Role of Leadership in Workforce Management

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Introduction

Leaders play a vital role in the achievement of success in organizations. Effective leaders ought to have qualities and skills that would enable them to relate well with followers. On the other hand, followers feel motivated by inspiring leaders. Inspiring leaders instill the spirit of teamwork to the followers by working with them whenever necessary. Thus, good leadership is highly determined by both the leadership style and the relationship between leaders and followers. Various leadership styles are popular in contemporary times, but only a few enhance team performance between leaders and their followers (Torrington et al. 2011).

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Main body

In the contemporary world, there has been tremendous growth in democracy in business environments. Hence, leaders in the business world have to consider the needs of their followers to achieve the set objectives (Metcalfe & Metcalfe 2009). Whetten and Cameron (2011) argue that leaders that instill teamwork spirit have the quality of self-assessment. They welcome changes and continuous improvement to better their performance and relationship with their followers. Self-assessment enables them to identify destructive qualities that hinder them from having a good relationship with their followers. Hence, they welcome programs that motivate them to work as a team with their followers (Gibb 2008).

Leaders who carry out regular self-assessment also can identify strengths in their followers and thus delegate roles according to the individual capabilities. Hence, such leaders like working as a team with their followers by recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses (Hilsop 2009). For example, a bank manager understands individual communication skills of his staff and ensures that those with good interpersonal and communication skills handle customer matters directly.

Effective leaders also have a sharp perception. This attribute is an essential quality of leadership as it enables people to understand the perception of their followers (Sohmen 2013). Followers feel inspired by leaders who have good interpersonal relations and personalities. Leaders exhibit good leadership when they rally their followers behind a common course. Hence, good leadership exists where both leaders and followers have a good perception of each other. In this light, it suffices to conclude that the right perception encourages teamwork and good leadership in the workplace.

Additionally, effective leadership comprises leaders who are highly responsive to the group’s needs. In a work environment, workers are encouraged to work as a team. However, different challenges hinder employees from working effectively as a team. These challenges vary from a group’s needs to individual needs. Individual needs are associated with individual personalities and human characters that often hinder some people from relating well with others (Fox & Cowan 2014). Effective leaders come in to solve such problems by addressing individual needs and making followers understand their differing attributes. In most cases, group needs can only be provided for by seniors. Thus, effective leaders are ready to attend to the group’s needs in a working environment.

Moreover, good leadership comprises leaders with a proper understanding of their organization. A leader is mandated to lead followers towards the achievement of the set organizational goals. Hence, a leader must know the organizational goals and purpose. In the decision-making process, a leader considers the organization’s purpose and goals. Besides, effective leaders inspire their followers by making them believe and pursue the organization’s vision. For example, in a business organization whose vision is to become a leading supplier of solar energy in the country, the managers make decisions that are congruent with the vision. On the other hand, followers feel encouraged to work with leaders towards a common goal. Consequently, employees work as a team towards a common purpose by giving their best to ensure that goals are achieved within the set time. Therefore, good leadership is a key to team performance towards specific goals (Lussier & Hendon 2014).

Additionally, effective leaders can solve problems and analyze issues. In the contemporary world, the workplace environment is evolving fast thus prompting new changes and problems. Consequently, leaders must be prepared at all the time to embrace change and give direction for the business to keep on running. Followers have great faith in their leaders’ ability to solve problems (Martindale 2011). Therefore, good leaders welcome problems and develop solutions by analyzing issues concerning the business purpose and goals. For example, a machine operator reports the problems to the supervisor with faith that the supervisor will provide the solution. Failure to that the machine operator realizes the incompetence of his supervisor as a leader.

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Most importantly, good leadership is highly dependent on the level of commitment and ability to lead by example. Effective leaders are highly committed to delivering the desired results. They communicate to their followers properly to instill the spirit of teamwork. Leading by example defines the personality of a leader and the ability to relate well with others. Workers feel motivated whenever their leaders lead by example rather than words. Thus, effective leaders understand that teamwork is brought about by leading from the front (Nyberg et al. 2014).

