It’s common practice in the ag industry for a high-performing employee to rise through the ranks from truck driver or grain-bagger to become a newly minted manager. Problem is, when someone is ill-prepared for a managerial role, it spells trouble for the rest of the team—and for the whole company.
Here’s proof. A recent Gallup report found a 70% variance between a strong company culture and a lousy one. In other words, the talents and skills of your team leaders directly impact things like morale, productivity, and retention across the organization. Research also shows that when businesses are intentional about culture and leadership, profitability jumps by 21%. Clearly, investing in your top people pays off—literally.
Successful managers focus on 5 key areas
Every manager or supervisor will do their job better if they’ve had hands-on skills-training and leadership development. That’s why we’re excited to share our approach (using a structure created by Gallup) to help managers become more confident and, as a result, teams become more engaged.
Ready to ensure your high-level workers are prepared to lead your business today—and into the future? Drop us a line.
1. Build relationships
Small gestures make a big difference in fostering trust-based relationships at work, so coach rather than command and give credit generously. Other relationship-builders include being clear about the purpose of every conversation and being an active, engaged listener rather than simply waiting for your turn to speak. These kinds of intentional efforts have a powerful cumulative effect that helps drive engagement and appreciation at every level of the organization.
2. Create a culture of accountability
Employees thrive when they know they’ll be recognized for their good work and held accountable if things fall short. Managers can create a culture where feedback is both expected and appreciated by listening carefully, sharing praise and constructive criticism through the BIT framework, and committing to solving problems together.
3. Motivating employees
One trick to retaining energized, loyal employees is hiring the right people—some of whom are your future team leaders!—in the first place.
When you communicate and integrate the business values throughout the interviewing, hiring, and onboarding process, finding and keeping great employees is much easier. Company leaders must be skilled at asking the right interview questions and using onboarding to align personal and professional values so new hires feel confident, committed, and supported from the get-go.
4. Drive action
Great managers help other employees understand why and how their behavior directly impacts business success. This requires knowing what the organization’s goals are and how to measure progress (more on this important topic here); figuring out what behaviors will bring about positive results; and identifying which “levers”—personal, social, and structural—will most likely influence or bring about the desired change.
5. Make decisions
Supervisors and managers make decisions about implementing changes that impact every employee. Any type of change—to systems, processes, or policies—will spark questions and concerns. Skilled managers are prepared to explain the what, why, and how of any decision and let employees know what they need to do differently in order to succeed.
Whew! We know this is a lot to think about. But we hope sharing our managerial “secrets” will help you maximize the strengths and shore up any weaknesses on your leadership team. When you do, we guarantee your entire business will run more smoothly than ever before.
Ready to get your management team in tip-top shape? We can help. Email us to learn more about our customized training and development program.