hands-on leader

How to Be a Hands-On Leader (and Why it’s Important for You Company’s Growth)

Starting a business requires a delicate balance of hard work and high level decision-making. As the owner of your business, you determine the course of the company, the products you sell, and the strategies you adopt to promote your brand. However, the day-to-day work determines how you get there, and without hands-on leadership, your long-term vision may take much longer to execute. Striking a delicate balance can be a challenge for any entrepreneur.

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Here’s what you need to know about leading your team to success:

Engaged leaders connect with employees

There are many reasons to be a hands-on leader. One of the most important is what happens when you create and foster connections with your employees.

There’s an old adage in business that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. This means that people don’t want to work for faceless corporations; they prefer to connect with the people leading the company. As the owner and leader of your business, you can work closely with your employees and motivate them by expressing your personal drive and vision.

According to a Gallup survey, only 22 percent of employees feel that their leaders have a clear direction for their organization. Furthermore, only 15 percent of employees strongly agree that their leaders make them feel enthusiastic about the future.

A motivated and engaged team works harder, is more energized, and is less likely to quit, which in turn, reduces your turnover costs.

Related: 5 Leadership Traits No Entrepreneur Succeeds Without

Hands-on leaders can win over customers

Not only can an engaged leader win over employees, boosting productivity and operations, but being engaged can also help retain customers. Typically, when a business owner is forward-facing and vocal about his or her company and its industry, customers feel more connected to the business.

While you won’t have personal interactions with customers on a daily basis, you can still get personal through your social media channels. Share both your triumphs and struggles, as this form of transparency will help your clients and customers connect with you on a more personal level.

In a BrandsGetReal survey, Sprout Social found that 70 percent of consumers feel more connected to a brand when the CEO is active on social media. Of those people, 65 percent also say when a CEO “uses social regularly, it feels like real people run the business.”

There are other ways besides being active on social media that can help you reap these customer loyalty benefits, too. Scott J. Corwin, attorney and principal of Scott J. Corwin Law, gives a great example of how he forges connections with his clients:

“I have too often heard from new clients that they were working with another law firm and they got passed along to junior attorneys or even non-legal staff and never had a chance to interact with the lawyer they hired. I put my clients’ interests first and foremost.”

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Tips for being a hands-on leader

It’s challenging to strike a balance between being a hands-on leader and taking on too many small tasks, which can deter you from the big picture of growing your business.

However, it is possible if you keep these simple tips in mind:

  1. Train your team: Make sure your team follows best practices across the board. Set a good example by making sure your team is onboard with your company mission, and how you put it into practice. You can correct any bad habits while also empowering employees to improve and learn at the same time.
  2. Recognize employee needs: As a leader, you must be tuned in to what your team needs (and wants). Deloitte’s 2020 Millennial Survey found that “Job loyalty rises as businesses address employee needs, from diversity and inclusion to sustainability” and more.
  3. Set aside time to work with different teams: Schedule a block of time each week to check in with each of your teams. Rather than trying to jump in here or there, build this time into your schedule until it becomes second nature.

Be a hands-on leader

You obviously know your business better than anyone else. Leading with a hands-on, personalized approach is a chance for you to stay connected with customers, clients and your team. At the end of the day, your customers will appreciate the personal touch and your team will enjoy the opportunity to learn working side-by-side with you.

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