Being a boss means so much more than just telling people what to do and going home with the biggest pay cheque in your pocket. It’s your duty to act as a leader for those working for you and help them grow and develop within the company. You have a massive influence on the level of morale and productivity in the workplace, so taking employees under your wing is vital to help them and their work thrive.

A good way of being an effective leader is to push employees towards other important players in your industry so that they can build up and expand their list of connections.

Networking is important for everyone to do, whether they’re looking for work or are already established in their own job, but some people struggle with this more than others. If you have employees that are new to it and need help getting their foot in the door, take them along to networking events and encourage them to socialise. There will be people at these events that can provide them with information that perhaps you can’t, or that you want them to find out without you just giving it to them.

Although you need to behave as a leader, it’s important to find the right balance between being hands on and encouraging employees to think and act independently with the advice that you give out. The more experienced an employee becomes in your company, the less you’ll need to advise them on how to overcome a struggle, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll no longer be needed as a mentor. It’s important to remember that no one is ever too advanced to never need help from those around them, even if they’re too stubborn to ask for it. While you’re in charge, you always have a duty to help your employees.

When it comes to offering advice to struggling workers, try and be inventive to inspire creative thinking and help them learn to think outside of the box when it comes to dealing with such problems in the future. It’s these moments when people hit a roadblock that they have the opportunity to challenge themselves and build up professional character, so holding their hand through the experience will only hinder their development. You may even be surprised by what this process teaches you.

A good leader is never afraid to acknowledge that they have weaknesses no matter how long they’ve been in the job. Being open about them alleviates the need for employees to feel they have to be good at everything and encourages communication between both sides which then paves the way for learning opportunities. If an employee is finding it difficult to follow your leadership style or vice versa, having this dialogue open can make it easier for the two of you to adapt, especially if you try to find a way to work together that utilises your strengths and theirs.

Leadership does not mean dictatorship and how you choose to mentor your employees may have to change every now and again. It’s a necessity, though, if you want to be getting the best out of your staff and giving your company the dedication it deserves. Your employees may be doing a lot of the work, but your leadership is the glue that keeps it all together.

James Darvill

James is a passionate scriptwriter and reluctant poet with a talent for the dystopian. When he’s not staying up late watching the Simpsons he’s beating the world at Mario Kart, always with a glass of wine in hand.
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