HR & Management

What most of the UK's workers look for in a leader

4 min read

28 March 2017

It goes without saying that success often comes under great leadership. From the world of sport, to startup businesses, good bosses are able to drive their teams forward in the most effective way. But are there specific traits workers look for in a leader?

The majority of workers believe bad leadership can leave employees feeling de-motivated, with some workers even admitting they’ve left businesses due to poor management. What’s more, company culture stems from the top, so the promotion of best practice is one of the biggest traits workers look for in a leader.

This is because those that don’t walk the walk are in danger of passing this mindset onto managers, who will ultimately filter it down to staff. A dangerous cycle if not handled correctly. Below, I explore some of the top traits workers look for in a leader in order to do their job effectively and maintain high morale in the workplace.

1) Confidence

In order to lead any team, you need to have a certain degree of confidence, not only in yourself but also the plans you are executing. Without this, you’re in danger of making staff feel worried about their own performance or ability. There is a fine line when it comes to this, however, and you must be wary of being overly-confident, as this can easily be mistaken for arrogance.

2) Trust

Hand-in-hand with confidence is trust – a must-have trait that all workers look for in a leader. No one wants a micro-manager, and employees are more likely to value bosses that trust them to get on with their job. Trust is important in any business – whether that’s with employees, customers, or bosses. Consider how you can demonstrate this: for example, do you regularly welcome new ideas, would you let a more junior member of staff run a team or client meeting? Doing so will likely make your staff respect you more.

3) Honesty

Honesty is always the best policy, but many bosses are so afraid of their employees turning their back on them, that they often keep secrets, or hold information back, in a bid to maintain morale. The issue is, this never really works. Frontline members of staff can tell what’s really going on behind the scenes so being as open as possible, and acknowledging when times are tough is extremely important.

4) Open mindedness

The worst leaders are the ones that aren’t open to new ideas and ways of doing things. Being open-minded is a trait that many workers respect as essentially it means that they feel more comfortable contributing their thoughts and opinions to their organisation. Don’t shoot down ideas just because they’re different, consider how you can adapt to new trends, and how your employees can help you reach your goals.

5) Motivation

Keeping employees motivated and overall morale levels high in your company is vital. There are simple steps that can be taken to achieve this. Whether that’s organising staff social events, having regular one-to-one catch-ups with your direct reports or rewarding hard work when it’s deserve, these are all elements that contribute to your employees’ wellbeing in the workplace.

All in all, it’s clear that there are some key traits which make leaders successful in the workplace, and it’s important to take this into account when considering your management and leadership style. The best organisations are the ones that are collaborative, innovative and supportive of all their employees. As long as you remember this, there’s no doubt that your workers will admire you as a leader.

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