make sure the people within it are engaged, productive, and clear on what they should be doing to contribute to the business.

A recent study uncovered seven areas where leaders can make changes that would have a significant impact on the organization.

  1. Strengthen relationships between leaders, managers, and their people, build trust at the leader level, and take a hard look at the company culture.
  2. Spend some time investing in your managers to give them the tools to build effective working relationships with their people and ensure they understand the strategy of the business.
  3. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Look beyond the traditional PPT, town hall meeting, or memo from the top. Everyone in your business should be able to articulate the company vision or strategy and recognize how they can contribute to the success of that strategy.
  4. Determine how you want to hold your people accountable. Where do you see the division of responsibilities related to the priorities of the business and how will you drive accountability – particularly when different departments might each be supporting a shared priority.
  5. There are good things happening in your business. Uncover those bright spots and figure out how to replicate them across the rest of the business.
  6. Is the training that you have in place really achieving the objectives you need? People want to do better at their jobs and welcome the opportunity to learn new skills or capabilities. Make sure that the learning and development efforts are focused on the right areas that people can apply to the contribution they’re making to the business.
  7. The business is constantly in flux. Sales may be down, your competitor may have just unleashed a powerful new product, or you’re in acquisition mode. Regardless of the change that might be going on in your business, people do better when they are aware of what might happen to them. They count on you to be transparent, authentic, and honest – even if it means bad news.

Read the full report!

What other ways do you think leaders can make a big impact on the business?

March 29, 2013