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How to promote leadership in your team

“Leadership is a choice; it is not a rank."

In a recent TedTalk, leadership expert Simon Sinek discussed the ideal behavioural traits that came with being a good leader. Not only is it essential to value trust and co-operation, but you also need to have the right attitude: one that prioritises the well-being of your team members.

Being able to develop and execute a strong workplace leadership strategy has never been more important. At ICON, we value ongoing learning and development so much that we have factored it into our key strategic pillar of Talent and Leadership Development.

Whether you’re a manager or somebody who’s not yet developed their leadership style and is looking to move into a leadership position, here’s what you need to know to create and nurture a workplace culture of ongoing learning and development.

Do you value team members who learn new skills?

Having an Employee Development Process is vital if you want to retain your workers. Millennials now make up 40% of the average company’s workforce, and as 87% of them say opportunities for professional development within the workforce are extremely important to them, it pays to invest money into bettering your team’s skills and capabilities.

Indeed, at ICON we believe that leadership can be learnt and so we encourage our leaders to engage with our People Leader Academy, which is an internal toolkit of resources, courses and information designed to nurture growth and encourage the best leadership possible. From our Leading for Growth module, which helps leaders to turn resistance into co-operation and maximise new opportunities, to articles that address re-inventing employee performance management, we make sure our leaders are equipped for anything that the challenges of growing employees and developing their workforce can throw at them.

Are you thinking teamwork?

Having a strong, well-performing team is hugely beneficial to any business. As well as encouraging productivity and bringing different viewpoints to the table, teamwork makes for a healthy workplace atmosphere, and it’s something that any great leader should be encouraging.

To do this, leaders need to provide a clear sense of direction for workers, and encourage an open, collaborative workplace culture where communication and teamwork are encouraged. Give your teams the freedom to pursue projects without micromanaging: as a leader, you should provide a steady hand and guidance when needed, but everybody should feel included and like a valued contributor.

Are there projects that will stretch people and develop them?

Employees who feel their voice is heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel motivated and produce better-quality work than their counterparts. Keeping teams engaged is all about challenging them at work, and pushing them to learn and develop within their roles- something that we at ICON take extremely seriously when it comes to effective leadership.

Take the time to conduct regular one-on-one sessions with your employees, where you can give them feedback about how they’re performing in the role, open the floor to any questions they may have, and provide guidance on development. Not only will this motivate team members but it also boossts employee engagement.

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Are mistakes and failures reflected upon and valued as learning opportunities?

An effective leader should give their team the freedom required to flourish within their role- even if it does sometimes mean letting them make mistakes. This is where leadership and management are different.

Though mistakes in the pharmaceutical industry are largely unwanted, it's important to give people the opportunity to learn from what they’ve done wrong, then to develop within their role as a result. Having a work environment which lets people own up to a mistake rather than keeping it secret- and potentially causing more damage as they do so- will go towards creating a happy team that ultimately performs better.

Leading a team remotely

As the working world changes, managers are now faced with the challenge of motivating a team of remote workers. The UK’s Office for National Statistics reveals that 49.2% of the workforce have traded in their daily commute and are now working from home due to social distancing measures. With no clear timeline as to when workforces will return to the office, or if the working model will ever return to what it was before the outbreak of Covid-19, strong leadership skills are more essential to an organisation than ever before.

In order to promote teamwork, leaders must utilise online collaboration tools such as Trello, Slack and Google Documents. Online tools can also help keep employees on track with their goals and managers should use them to reassure their team that career develop remains a priority. Alongside this, leadership pay attention to how remote working is affecting the members of their team and those regular one-on-one sessions are a great way to uncover difficulties and simply to check-in.

Make your next career move with ICON

At ICON, we think that creating a happy, well-performing team is the cornerstone of leadership. As Sinek said, leadership is a choice- and one that we take extremely seriously, alongside our commitment to creating a culture within our organisation that fosters learning at every opportunity. Thinking of joining the ICON family? Browse our clinical research jobs here or search through our wider job categories to find the opportunity that’s right for you.

Interested in learning more about what we do? Find out why should work for us why culture is so important at ICON.



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