With 2022 winding down, leaders should look ahead toward next year’s ample opportunities for growth. After all, staying ahead of the curve will put your business on the front lines of success.
However, achieving positive outcomes requires effective leadership. For some, this could mean letting go of everything they’ve come to perceive as the requisites of reputable authority.
Although you may need to reflect on your skills and practice greater flexibility in your approach, leading your team into 2023 isn’t as difficult as it seems. Here are nine tips you might consider to set your team up to thrive.
1. Revisit Your Vision
Venturing into new beginnings is a perfect time to revisit your company’s vision statement. What is your current vision, and does it still reflect what you hope to aspire to?
Many leaders prefer to leave their vision statement as is, mainly because thinking about their company’s long-term goals is challenging. Yet, the vision statement serves as a common goal for your team to strive for. When you enhance your vision, you empower your employees to reach new heights.
If you need help developing a more concise vision, consider why your organization exists and how your business does things differently to serve others.
With a new vision statement in hand, use it to kickstart the following year by integrating it into your organization’s strategic plan.
2. Write a Strategic Plan
Think of your company’s strategic plan as a roadmap to success in which you develop a customized view of the future with resources and benchmarks, allowing your team to live out the company’s mission and vision.
Approximately 67% of corporate strategists believe that strategic plans are critical in today’s corporate landscape amid widespread business disruptions and uncertain scenarios, allowing for quick revisions and adaptations to ensure the plan’s ongoing validity.
Using the company’s mission and vision statements as a launching pad, develop three or five objectives to propel your team toward its goals in 2023 and beyond. Ask yourself the following questions as you work through your plan:
- Where does the organization currently stand?
- What do you want your company or team to be recognized for in the next five years?
- What obstacles must you overcome to achieve those goals?
- What are some of the skills, resources and technologies your team will need to invest in to get through the challenges?
You can further break down your strategy by answering the above questions for the one-year, three-year, five-year and even ten-year mark, identifying the different variables and benchmarks for the plan’s successful implementation.
3. Create Opportunities With a New Approach
Setting your team up for success in 2023 means optimizing current procedures and brainstorming new approaches.
For instance, leadership must set the bar for managers to adopt a “future” mindset — marketers may need to revisit conventional tactics, while sales teams may lean into consultative methods.
Brands trying to boost their reputations after a challenging year might also take a more proactive approach to smooth things over with customers. Developing a method for responding to negative online reviews can go a long way in improving customer satisfaction.
Personalized private messages via email, social media or phone calls should occur promptly. Offering vouchers and showing a willingness to change policies based on customer feedback are other ways to improve the customer experience.
4. Develop Your Organizational Chart
Do you know who’s in charge of each department? Are teams operating efficiently and cost-effectively? An organizational chart is an essential tool that leaders use to plan their staffing and budget requirements.
Begin your chart with a draft that separates each department and the roles within each team — from vice presidents to administrative assistants, refraining from including employees’ names.
Looking over your organizational chart, you should be able to identify which teams have the best people and room for growth. It should also give you a good idea of who might be better suited for another role on a different team.
If you find that one department could consolidate its staffing in the future, you should keep that in mind, too. Although it’ll be hard to let people go, it could help your organization cut back on spending.
5. Boost Transparency
Generating a transparent workplace allows you to solve problems and obstacles in real-time by increasing accountability and building greater trust among teams — this helps improve employee morale and engagement by reducing job-related stress.
According to Slack’s 2018 Future Work Study, 87% of employees want to work for a transparent company. Another 80% want to know about their organization’s decision-making process.
Openness and transparency foster excellent team communication and collaboration — a benefit for leaders, too. Cultivating transparency ensures employees feel comfortable addressing knowledge gaps or problems, allowing you to set a plan in motion to correct it immediately.
Concentrate on building transparency during weekly meetings by encouraging team members to share the week’s challenges, triumphs, milestones, priorities and changes. Compiling meeting notes and sending a company-wide newsletter will keep other teams updated on the most important information and happenings.
