Take a moment and look around the office. Are there defined leaders? When the pressure is on, is there someone to guide others? Traditionally, organizations emphasize on streamlining operations when they’re experiencing growing pains. However, streamlining leadership in the office is just as important, if not more. Here are three ways to optimize leadership within your organization for lasting success.

Increase your bottom line with mentorship

Leaders in the office must always consider themselves as mentors by aiding in the development of employees. Mentorship programs could create a lasting relationship that will lead to an overall increase in productivity. Employees are not looking for managers to tell them what to do; they’re looking for mentors and coaches that can guide them towards their own personal goals and achievements.

Establishing a platform for mentorship to thrive can be an efficient process for streamlining leadership. Sodexo, a French food services and facility management company, has mastered this concept with their renowned Spirit of Mentorship program. The program offers informal pairings of newly hired and experienced managers to share insights and expand each other’s career development. This concept initiates continual rapport and development.

As the company continues to grow, so do the skill sets of those in the mentorship program. For every $1 spent on the Sodexo program, there was $2.28 in retention/increased productivity realized. The more you invest in your employees and the community, the more they will be invested in the company. Engaged employees are happy employees and that is why mentorship programs prove to be so effective in overall success. Provide your employees opportunity for growth and in turn, your bottom line will increase.

Connect and engage with the right workplace culture

Let’s take a step back for a second to think about how difficult it is as a newcomer to become acclimatized to a new workplace. Regardless of your role, the transitional period is not easy. It’s important that the leaders establish an ‘open-door’ policy where team members can approach them directly with questions or for advice. Streamline leadership in the office by empowering leadership initiatives that everyone can part take in.

Lisa Chun, founder of BlacknBianco, has a unique way of acknowledging employees’ efforts. Lisa sends personal, hand-written letters to each of her employees during the holiday season. This strategy acknowledges each employee’s contribution to overall organizational success while also establishing a tight knit “work family” feel to the office. Through personal one-on-ones, managers are showing that they recognize and respect their employees as an individuals, as opposed to just another fish in the pond.

Workplace culture is arguably the most important factor for today’s modern employee; it is the employers’ job to make employees feel that they are directly impacting culture. Lisa Chun’s initiative shows just how far a simple gesture can go.

Equipping yourself with the right tech tools

With the right tools, leaders can leverage technology to effectively streamline the way they communicate to their employees. Tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams help teams to improve communication and save time. For example, Slack has jumpstarted Jet.com’s rise to success by providing a common touchpoint where the team can communicate effectively. Hendrick Motorsports uses Microsoft Teams as an extension of their company, allowing their employees to streamline their workflows – easily accessible at their fingertips.

Through these tools, managers can provide continuous feedback to their employees. They can share insights and give immediate responses at any time, especially with new generation of employees who are the by-products of instant social media sharing. Continuous feedback has been garnering more popularity than the traditional annual performance review. Empowered by communication tools, leaders can establish collective accountability and discovering initial (and avoidable) red flags when they implement multiple touchpoints throughout the week.

Technologically based leadership is easily practiced because of tools like chat-based workspaces that allow for remote work. Modern technology provides a fluidity to leadership that has yet to be seen in the office, or in this case, outside of the office. Give your employees the right tools and watch them put them to use for the benefit of the company.

Understanding “people leadership”

In the book “Tribes”, renowned author Seth Godin notes, “Leadership is about creating change that you believe in”. From managers to mentors, leaders in the office have evolved over the years. It’s more important than ever to focus on the people, instead of the process. Do your company a favour – stop managing and start leading.