Why it's important

Leadership is an important factor for making an organization successful. It is the art or process of influencing people to perform assigned tasks willingly, efficiently and competently. Without leadership a line manager simply cannot be effective. When good leadership is in place in the organization, it can be felt throughout the entire organization. With good leadership, organizational culture is not forced but developed. Communication is effective and open. Everyone understands the vision and goals of the organization, and everyone has input into how they can be improved. People feel that they are an important part of the organization and they give their best for the success of the organization. As group efforts and teamwork are essential for realizing the organizational goals, leadership becomes vital for the execution of work. Through leadership, line managers can influence people under them to adopt a cooperative and wholesome attitude for successful work accomplishment.

Steps for improvement

Manage like a gardener
A good gardener treats every plant differently. To bloom and bear fruit, some plants need more water, others less. Some need more sun, other needs less. Some need more fertilizer, other needs less. Same with your employees. Subject to union rules or other mandates explain that your definition of treating employees fairly is not to treat them equally but so as to bring out the best in each person.

Encourage People to Make Contributions
Leaders should try letting the members of your team know that you welcome their ideas. Leaders who encourage involvement from group members are often referred to as democratic or participative leaders. Research has shown that using a democratic leadership style leads to greater commitment, more creative problem-solving and improved productivity.

Learn to be a better listener
Listening Is the Secret Weapon of Good Leaders. Listening has the ability to strengthens relationships; builds trust; improves teamwork; enhances credibility; increases loyalty; shows employees that you care. Strive to become a better listener by understanding what’s at stake for you and for the person you’re engaging.


Why it's important

The best way to think about rituals? It's the personality of your company. Rituals stem from your organization's mission, values, and beliefs and lead to the overarching spirit of your workplace as a whole.
An organization’s rituals can be defined as the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that employees share and use on a daily basis in their work. The gist of the rituals is often how employees describe where they work, understand the business and see themselves as part of the organization. Rituals are important because they drive decisions, actions, and ultimately the overall performance of the organization.

Steps for improvement

Define the culture you want to have
It all starts with outlining the exact culture you want to foster. Do you want a laid back and casual work environment? A fast-paced and high-energy office where there's a lot of drive to innovate and excel? An emphasis on professional development? Or, a focus on giving back to the community? Figure out the values and elements that are important to your company. It makes it easier getting there.

Encourage and reward positive communication
Communication is a fundamental human need, and employers need to communicate effectively in order to build a supportive relationship that could assist in excelling an employee’s talents or skills during challenging situations.

Employee feedback
Employee feedback is important as it shows that you are interested to know how you, as a company, can improve and do better. Any constructive feedback is good; it assists with the performance of the company and helps you understand what areas need work, or are lacking. Be it performance review or employee feedback surveys, employee feedback makes the workplace better by listening to employees and helping them become more effective than they already are.


Why it's important

Having a consistently strong brand works to build customer recognition. This means when a customer is shopping for a particular product or considering a company to perform a service, they recognize your company in the choosing phase. Consumers are far more likely to choose a brand that they recognize over something unfamiliar, even if they don’t know much about your company at the time. The recognition and elevation that a strong brand builds upon all lend to greater customer loyalty. Customers are attracted to brands that they share values with. When you build a strong brand, you need to convey these values to build an emotional connection with customers. Research has shown that consistent presentation of a brand increases revenue by 23% on average. Repetition and consistency are two cornerstones of any successful branding efforts. By presenting your brand consistently, over time, consumers will internalize your brand values and be more likely to purchase. Also, having a strong brand identity is what is going to make you stand out in the crowd amongst all the other competitors.

Steps for improvement

Conduct a Thorough Brand Audit
The first step is to determine where you stand in the marketplace and to understand who your customer is. Analyze how the product or service is actually viewed by consumers. Additionally, an in-depth competitor analysis - including a review of competitor websites, search engine optimization, brand identities and advertising - informs who they will compete with for market share, how to differentiate, and what strategies to employ.

Establish Your Unique Value Proposition and Messaging Statements
In order for a branding effort to be successful, a company must first identify its core philosophies, such as its mission statement and values. It's also important to determine your brand's value proposition to the consumer. This is the foundation of building a brand that truly represents your organization.

Develop Your Brand's Creative Elements
The next step is to create the look, feel, and voice of the brand that will be carried through all marketing channels - from the website to social media, advertisements, and packaging. "A brand's visual vocabulary will be reflected in your colors, fonts, logo and overall style. The brand voice should be distinctive, resonate with your customers, be consistent and stay true to your company's values.


