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Optimising your team starts with top leadership

The relationship you build with your team will have a great influence on your long-term success. And forming good relationships sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! Achieving a great bond is not without its challenges, and recent events such as ‘The Great Resignation’ and the Covid-19 pandemic have only made it more difficult. Employees are now distributed, with many taking advantage of hybrid working, and teams will likely be made up of at least one new recruit.

Yet, in order to triumph, it is essential for leaders to develop real connections with their employees. How you lead and connect with your team is core to optimising their talents and productivity. A well-developed bond will drive teams, and set you, them, and the business on a course for future success.

Becoming a better leader and getting the best out of your team

Cast your mind back to your employee’s interviews and remember how they shined! There is a reason why you took on each and every one of your team members. Perhaps it was their potential, their experience, or their ambition? Whatever it was, it is down to you as a leader to harness that and help them to flourish.

Actions such as giving your employees opportunities, enrolling them in professional development training, and offering guidance are paramount to getting the best out of your team. But so too is forming a great connection with them. A top leader will recognise that their employees look up to them, are ready to be led, and that how they lead sets the tone.

Here’s how leaders can build strong relationships with their teams:

Trust triumphs

Trust may not be the sole driving force for your team working at their best, but believe us when we say you do not want to be without it! The second trust is gone from working relationships, productivity starts to crumble. Openness, honesty, and trust are key ingredients in top leadership. Be respectful to your staff by making them aware of upcoming changes ahead of time, and be mindful not to overpromise and underdeliver. Building trusting relationships enhances loyalty and retention too, and is sure to see you triumph.

Create Conversations

Whilst we are talking about openness, top leaders must recognise the value of open conversation and active listening. It is a leader’s job to engage and motivate their staff, and getting to know them, (and allowing them to know you), can help with that. Through conversation, you can learn what drives your employee, what piques their interest, and what work they enjoy. You can get to know their personal goals and demonstrate that, as a leader, you are committed to helping them succeed professionally. Likewise, by getting to know you, your employees will break down the barrier of seeing you as a ‘boss’, and instead see your ‘human-side’ and engage with you better as a result.

Specify success

To truly get the best out of your team, they must grasp what success looks like. It’s one thing to know what is being asked of them, and another to be onboard with the mission. Again, this goes back to crafting an open culture. It’s important that you clarify the vision and specify what success looks like so that you are all working towards a shared goal.

Be both open and specific. Let your team know exactly what there is to be gained in terms of financial rewards, professional growth, and experience-wise, for both the individual and for the business. Sharing a vision gives teams clarity and purpose. It unites you and them as one, working together, supporting each other.