Employee management

Leveraging Leadership Styles to Manage Employees

July 15, 2021

The type of leadership style any management team adopts directly affects workforce morale and employee productivity. Given how important leadership style is, employers naturally want to know: what is the best leadership style is? Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward as the question. The challenge is to understand that leadership styles need to be tailored to the company by assessing the needs of its employees and management equally. The question that needs to be asked is actually: How can we create and adopt a balanced leadership style to manage our employees?

Task-oriented leadership vs. people-oriented leadership

Task-oriented leadership focusses on project completion, goal-setting, scheduling, objectives, structure, roles, and results, whereas people-oriented leadership emphasizes satisfaction, motivation, and well-being of employees and positive productive interaction among colleagues, teamwork, clear communication, and team-building. The bench strength of a senior management team is the key to any business’s success. In a recent return-to-work survey conducted by HRdownloads, 70 percent of respondents believe leadership and influence is a critical skill for their managers. In addition, 50 percent want to see training dedicated to leadership.

Employees are the most valuable asset a company has, and many workplaces are no longer strictly productivity-driven but incorporate employee satisfaction, motivation, and well-being into their strategic objectives. People-oriented leadership is becoming more highly valued. Benefits include higher satisfaction, increased productivity, and higher interaction in the workforce. Employees are more likely to feel motivated when working under this leadership style, which may translate to reduced turnover. Putting your people first makes them feel valued, and in turn, more productive.

Businesses should strive for a balance between the two leadership styles. One style is not superior to the other, and having managers with both characteristics will elevate your team. As a business owner or leader, understand the difference between task-oriented and people-oriented leadership and seek opportunities to leverage each style appropriate to the goal or team.

How can you balance your leadership style?

We have so far established that employees function better under people-oriented leadership. However, it is equally important to note that different people respond uniquely to different management styles. For that matter, different situations and tasks also call for different leadership styles. Therefore, building a unique leadership style requires a more holistic approach, and companies need to find the right balance. Here are a few steps companies can take to balance both leadership styles:

1. Create a workplace environment that values the employees

It is vital for managers, supervisors, and leaders of a company to instill mutual respect in the workplace and establish a sense of goodwill among their employees. Minor behavioural adjustments in the management team, like remembering to appreciate an employee after a stressful task, can cause major improvements in an employee’s motivation and productivity. It can also help in increasing employee engagement at work.

2. Establish achievable goals for the employees

Having a people-oriented approach does not mean that management needs to expect less from employees. Instead, it means setting clear and achievable goals. Providing the employees with a path to follow without overwhelming them can bring out their best.

3. Don’t be afraid to enforce your authority

Following these steps, we have so far created a workplace environment that values the employees. We have also set achievable goals that help employees stay informed about what is expected from them. However, as an employer, you do need to reinforce these goal expectations and hold employees accountable for their performance. It is essential to assert authority as a leader and provide clear instructions to the workforce.

4. Take regular feedback from the employees

Getting employee feedback can provide key insights that you can use to refine your leadership strategies. It is important to build trust and rapport with the employees so that they feel comfortable providing honest feedback. Keep all communication channels open for the team and help them resolve any issues that they may be facing. We make it easy to gather insights from your employees with our Survey and Forms tool. Create completely custom surveys or use our ready-made templates to give yourself a head start.

Guide to a balanced leadership style

We have discussed so far why a balanced leadership style is necessary and how to do it. However, we understand that it is easier said than done and can be a tricky concept for businesses to strategize on. That is why our team of HR professionals has compiled a guide that outlines action items and helpful resources to build a holistic leadership strategy. Download your FREE Balanced Leadership Style Guide now!

While HRdownloads uses reasonable efforts to maintain this site/blog and its Services in an up-to-date fashion, it does not warrant the completeness, timeliness or accuracy of any information contained on this site/blog or any of its Services, whether in English or French, and may make changes thereto at any time in its sole discretion without notice. All information and Services provided by HRdownloads are provided to members and/or users “as is”, “with all faults,” “as available” and at the sole risk of members and/or users. Our human resources information and recommendations are based on seasoned, best practice field experience and should not be construed as legal advice.