Why it's important

You can’t have a business without customers. It’s as simple as that. Yet, somehow, many business owners seem to overlook their customers' needs. The importance of the costumer can’t be emphasized enough. In order to transform one-time buyers into loyal customers for your business, you must understand what it takes to gain their loyalty. You can’t simply deliver good products with a smile on your face and expect them to do business with you forever. Customers today need to feel wanted and appreciated by the businesses they buy from. That’s why improving your company’s relationships with customers should always be your top priority. If you are not connected enough with your customers, you are not able to innovate in a direction that will provide services and products that your customers need, and also is unique and will differentiate your company from your competitors.

Steps for improvement

Create a customer persona
By knowing your clientele and creating a customer profile, or persona, you can create policies and practices that will better market and cater to them. Start by having a general idea of who is using your product or service. Ask yourself some questions about your target customers. Are you working with corporations or individuals? Next, take things a step further by thinking through what exactly your ideal customer would want. By knowing who you prefer to and actually do business with you can stop running in circles and wasting time trying to appease everyone.

Ask – what if?
Push boundaries and aim to discover new opportunities by asking what if…..? Challenge every boundary and assumption that applies in your field, on a regular and scheduled basis. You and your group will come up with amazing ideas once the normal constraints are lifted. Use your employees, they hold knowledge and insights that could be the winning ticket.

Collect and use customer Insights
Innovation is great, but unless someone buys what you’re innovating, what’s the point? If your goal is to provide innovative products and services to your existing customers, ask them for their opinions. First, learn about customer likes and dislikes regarding your existing offerings. Then, get them to think beyond your current products and services by asking what they would wish for if the sky was the limit. The direction in which they steer you could very well lead to increased sales growth with existing customers, while also creating solutions that appeal to new customers.


Why it's important

Getting stuck in old strategies, patterns and work cycles can be very dangerous for all companies. As industries and technologies are always changing, you need to create an agile company that allows people and processes to do the same. Part of this agile focus means having tools that allow you to work across teams efficiently and successfully, but it also means providing space for personal and professional development. People want the chance to focus on self-development and feedback sessions is a good way to do this.

Steps for improvement

Creating a regular system for feedback
The first thing to do is make sure you have a regular system in place for feedback. You don’t want feedback to be a side thought or something that only happens when you happen to think about it. Feedback must become an integral part of how your business operates. You might have times when there isn’t much feedback to give, but you still want to have a system in place. As mentioned above, feedback can help you solve issues before they turn into problems.

Use plain, clear language when giving feedback
Choose phrases the person will understand. Be brief and to the point. Successful feedback is easy to understand. "It’s important for the whole team to understand the impact of wide-screen on our future development plans. I've noticed that you haven’t kept your team up to date on this. I’d like you to include wide-screen updates in all your team meetings." Don’t give clues, or imply what you want to say. If the person has to guess what you mean, they may guess wrongly. Poor feedback leaves the recipient in doubt about what you meant.

Build In 'Growth Time'
To encourage personal development: Allow for employees to engage in personal development by allotting 10 percent of their time to personal or professional growth. The only rules: How they spend their time must be a stretch: something out of the box that has a benefit to the business, whether it's building a skill directly linked to their role or improving their abilities.


Why it's important

Having a mission and a vision is important for every company because it provides the road leading to the goal. Without it, people don’t know where they are going, or how to get there. Imagine a person going on a journey without having a compass or a destination, hard to imagine that being a success. Vision and mission statements provide a philosophy of existence to the employees, which is very crucial because as humans, we need meaning from the work to do and the vision and mission statements provide the necessary meaning for working in a particular organization. Strong and clear vision and mission statements also provide unanimity of purpose to organizations and imbue the employees with a sense of belonging and identity. It also serves as focal points for individuals to identify themselves with the organizational processes and to give them a sense of direction while at the same time deterring those who do not wish to follow them from participating in the organization’s activities.

Steps for improvement

Articulate and define why you do what you do
Take the time to intentionally process and put into writing the foundational principles you want to build your business around. Process your business’ “why” or “mission”. Why does your company do what it does? What motivates you even when things are tough?

Establish your organization's core values
Together with your team - talk your way into those three to five values that best describe your company and your approach to service, how you interact with employees and conduct business. To implement these values in your company, start by having your leaders lead by example. Leaders are always being watched and setting core values, and then failing to abide by them, is worse than not establishing core values at all.

Implementing the company values
Try teaching your company values through orientation/training - both to new and old employees. It's unrealistic to simply send out an email or a document listing core values, or engrave them on coasters, and think that everyone will adopt them. Formal training in the values communicates that the values matter.