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Small Business Leadership Skills No One Taught You in School

Keep your employees happy with an outsourced HR department

It’s exciting and rewarding to run your own business. And if you’re starting to see the fruits of your labor – if your business has moved onto the growth track – it’s even more gratifying. But, how do you, as the vision behind this venture, keep it all together and succeed as a leader?

You set the tone for success. This means developing leadership skills in yourself and others. You need to be the person leading – not just the one doing all the work. The following skills should be in your leadership toolbox:

Communications

Learn to communicate in ways that will encourage and engage people – and ultimately, bring about results. You are the key to establishing an effective communication process and ensuring its ongoing success, whether you employ four people or 444.

  • Master the art of active listening. It takes practice and commitment, but learn to keep your mouth shut and really absorb what your employees are saying. It means not interrupting or even giving advice, unless and until you’re asked to do so. It isn’t easy much of the time, but it’s well worth the effort.
  • Stay focused on what your employees are saying. Eliminate any interruptions or distractions. Be sincere, and show that you care. When the time does come for you to speak, ask clarifying questions and avoid passing judgment. Unless you master listening, you can neither build trust nor be an effective leader.

Motivation

Productive employees are the key to your success. Use both monetary and non-monetary incentives to achieve your goals and build revenue.

  • Start with SMART. Make sure organizational goals, as well as each individual employee’s goals, are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
  • Have an ongoing program to recognize and reward employees. Celebrate individual and team wins. Make sure your rewards are tailored and meaningful to each person who receives them. They don’t have to be expensive; they just have to resonate. This drives further motivation and productivity.

Delegating

You probably know how to do every job in your business. But as your company grows, it’s unrealistic to think you can – or should. The following tips on learning to delegate work come from Harvard Business Review:

  • Be more essential and less involved. If you had to take an unplanned week off, would your priority items still get done in your absence? If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” then you’re probably more involved than essential.
  • Engage at the right level. Stay involved enough to deliver the right mix of support and accountability. This involves learning to say “no” when necessary. You can still advise, consult and facilitate, without doing everything.

By partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO), you can alleviate many of the time and energy-sapping functions associated with growing your business. These include the countless administrative duties associated with recruitment, onboarding, training, benefits, compliance, employee retention, and leading your growing team into the future.

Looking for a strategic partner as you build your business?

A PEO can step in and help by entering into a mutually beneficial co-employment agreement, which does much of the personnel legwork for you. This enables you to focus on growing your business – and growing as a leader. To learn more, contact Lyons HR today.