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INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY THROUGH SOUND LEADERSHIP

By Kholwaphi Mdziniso | 2018-03-13

Productivity is the key that holds and keep an organisation together. Good leaders know that the gist of their leading boils down to performance, which is supported by productivity.

Capable leaders know that the major work is building an influencing teams positively so that they become productive – through giving their best of talents and capabilities Trinka James (2012) cites that there are three areas that leaders need to monitor constantly and that is; planning, executing and evaluating what their teams do. Capable leaders build their teams knowing that strong teams will always deliver results on time and to the best of their abilities.  According to Trinka (2012) the three key areas of productivity to focus on is;

  1. Planning

n Role Model Development;  Senior leaders set the tone in enabling a culture of development. They are good role models for developing employees, they believe that development is important, and they make development a priority. Good leaders see learning not as an expense, but an investment that returns dividends of a workforce more committed to the organisation and more willing to expend their discretionary effort to get the job done. When you stop learning, you stop leading.

n Clearly Communicate Expectations;  Leaders strategically use communication to produce enthusiasm and foster an atmosphere of open exchange and support. They are adept at energising people to see pathways that get to goals despite challenging conditions. Leaders establish clear performance expectations and hold people accountable to deliver on their work promises to their team, boss, and stakeholders.

n Ensure Work Provides Learning;  The vast majority of employees seek to learn and grow while performing day-to-day work and crave a learning environment in that context. Many leaders and managers lament that time constraints or competing priorities limit the time they devote to employee development.

The good news is that great leaders incorporate learning as an essential part of their normal job responsibilities and “blur the line” between learning and work. They create learning environments so that, on each work assignment, they can help employees creatively anticipate and find solutions to specific challenges.

  1. Execute

n Encourage Development;  Great leaders know that their most important job is to develop their successors and maintain a legacy of leadership. The leaders who are most effective at developing their successors have employees who are more likely to stay, more satisfied with their job, more committed to the organisation, and more productive. Choose those you believe have the values you wish to promulgate and the talent to learn the leadership behaviors you believe are important to the future of your organization and then give them personal developmental attention.

n Help Apply New Skills and Knowledge;  Great leaders provide one-on-one coaching and mentoring opportunities to apply new technical skills or knowledge on regular work or new projects and relate these “teachable moments” back to the overall organisational vision or strategy. The appreciative support of helping others grow - contributes to a distributed sense of leadership at all levels. Transformational leaders believe in distributed leadership and are often seen mentoring, coaching, and ensuring the development of others.

n Relate Interpersonally;  Leaders set a vibrant high performance organizational culture through effective interpersonal relations, indicated by real dialogue, lots of input, and transparency.

Dialogue implies deeper conversations rather than information handoffs. Dialogue involves demonstrating a true concern for the perspective of others and committing to listening rather than trying to convince. Appreciative exploration gives dialogue its power; people see you care and are willing to invest in hearing them out. When people see that you are committed to them, they will commit to you.

n Pass Along Job and Development Opportunities;  The best leaders use their own experience to give employees advice about emerging trends, political relationships, career development, and job openings and development opportunities.

You may grow some folks who will take their capabilities elsewhere based on your recommendations and you have built life-long loyalty not only from them, but also from the rest of your team, they recognise your commitment.

  1. Evaluate

n Become Knowledgeable About Employee Performance;  Leaders are knowledgeable about their employees’ performance, which builds considerable trust and respect. Most would say that this is a “no-brainer,” yet only 30-40 per cent of employees report that their managers communicate performance standards and provide fair and accurate feedback to help them do their jobs better.

n Provide Voluntary, Detailed, Immediate, and Positive Feedback;  Most employees believe that formal performance reviews do not help on-the-job performance, yet they crave feedback, especially on strengths. Most managers view formal performance reviews as an administrative requirement rather than as a powerful lever to positively influence employee performance.

Only 35 per cent of employees rate their leader/manager above average in providing feedback and report that they only provide general, non-specific praise. Great leaders catch their people doing something right and point it out to them in a detailed and timely fashion.

n Recognise/Emphasise/Leverage Strengths;  Positive leaders are well known for recognising, emphasising, and leveraging strengths and what is working rather than the opposite approach of focusing on weaknesses and what is not working.

Focusing on success creates positive energy by recognising and appreciating what is working, which produces greater engagement and momentum for change.

That does not mean that you never discuss performance gaps but when you do, focus on specific suggestions for improvement or development related directly to job performance.

The number one reason why people thrive in an organisation is their immediate manager or leader unfortunately, it is also the number one reason why people quit.

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