Diversity & Inclusion in the Workforce – Leadership
Technically, leadership directs and guides a group of employees or an organization.
It establishes a clear vision and conveys it to others.
It inspires employees to perform and have increasingly better results.
The common mistake is to think that managers or those in managerial roles are leaders within the company.
The executive leadership team of a company is not always the real leadership team of the company.
Making the decisions doesn’t make an individual a leader.
A leader moves people, inspires them and creates a sense of following.
Companies often times are blind to the leaders they have within their employees and don’t take advantage of those leadership skills by putting that individual on a role that helps the company grow.
You know you’ve lost a leader when they leave the company and within the 3 months after, several other individuals that were connected leave as well.
On the other hand, we tend to find leadership roles that are not really leading the department or group as they are just managing or making decisions for the team.
Knowing how to lead and who is seen as a leader within your workforce is key to the success and production of your teams.
How does your workforce define leadership?
Each generation sees leadership in a different way.
So, leading across generations is not necessarily easy.
Older generations are more used to an authority.
However, with experience, they expect their views to be valued on a professional level.
They understand structure as a part of the job and are more used to it.
Younger generations such as millennials don’t fit into old pyramid structures with clear and strong authorities.
They want to feel close to their manager and more like equals.
They like to have their ideas and opinions taken in consideration.
Styles of leadership that will work with them are more cooperative where things are suggested and advised instead of ordered.
Types of leadership style:
- Laissez-faire leadership:
It is a relaxed style of leadership that should be applied to those leading a group of trained and knowledgeable employees.
Employees with experience and the right education don’t want to feel like they’re being micromanaged and enjoy a sense of self-leadership where they don’t feel like they have to constantly report to someone else.
This style does not include frequent feedback or supervision so it is not the right style for newer employees who require the feedback for motivation and guidance.
This type of leadership is not just good for experienced employees who just want to have someone they can look up to and ask for advice when needed, but also for creative groups.
Creativity flows better with less supervision and with a different type of feedback from what we’re used to seeing in most cases. Creative mind-sets like to lead their own path and have someone to go to “when needed”.
- Autocratic leadership:
This is an authoritarian leadership style that tends to fall into micromanaging and control over all details allowing little input from group members.
This style doesn’t go well with younger generations such as millennials and tends to be a wrong approach for growth.
However, it can come in hand in small groups where leadership is lacking and employees are still very green and unknowledgeable, needing more supervision and guidance than normal.
- Participative leadership:
They value and encourage the input of the team but they make it clear that they are the decision makers.
In this style, you give the employees some responsibility which boosts the trust in the leader but there is still a clear authority.
- Transactional leadership:
It is a leadership style in which there is a give and take between manager and employee.
The manager is a part of the team and goals are met together.
Although the manager still has the capacity to reward or punish, this style makes everything seem more cooperative and the employees feel they’re closer to their manager.
This style tends to work better with millennials.
- Transformational leadership:
It requires constant communication and the manager’s involvement to reach goals. The manager focuses on strategy and delegate smaller tasks.
- Coaching leadership:
This is a newer style that focuses on the improvement and development of the performance and competences of his/hers employees.
It is based on a dynamic interaction.
Difference between leadership and management
A common mistake is to confuse management with leadership.
Leaders have people who follow them and managers have people who work for them.
When we look at the previous descriptions of leadership style we need to understand that they are different ways to motivate employees and create a sense of following.
If we’re applying those descriptions to a management style without the motivating and connecting piece, they won’t serve for leading purposes.
Leadership roles within a company will usually require both things, management and actual leadership.
However, leadership is something not everyone comes with and training may be needed.
This is why, identifying who the leaders in the different groups are can help identify individuals that can grow into those positions and create partnerships between those managers that are lacking leadership skills and that individual to achieve group goals together.
How to find out how your employees view leadership and who the leaders are?
Understanding generations, backgrounds, motives and the overall aptitudes and attitudes of your company’s employees is just a first step.
Great People Inside has over 129 dimensions that the organizations can use to create and customize different assessments with the objective to focus on measuring and predicting behavioral categories in the workplace.
Leadership is one of 12 dimensions that were chosen as dimensions that closely matched Diversity and Inclusion culture by combating unconscious bias in the workplace and focusing on positive thinking to create a diverse and collaborative workforce.
Our assessments are a scientific way to understand the qualities of your workforce and give you the opportunity to easily and successfully identify the characteristics and values within those dimensions that affect your workforce.