4 Ways Your Employees Make You a Better Leader

200401791-001Sometimes the student becomes the master. Your employees are a treasure trove of learning opportunities that can help you become a better leader and build a more positive working environment by giving you the insight you need to:

Build a better hiring process
Who better to critique your hiring and on-boarding process than those who have been through it? Your employees can provide valuable feedback from the job candidate point of view that may help refine your hiring process. Ask them about their experience, what they felt the process was missing, if they received enough communication, or what they were surprised you did or didn’t ask during the interview. Then, use that information to build a hiring process that will ensure you acquire the top talent your business needs to stay productive. And to take it a step further, you can also learn how you may need to adjust your on-boarding process and fill in the training and information gaps new employees experience after they land the job.

Hone your communication skills
Sometimes what a leader thinks they said, isn’t necessarily what their people hear. If you notice the same communication blunders happening over and over with different individual employees, it’s important to consider that the common denominator may be you. Ask your employees to critique your communication style and see if any common trends emerge. Then, set a plan to better align your communication style with your employees’ needs, and vice versa. There are also a wide variety of tools you can use to better understand your team’s communication needs, like Situational Leadership II through the Ken Blanchard Companies.

Stay plugged into the grapevine
This one’s all about trust. If your employees trust you, they’ll be more likely to confide in you when rumors or discontent begin to build among the rank and file. News and gossip can spread fast through a workforce, so if you’ve built a strong relationship with your team, you’ll be able to intercept misinformation quickly and address situations before they get out of hand and blown out of proportion. It doesn’t take long for employee disengagement to spread through a company, so you want to be sure you aren’t being cut out of the conversation.

Reach the next generation
Younger employees can give you an insider’s view of the future of your business. The world is constantly changing, and companies that can’t keep up are doomed to fade away. Understanding what drives the youngest generations in your workforce can help you understand how to position your company to stay competitive and on the forefront of innovation. Their insight into your business strategies and objectives may be the spark of creativity that builds your company’s reputation with young consumers and ensures you have a place in the future.

What are some important lessons you’ve learned about leadership from your employees? How have they impacted your business? Let us know in the comments section below.

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