6 Essential Leadership Skills for Workplace Success

LAUREN O'DONNELL

Author

Effective leaders have the ability to communicate well, motivate their team, handle and delegate responsibilities, listen to feedback, and have the flexibility to solve problems in an ever-changing workplace.

Whether you’re starting out in an entry-level position and looking to move up the career ladder or you’re seeking a promotion, your leadership skills will be among your most valuable assets.

Here are the 6 leadership skills that make a strong leader in the workplace.

1. Communication

As a leader, you need to be able to clearly and succinctly explain to your employees everything from organizational goals to specific tasks.

Leaders must master all forms of communication, including one-on-one, departmental, and full-staff conversations, as well as communication via the phone, email, video, chat, and social media.

2. Motivation

Leaders need to inspire their workers to go the extra mile for their organizations; just paying a fair salary to employees is typically not enough inspiration (although it is important too). There are a number of ways to motivate your workers: you may build employee self-esteem through recognition and rewards, or by giving employees new responsibilities to increase their investment in the company.

3. Delegation

Leaders who try to take on too many tasks by themselves will struggle to get anything done. These leaders often fear that delegating tasks is a sign of weakness, when it actually can be a sign of a strong leader.

Therefore, you need to identify the skills of each of your employees, and assign duties to each employee based on his or her skill set. By delegating tasks to staff members, you can focus on other important tasks.

4. Trustworthiness

Employees need to be able to feel comfortable coming to their manager or leader with questions and concerns. It is important for you to demonstrate your integrity— employees will only trust leaders they respect. By being open and honest, you will encourage the same sort of honesty in your employees.

5. Feedback

Leaders should constantly look for opportunities to deliver useful information to team members about their performance. However, there is a fine line between offering employees advice and assistance, and micromanaging. By teaching employees how to improve their work and make their own decisions, you will feel more confident delegating tasks to your staff. Employees will also respect a leader who provides feedback in a clear but empathetic way.

6. Responsibility

A leader is responsible for both the successes and failures of his or her team. Therefore, you need to be willing to accept blame when something does not go correctly.

If your employees see their leader pointing fingers and blaming others, they will lose respect for you. Accept mistakes and failures, and then devise clear solutions for improvement.

How You Can Build Leadership Skills

You do not need to supervise or be a manager to cultivate leadership skills. You can develop these skills on the job in the following ways:

Take Initiative

Look beyond the tasks in your job description. Think long-term about what would be beneficial for your department and the company.

Try to brainstorm ideas and commit to doing work that goes beyond the daily routine.

Request More Responsibility

While you wouldn’t want to ask for additional responsibility in your second week on the job, once you’ve been in a position long enough to become an expert, you can share with your manager that you’re eager to grow your leadership abilities.

Ask how you can help out—are there upcoming projects that require a point person? Is there any work that you can take off of your manager’s to-do list?

Target Specific Skills

If you have a specific skill that you want to develop—whether it’s creative thinking or communication—create a plan to improve your abilities in this area. This could mean taking a class, finding a mentor to help, reading books, or setting a small goal that forces you to develop this skill. Talk to managers and co-workers, as well as friends outside of the office, to help develop your plan to improve.

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LAUREN O'DONNELL

Author

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Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

To determine the 2022 Vietnam Best Workplaces™, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 20,000 employees across different industries in Vietnam. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️.

85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified™ standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. 

Companies with 10-99 people were considered for the Small category, companies with 100-999 people were considered for the Medium category and companies with 1000+ people were considered for the Large category.