Best employers secret #2: Inspiring leadership

In the second of our instalments in the 7 secrets of the best employers, we discuss leadership and how inspiring leadership is another of the key elements in best employers.

Inspiring leadership

Good leadership entails several different aspects. On the one hand, it differs and is adaptable. No one leadership style fits all, and varying styles are required to handle different people and situations. On the other hand, good leadership is about creating inclusive environments. When people lead well, they make you feel like you fit in. Furthermore, the most influential and inspirational leaders have always been those who get out and around the organisation, who visit the various departments and who understand where the company stands. 

Inspirational leadership is imperative within organisations. Not only is it imperative that it exists, it is crucial that it actually moves people. Time and time again, the impact of inspiring leaders on the engagement and commitment of their employees is clear to see. 

Driving employee engagement

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"We see time and time again just how much influence inspiring leaders have on the engagement of their employees."

Where it goes wrong

One of the primary reasons that many organisations fail with inspiring leadership is because top managers are too focused on the obvious tasks in their roles. Top level managers have to deal with a range of different stakeholders, and thus it is perfectly logical that a) their attention has to be divided and b) employees sometime get less attention.

In some cases however, top management has delegated employee encouragement to others for their own good. We have seen examples where both literally and figuratively, employee encouragement has been managed away. Once this starts happening, the inspiring leadership that once encouraged employees and fostered engagement and commitment, disappears.

HR’s role in establishing inspiring leadership

If you see that your organisation is experiencing a decline in the effects of inspiring leadership, the easiest remedy is to ensure that employees do see and speak to top bosses. Whilst it is obviously not practical for top management to be available every day, HR needs to encourage and make sure that top management are available and visible to employees.

Alongside the above, HR also has a key role to play in helping organisation’s avoid situations where leadership styles alienate employees, whilst also helping to create situations where leadership is inspiring engagement and commitment.

To help achieve this, the following three points are helpful for HR to consider:

  • The different leadership styles within an organisation and how these styles fit into and compliment the organisation’s overall leadership. Keeping track of the synergy between the overall leadership style and individual styles is vital in creating harmony.
  • How each leadership style compliments and matches the organisation’s culture. It is important to also look at the bigger picture and think about what leadership styles are needed to create the culture you either want to maintain, or create.
  • Which leadership style that each team requires. Every leadership style differs and what is essential is that leadership fosters employee’s engagement and commitment, and not alienate or divide a team.