Too often, leadership was synonymous with dictatorship. It used to be that the desires of a boss demanded unquestioning compliance, and anyone who didn’t follow suit got left behind. But those ideas are well on their way to becoming obsolete. 

These days, bad leaders have nowhere to hide. Online reviews, social media, and an ever-growing ability for inter-industry connections have shone a light on poor leadership. When top talent can work anywhere, they’ll have no problem finding out where the best and worst leaders are and adjust their search accordingly. 

If a manager cannot demonstrate the ability to motivate and inspire team members for higher levels of productivity, their time in a leadership role will be short. 

Applying the authority of an upper-level title no longer meets the minimum standard required to attract and retain quality team members. In this new age, a leader must be more. They must be mentors, coaches, resources, and trusted allies.

Give Others the Chance to Grow

Most companies have an evaluation cycle designed to help team members improve and grow their skills. One of the biggest opportunities for team growth is the development of regular, personal connections from leadership. And evaluations are a great chance to invest in your team.

Consider these steps for boosting your own team development strategies. 

Update yearly or bi-yearly evaluations to become meaningful half-hour check-ins every month. 

Emphasize positive relationship-building as the goal of each check-in. Better relationships breed trust, loyalty, and retention. 

Carefully prepare for meetings to discuss future growth and improved productivity  

Leverage this frequent contact to make  improvement and growth a shared endeavor.  

Team members who recognize a leader’s investment in their personal growth are far more likely to stick with a company because they know they are valued and supported. 

Keep in mind, any strategy that facilitates growth-oriented conversations requires authenticity on the part of the leader. At the same time, make sure you’re also demonstrating a commitment toward authenticity and individual attention. 

When Leaders Make the Effort, Everyone Wins

Retooling the evaluation process doesn’t just benefit teams, it creates opportunities for leaders as well. Facilitating the growth of others is often mentioned as one of the most rewarding parts of leadership. 

Leaders who find themselves as mentors and coaches are also far more likely to build trust and loyalty with their team. That trust is especially useful when challenging projects or impactful new directions develop. When leaders have invested in their teams, those teams will respond to difficulties with far more speed and fervor. 

When leadership interacts and supports teams through regular, positive check-ins, morale and productivity soar in response. Why? Because teams respond to support with an increased drive —creating a healthy and productive cycle that benefits everyone. 

Learn to create growth, foster encouragement, and change your company culture by downloading our free resource: The Innovative Leader’s Guide to Transforming Company Culture.