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Are you an inspiring leader?

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A study by Investors in People has found that 25% of UK workers suffer from uninspiring managers, which is also the main reason for a lack of productivity at work. How do you inspire?

The issue is most prevalent in larger businesses (1000+ staff) where one third (33%) of employees do not feel motivated by their managers. However, the situation in small businesses (1-49 staff) does not fair much better with 29% of staff feeling unmotivated by their bosses.

Investors in People have gone one step further to evaluate the financial cost of uninspiring leadership. Working with economic analysis consultancy TBR they calculated a staggering loss of £39 billion to UK businesses every year due to poor management, confirming the need for leaders to step up.

What then, are so many UK bosses lacking? What’s the best way to motivate? Here are the top 6 most common traits of inspirational leaders:

1.    Great leaders aren’t boring
Don’t be a boring boss. Leaders who demonstrate engaging, likeable characteristics, are more likely to encourage employees to go above and beyond. Great people skills, the ability to deliver a winning presentation or simply having a top sense of humour are all characteristics of someone that people want to work for. 
2.    They recognise and reward their people’s good performance
Creating a culture of appreciation and respect motivates hard work. The best leaders make a point of recognising when staff achieve good results. Investors in People have found that simply thanking staff more often can act as a significant source of motivation.

3.    They are aligned with the organisation’s goals
What’s the point of a mission statement if the boss doesn’t live by it? When a leader respects and leverages the core organisational goals, others will follow suit. According to Investors in People, small UK businesses have the potential to increase efficiency by 8%*, simply by communicating missions and values to their employees more clearly.

4.    They put themselves second
Truly inspirational leaders make sure that the needs of their people come first. They lead alongside the team, working with and not above the group. Putting their needs second, the best leaders encourage criticism and invite people to question how things are done, always giving employees a voice before decisions are made.

5.    They communicate clearly with their people
Living the vision is very important, but it also needs to be clearly communicated. An inspiring leader not only carries a clear vision in their mind but they can translate this to others clearly.  Unsurprisingly, people are more likely to trust a leader who is open, honest and doesn’t avoid communicating the difficult but important issues. 

6.    They embrace change
Leaders who embrace and are responsive to change, are more likely to promote a positive working environment. The best leaders value mistakes as an opportunity for learning and improvement. This is truly the sign of an inspirational leader and great people management.

Paul  Devoy

By Paul Devoy

Paul Devoy is head of Investors in People

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