In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016, Singapore was recently hailed as the second most competitive country in the world. Ironically, when it comes to staff engagement, only 9 percent of Singapore’s workforce is engaged according to Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace study.
Jean-Francois Cousin from Singapore Business Review speculated the lack of effective leadership styles can be blamed for the low staff engagement in Singapore. The absence of strong leadership do much damage in demotivating even the most hard-working and spirited employees. This lack of motivation from strong leaders can keep the organization’s workforce from hitting their maximum productivity level, affecting sales and company performance along the way.
So what type of leadership is needed in the 21st century? As more and more Millennials dominate the workforce and with the upcoming influx of iGeners or Post-Millennials, business leaders must learn to adapt to the changing dynamics in their workforce in order to tap into their organization’s full potential. As more and more businesses open and thrive in Singapore, business leaders must learn, all the more, be on top of their games.
Here are three types of business leaders who can maximize their employees’ efficiency and keep the business competitive in the middle of surrounding competition.
Leaders Who Are Authentic And Humble
The old-style, father or mother boss figure doesn’t quite fit with the Millennials (people who are currently in their 20s and 30s) in the workforce. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Baby Boomer of a Gen Xer, a never-wrong boss figure is belittling to the highly creative and highly opinionated Millennials who expect their voices to be heard and their ideas to be valued.
Leaders who are humble enough to ask for ideas and admit mistakes are trusted more by their team members compared to the all-knowing, traditional boss type who never fails in clearly defining the corporate ladder day in, day out.
Of course, there are employees who are quite comfortable in working with bosses who exude paternalism. Traditional, authoritative bosses often assume all responsibility, direction and blame, and there are people who are comfortable dealing with this kind of work dynamics. However, in today’s modern world where business empires are being built by the Millennials left and right, the younger employee demographic understands that career growth is faster in a path with a boss who practices an adult-to-adult business relationship with their employees. In today’s workplace, personal growth is one of the strongest motivators when it comes to driving up productivity and embracing more responsibilities in the organization.
Authentic leaders are genuine and they are highly aware of their strengths and limitations and they use this knowledge to motivate the people who work for them. Some leaders may work behind closed doors, but they are rarely unapproachable. Authentic leaders are not the kind of leaders who act one way in public and act differently in private. Authentic leaders use their own life experiences to fuel their businesses and motivate their employees.
One best example of an authentic leader is the late Steve Jobs. When he was invited to speak at a college graduation ceremony at Stanford University in the U.S., he started by saying, “Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.” He then proceeded to tell three stories about his failures, both personal and professional. The stories made the great leader, who built one of the world’s most recognizable brands, relatable, human and motivating.
Leaders Who Motivate
When authentic leaders are transparent and comfortable with their mistakes and weaknesses, they do not only inspire their team members but they also motivate themselves to help others improve.
Good leaders know that when it comes to hiring the ‘right people’, attitude and character trumps talent. It’s important to hire the right people with the right mindset in order to grow your organization. Talent is cheap when it comes to integrity, and integrity is highly valuable especially in tough times. But the work doesn’t stop when the right people are already on board. Good leaders know that self-improvement of both leaders and employees is a never-ending process.
Good leaders motivate their team members to overcome their own fears, master new skills and to learn from their mistakes. In turn, these empowered team members develop more confidence and the initiative to take on bigger responsibilities in the organization. They become more accountable for bigger projects and bigger teams, and this newfound attitude leads to higher productivity and innovation within the group.
Teaching employees about accountability is another way great leaders motivate their employees. In a U.S. study, researchers measured the effects of positive feedback on nurses who assemble kits used for medical surgeries. When the nurses met the doctors who use the kits they assembled, they clocked in 64 percent less minutes assembling the surgical kits. These nurses also committed 15 percent less mistakes in succeeding shifts compared to nurses who didn’t meet the doctors.
“There are no diminishing returns to specific positive feedback,” said Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn. Positive feedback is a great motivator and good business leaders know how to utilize it. If you’re planning to open a business in Singapore, your business plan should include employee empowerment strategies Small gestures go a long way.
Leaders Who Inspire Collaboration
In a traditional workplace, there are many walls that discourage collaboration among team members in various departments. And we’re not just talking about the actual walls that divide the departments.
This is why many multinational companies around the world are turning away from the traditional cubby holes. Breaking down the walls between employees inspires easier and faster collaboration across various departments. Business leaders who support this kind of collaboration encourages their employees to become more alert, more active and more engaged. Now that the traditional walls are gone, team members are also given the chance to explore which area they can be more efficient in. This kind of open workplace also help them to become more accountable with their actions. Empowering employees with decision-making skills at the lowest possible level improves the organization’s speed in producing quality work.
One damaging trait of weak leaders is they don’t believe they are successful unless someone messes up and they get to save the day. Great and effective leaders do not wait for someone to take a nose dive so they can spring on the surfboard and ride the waves to the shore. They create multiple success strategies and ride along with the team. They believe that a team member’s success is the success of the entire organization.
Are you ready to lead?
The most successful and effective leaders in the 21st century are the ones who make employee empowerment a clear priority. Attitude and character may have been responsible in getting the right people on the bus but it’s the leader’s job to align his team members with the company’s core values and mission. It is also a leader’s job in empowering leaders at various levels.
If you’re ready to lead your team to success, call us today so we can help you register a business in Singapore.