Every company has a dream and a vision. Their policies and decision-making practices that align with these business objectives help drive a company to success. And effective leadership and management play a key role in realizing these goals. Companies that invest in creating leaders out of their skilled workforce significantly reduce the cost of hiring and promote invaluable growth for the company.
What Makes an Effective Leader?
In any company, effective leadership and management go hand-in-hand. Effective management includes strategizing, executing, and monitoring plans to achieve business targets. Effective leadership, on the other hand, guides the success of all business operations by uniting the entire workforce toward a common goal and helping a company register high-performance evaluations.
A leader needs to work upon, improve and sometimes even redefine the values of the organization to make it a success. They are required to inspire teams and make proactive decisions that help a company grow.
According to Mathew Bidwell, a management professor at Wharton, “Few executives are skilled in shaking up a culture, especially in a way that really gets results.”
So, what are the top characteristics of an effective leader? Let’s take a look at them below:
1. Knowledge and Expertise
Candidates are promoted to leadership positions based on their domain knowledge and expertise. An in-depth understanding of the business, industry trends, and relevant prospects are crucial for leaders. It gives them the ability to foresee risks and plan for them accordingly. This goes a long way in structuring the finances of a company and dictating its success.
Consistency is another key characteristic in leaders, be it in interacting with employees, staying updated with the latest technologies and market trends or reengineering the policies for a company. This also brings about an unbiased and analytical approach towards business operations and leads to wider acceptance among teams.
3. Analytical and Agile Approach
The effectiveness of leadership is evident in the decision-making practices of an executive. Those who rely on data-driven, fact-based insights to make decisions can proactively enhance the efficiency and long-term sustainability of a company. This is applicable in every aspect of a business – recruitment, policy-making, launching new initiatives, finalizing the budget, and strategizing long-term plans for a company, to mention a few.
4. Acknowledgement and Encouragement
Employees feel inclined to put in more efforts when their work is duly recognized. All recognitions need not be monetary – even a pat on the back can do wonders to boost the confidence. A good leader is the one who understands the efforts put in by his team and rewards them appropriately without any bias. He should also provide equal and fair opportunities to all.
It is also essential for leaders to guide and encourage their teams to perform better. By identifying areas of improvement in individuals and groups, a leader leads by example and helps the team grow in the right direction by supporting them wherever needed.
Role of Effective Leadership and Management in Reducing Hiring Costs
1. Choosing the Right Resources
Hiring the right candidate for a job takes precedence as the biggest asset for any company is its employees. And effective leadership and management have a significant role to play in staffing. They envisage the skill set expected and recruit candidates based on future demand which significantly reduces recruitment costs.
2. Optimization of Available Resources
A leadership position demands that you plan and optimize the use of available resources. This includes upskilling the workforce under them, training and mentoring them so they are equipped to deliver optimum results using the available resources.
3. Improving ROI
Every investment is associated with an ROI (Return on Investment) The investment could be in a tool, a resource or even a vendor. Sometimes, the investment could also mean bringing about a change in the strategies, structure or driving values of an organization. In this case, the initial costs are high, but with predictive analytics, individuals in leadership positions can accurately predict and maximize ROI and ensure long term benefits for a company.
4. Automation to Reduce Costs
Reducing hiring costs is directly proportional to incorporating the use of technology and automation practices. An effective leader would seize every available opportunity for automation. As manual and repeatable tasks are automated, it doesn’t just help reduce costs but also shrinks the project timeline, thus resulting in improved benefits for the company.
5. Use of Technology to Enhance Productivity
The most effective way to improve productivity is to empower your employees with the right tools and technologies. When employees have all competent technologies at their disposal, they are better equipped to achieve their goals. This doesn’t just increase productivity but also enhances the capacity of an organization to scale its services.
Effective leadership and management understands this and strives hard to create the right balance of assets for the employees.
6. Implementing Marketing Strategies to Reduce Costs
Marketing is a vital aspect of the success of any product. An effective leader can increase the profit margin of a company by employing the right marketing strategies. This does not necessarily mean running experience adverts. There are several other options available – increasing the social media presence, sponsored ads, networking, asking your happy customers for reviews, offering referral bonus, to mention a few. A leader can choose the optimal option to reduce marketing costs and still improve sales and profits.
7. Enhancing Customer Experience
Listening to your customers and engaging them goes a long way in enhancing the quality of your services. Effective leadership and management involve including the Voice of Customer (VOC) as an essential criterion for improving their product offerings and enhancing user experience. This also helps to reduce any after-sales support requests and improves the efficiency and acceptance of the delivered product.
8. Time Management
Timelines are of utmost significance when it comes to product deployment. A leader follows the best time management techniques to ensure the product gets delivered on time and if possible, even ahead of time. They assess the foreseeable risks and have mitigation plans ready well ahead. This helps them save precious time and money while staying vigilant in a competitive environment.
What can Organizations do to Enhance the Effectiveness of Leadership and Management?
Organizations can reduce hiring costs of onboarding outside-hires by investing in the existing workforce to prepare them for leadership positions. Here are a few things companies must follow to ensure effective leadership and management in their organization:
1. Succession Planning
Identify the right people for the leadership roles, early. Let them be part of the succession planning. Familiarise them with their roles and responsibilities so they can envision themselves as leaders and work towards that.
2. Assign Responsibilities
Making great leaders involves assigning executives roles that help them grow leadership skills. “Don’t just ask them to get out and meet people,” says Bidwell. “Give them assignments that put them on a first-name basis and form working relationships with key people faster.”
3. Coaching, Mentoring and Training
Invest in leaders by helping them find the right training opportunities to help them grow. Encourage them to take up training, and improve their skill set as leaders.
There are tons of online courses available – both free and paid. While candidates stand to avail ample benefits from asynchronous methods of learning, synchronous learning practices will also put them in touch with mentors and coaches who can support and guide them in the right direction.
upGrad’s Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management course, for instance, is a 3 months online program from Michigan State University which is designed to create industry leaders out of aspiring executives. You might want to look into that.
4. Constructive Feedback
Provide them with regular feedback to help them understand their shortcomings and strengthen their areas of expertise. Constructive feedback goes a long way in shaping and improving employee potential and performance.
Effective leadership and management are a heady mix every company wishes to achieve. It requires intricate planning and implementation. To create an atmosphere where the dreams and vision of the company will come true, every company must strive hard to mould their leaders to be the torch-bearers for the company values and principles. Only then can the company be a success.