As mentioned earlier, few leadership styles encourage team performance. The type of leadership style is highly dependent on the qualities of a leader because human character plays a major role in determining personality traits. Consequently, good leaders use the most effective leadership styles coupled with embodying the best personality traits to enable them to have functional interpersonal relations. Additionally, the level of the ability to relate well with followers determines whether leaders can inspire followers into working as a team (Liu, Liu, & Zeng 2011).

Out of the many leadership styles available in the business world, only two inspire followers to work as a team. The two include transformational and coaching leadership styles. The transformational leadership style is the most effective leadership in workplaces where teamwork is highly needed (Gilley, Dixon, & Gilley 2008). A transformational leader values followers and makes decisions that are most suitable for all individuals. Hence, a leader must have a profound understanding of his/her followers at an individual level. This aspect helps a leader to establish individual strengths and weaknesses, which is necessary in the delegation of responsibilities. From the previous example, a bank manager is a transformation since he considers the employees’ abilities in the decision-making.

The coaching leadership style is effective for encouraging the spirit of teamwork to the followers. A leader works by example in trying to demonstrate how work should be done. Thus, the coaching leadership style is highly effective for training new entrants as well as introducing new working methods to the workers in a workplace (Woods 2010). A coaching bank manager would not mind doing customer care service while training new entrants how to effectively handle bank customers. These two leadership styles are also referred to as democratic leadership styles because followers are allowed to contribute in the decision-making processes (Gold et al. 2010).

Conclusion

Good leadership is essential for optimal performance in a working environment. Good leadership is subject to the ability of a leader to relate well with followers (Abgor 2008). Therefore, a leader must understand what motivate followers to give their best in a teamwork setup. Besides, a leader must understand the individual needs of followers to ensure good interpersonal relations in the workplace. With this understanding, it suffices to conclude that good team performance is only attainable in the presence of the best leadership qualities.

References

Abgor, E 2008, ‘Creativity and innovation: the leadership dynamics’, Journal of Strategic Leadership, vol.1, no.1, pp. 39-45.

Fox, S & Cowan, R 2014, ‘Revision of the workplace bullying checklist: the importance of human resource management’s role in defining and addressing workplace bullying’, Human Resource Management Journal, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 116–130.

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Gibb, S 2008, Human resource development; process, practices and perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Gilley, A, Dixon, P & Gilley, J 2008,

‘Characteristics of leadership effectiveness: Implementing change and driving innovation in organizations’, Human Resource Development Quarterly, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 153–169.

Gold, J, Holden, R, Iles, P, Stewart, J & Beardwell, J 2010, Human resource development: theory and practice, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Hilsop, D 2009, Knowledge management in organizations: a critical introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Liu, J, Liu, X & Zeng, X 2011, ‘Does transactional leadership count for team innovativeness’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 282–298.

Lussier, R & Hendon, J 2014, Human Resource Management: Functions, Applications, and Skill Development, Sage Publications, New York.

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Martindale, N 2011, ‘Leadership Styles: How to handle the different personas’, Strategic Communication Management, vol. 15, no.5, pp. 32–35.

Metcalfe, J & Metcalfe, B 2009, ‘Engaging Leadership Part One: competencies are like Brighton Pier’, The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, vol.5, no. 1, pp.10-18.

Nyberg, A, Moliterno, T, Hale, D & Lepak 2014, ‘Resource-Based Perspectives on Unit-Level Human Capital: A Review and Integration’, Journal of Management, vol.40, no. 2, pp.316-346.

Sohmen, V 2013, ‘Leadership and Teamwork: Two Sides of the Same Coin’, Journal of IT and Economic Development, vol.4, no. 2, pp. 1-18.

Torrington, D, Hall, L, Taylor, S & Atkinson, C 2011, Human resource management, Prentice Hall, Harlow.

Whetten, A & Cameron, K 2011, Developing management skills, /Pearson, Upper Saddle River.

Woods, P 2010, ‘Democratic leadership: drawing distinctions with distributed leadership’, International Journal of Leadership in Education, vol.7, no.1, pp. 3–36.

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