As 2014 winds down, it’s natural to begin thinking about how you can make 2015 a better year for your business. As an executive, it’s up to you to set a positive tone and lead your employees toward success, so you want to hit the ground running. But being a leader isn’t easy; having people look to you for guidance can be nerve-wracking. So here are a few tips I’ve found helpful that may also help you in the year to come:
Listen more, talk less: Let’s face it: When you are a member of the C-suite, employees generally listen when you speak. But that doesn’t mean you should always be the one speaking or making decisions. Next year, adopt an open door policy where employees can walk into your office to discuss any issue at any time. Openness and sincerity from executive leadership goes a long way towards getting the team behind you.
Present a clear vision: Your employees want to know that you have a firm grasp on what you want the next 12 months to look like. Rather than speaking in generalities, make an effort to present specific company-wide goals and lay out the path you want your employees to take to reach those objectives. For example, if the goal is to improve your quality of customer service across the board, present a five-point plan for making that happen.
Encourage professional development: One of the most effective ways to lead is by giving employees the chance to develop new skills and shine brightly. Try not to define your workers by their job titles; instead, encourage them to come to you—or their direct supervisor—with new ideas and to take on projects that may fall beyond the scope of their job description. Some of the best initiatives are born from employees discovering skills they didn’t even realize they had.
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Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.