6. Focus on Problem-Solving
Weekly meetings are also the perfect opportunity to streamline problem-solving in 2023. As a team leader, you should encourage your employees to collaborate and seek solutions independently.
Although it’s OK for team members to ask you for your input, you already have plenty you need to tend to. It might be best to create a list of steps staff should follow to find the answers themselves first.
The reality is that human error occurs all the time, so adopting the mindset that mistakes are normal is crucial. Although the goal is to avoid making them, your team can ensure problems don’t become bigger by resolving matters as soon as they transpire — hence the importance of transparency.
It’s easy to fly off the handle when problems arise — significant setbacks can induce stress on everyone. However, you should avoid yelling and name-calling at all costs and remember there’s always some resolution.
Employees who feel mentally secure and can clearly understand and learn from mistakes will be more alert and perform better going forward.
7. Improve Company Culture
Naturally, shouting at people and discrimination are the ideal ingredients for a toxic workplace. In today’s evolving work environment, where sensitivities are extra heightened, improving company culture is the best method for effectively leading your team into 2023.
The sad truth is that 18% of employees report having a somewhat or very toxic workplace. Manual labor and customer service-oriented jobs polled the highest for toxic workplace culture at 22% and 21%, respectively.
Fostering company culture requires leaders to look inward. As such, it might be best to gauge areas for improvement by issuing a team survey with questions like:
- Do we do enough to celebrate our team’s achievements?
- Do you feel motivated at work?
- What makes you most proud to work here?
- Does our current conflict resolution work, and what would you improve?
- Do you feel a sense of belonging at work and on your team?
- What’s, do you need for a greater work-life balance?
- Do you feel you have enough skills-based training and professional development for advancement?
- Do you think that your work and effort are valued?
- Have you ever received formal recognition for a job done well?
- Do you feel safe at work?
- How well does management foster inclusivity?
Strong inclusivity, diversity and equity policies are paramount amid growing awareness of race, gender, sexuality and sexual harassment issues. Remember that everyone benefits when leaders redefine workplace culture and align goals to meet successful outcomes.
8. Practice Active Leadership Accessibility
Leaders should work on active accessibility to motivate their teams in the coming quarter. Active leadership accessibility means supervisors are directly involved in empowering, engaging and cheering their teams on.
Traditionally, CEOs and managers sat behind desks in their corner offices with little interaction with employees. Conversely, active leaders present an energetic disposition that helps them foster deeper connections with their employees.
As an active leader, you should understand each person on your team and ensure they feel supported with the necessary resources to perform their jobs. It would be best to cultivate open communication by allowing feedback and responding to and resolving issues compassionately.
Additionally, active leadership accessibility means you go out of your way to ensure employees know their value. Recognizing personal milestones — birthdays, work anniversaries, new homes, wedding days and pregnancies — and offering new perks and incentives will generate greater loyalty among your team.
9. Reflect on Your Leadership
You can concentrate your efforts on improving company culture or developing a comprehensive strategic plan for your organization. However, nothing supersedes a successful 2023 than reflection and leadership development.
According to a Gallup poll, effective management influences 70% of a team’s engagement and is the key to cultivating high performance.
Leaders must form strong working relationships with others and pave the way for employees to sharpen their skills and expertise. They must also be steadfast in their efforts to lead teams toward the company’s vision and inspire their workers with positivity, confidence and recognition.
Strong leaders know how to think critically and apply their knowledge to problem-solving while communicating and listening clearly.
Most critically, leaders establish accountability by assessing the risks and holding themselves and others liable for completing the work.
By reflecting on your leadership, you can recognize areas needing greater development and pursue whatever leadership training you feel is necessary.
Leaders Foster Growth for 2023
Leaders are the force behind successful teams. Leading your workforce into 2023 will be easier than ever when you evaluate your current leadership and apply these tips for a renewed workplace and vision for the future.
About the Author!
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.