This DATIS Blog Article, “3 Leadership Traits Your Employees Need to Exhibit When You Aren’t Around“, was originally posted by Anthony Russo, Linked 2 Leadership, on June 28th, 2015 and was reposted with permission.
No matter what industry you work in, your team is the face of your brand.
And their leadership when you are not around is the clearest byproduct of your own.
It’s the reason Apple staffs its Genius Bar with knowledgeable techies who can make an iPhone glitch disappear and why Jiffy Lube employees open the door for every customer who arrives.
Leading When You Are Not Around
Whether you’re out of the office or your team members are out in the field, they must be able to step into leadership roles and make decisions that will result in positive customer outcomes.
And when something goes awry, your employees need to:
- Be prepared to find solutions
- Placate frustrated customers
- And ultimately turn a potential disaster into a nonissue
This requires that each and every team member is properly prepared to lead with responsibility.
Cultivating a sense of personal responsibility among your team members isn’t just good for your company; it also helps your employees grow.
3 Leadership Traits For Your Employees
Here are a few essential leadership traits you must instill in your team so they can uphold your brand when you’re not there:
There is nothing more important than having employees who take pride in their work and are motivated to succeed, even when you aren’t around. When I first started my agency, a self-motivated staff was the only reason I was able to keep several events going at once.
Even though I wasn’t around, I knew everyone on my team would treat people well and keep things moving.
While you can’t teach motivation, I always stress the importance of taking ownership by telling my team that we never know when someone important will come around. I can’t oversee everything 24/7, so each member of my team has to be ready to step up and make sure the client is happy.
2. Technological Capabilities
These days, technology is woven into every facet of business. Things go wrong all the time, and the ability to troubleshoot a technical problem without a specialist’s assistance can make or break a situation.
My team once had an interactive photo exhibit glitch moments before a brand executive came through. This could have been a massive faux pas, but my team members turned it into a big success when they solved the problem on their own. Afterward, the executive expressed how impressed he was by their ability to think on their feet.
When building your team, make sure you hire people who are both competent with technology and masterful problem solvers. That way, if your customers ever hear an employee say, “I don’t know,” you can be sure he’ll follow it up with “I’ll figure it out.”
For many people, their job is their job. Even if they’re extremely hard workers, they’ll rarely venture outside their designated role. But if you’ve hired self-motivated problem solvers, they’ll be more likely to adapt as necessary.
For my company, this can mean taking on seemingly insignificant tasks such as restocking giveaways. It’s a small thing, but clients really notice when team members are willing to go the extra mile to make sure the event attendee has a good experience.
To make your team members more versatile, give them the directions they need to pitch in, and encourage them to do so. The Ritz-Carlton, for instance, allows employees to spend up to $2,000 to make a customer happy. You don’t have to create a policy this extreme, but simply empowering your employees to take responsibility for customers’ happiness will work wonders for your brand.
Your Team of Leaders
Building a team of leaders goes beyond salvaging one customer interaction. People notice this level of dedication. It motivates them to become repeat customers, provide referrals, and spread positive word of mouth about your company.
In the end, these three traits open doors, but it’s your job to give employees the keys.