Leadership is not just about the job title; it is all about your employees and leading the company into right direction.
Every year, BPO companies promote thousands of supervisors and managers. These supervisors and managers are experienced workers because of their skill sets, and have been through training programs and certifications to enhance their leadership skills.
Despite all the trainings and certifications, there are still some cases wherein staff is not satisfied with the way their leaders manage them or their team. As a result, talented employees resign, or become demotivated. This affects the employee's performance in achieving goals.
A leader having a bad performance affects a company’s performance and reputation. Worse, there is a possibility that an employee would submit a bad review about the leader or the company on Indeed or Glassdoor. If this happens, potential candidates will think twice about pursuing their job application to a company.
In order to prevent this from happening, here are the top five leadership skills and traits that supervisors and managers should have.
1. Learner – There are two types of people in a company that a leader can learn from.
a. Their staff: Usually, employees reporting to leaders and supervisors are the technical experts. They know the day-to-day operations, so it is important to learn what they know. From there, leaders can do their research and have a grasp of the situation.
b. Direct Superior: A direct superior can be a mentor. If your direct superior can’t mentor you, you can ask mentoring help from another superior from another team, or an experienced fellow leader that has same role with you.
2. Data-driven decisions – There are leaders who trust their gut and use their grit in making important decisions. However, in order to come up with an accurate decision, great leaders collect quantitative or qualitative data, then analyze it. In the process of analyzing important decisions, innovation should be included in the process.
3. Innovator – As mentioned earlier, leaders must base their decision from data. Then, they can make an innovative decision that will make them successful in achieving their goals. Here are a few innovative approaches in analyzing data and team management:
a. Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. Once it is applied, a leader’s decision can be accurate and the output can lead to improvement in soft or hard savings.
b. Agile is a project management tool wherein a team's process can manage a project by breaking it up into stages or phases.
c. Strategic planning or team-building activities can help leaders and their teams discuss bottleneck processes that need to be improved. These activities can also help teams communicate better with colleagues while increasing productivity and work ethics.
d. Feedback form from your team: A feedback form can help supervisors and managers in leading the team. This should be taken constructively and not personally.
e. File management: It is important to have a repository of files created by leaders and teams. These files can be reviewed after a year and be used as a tool to check a team’s progress. These files can also be useful for new hires.
f. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) allows leaders and supervisors prepare and protect their teams during unforeseen events. A strong BCP can enable teams achieve business agility even when there is business disruption.
4. Accountability – In some cases, an employee resigns because their leader does not take accountability of projects. These types of leaders usually blame their employees. Good leaders know how to take ownership.
5. Servant leadership – In order to become an effective leader, one must also know how to serve. A leader must be humble and be willing to listen to their employees. After they listen, they motivate, collaborate, and trust their employees. They think of their employees rather than themselves.
In a fast-paced BPO environment, having these leadership skills and traits is a must. It is important to be a “leader” and not be the “boss”. Remember, successful leaders see an opportunity to serve others, measure success through growth and development, and lastly, LISTEN.