The term ‘leader’ is believed to have originated from the old English word ‘læden’, which means to guide. Leadership and leading are ongoing processes. Becoming a leader doesn’t mean one won’t be evaluated, checked or held accountable anymore. If anything, leaders come under a microscopic lens and to some extent have to prove themselves worthy of the position they have been promoted to. Leaders must hold themselves to a higher standard and organisations/companies should also create ways through which leadership capabilities are measured.
Measuring leadership capabilities matters in every area of our life, be it in school when students are given specific positions of responsibility. For example- prefects, house captains, sports captains, debate team captains etcetera. They have to prove themselves worthy and then are granted the leadership role. They’re evaluated by teachers, students, and team members throughout their tenure and if they aren’t up to the mark, they’re replaced.
In the corporate world, however, it is slightly difficult for organisations/companies to simply replace or remove a leader. It not only shows an increase in staff turnover, but it also reduces morale and weighs heavily on a particular business. Therefore, companies no matter how big or small cannot afford to lose out on leaders. Instead, it must keep certain measures in place.
To succeed and grow in the competitive business world, there is a clear-cut need for the assessment of leaders and leadership qualities.
What is Leadership Measurement?
It is a comprehensive procedure to identify and evaluate a leader’s abilities as they are involved in influencing, leading, directing and motivating their teammates. It is required as leadership skills ‘oil the wheels of a company’s growth and success. The better a company knows its leaders, strengths and weaknesses, the more time and money can be invested in helping it perform better and thus helping everyone perform well.
It matters as it helps in
Identifying and Creating Effective Leaders
To find leaders companies must already have a list of what they’re looking for a leader. Making a list of basic skills like- the ability to work under pressure, conflict resolution skills, unbiased attitude/behaviour and other specialisations can help companies find and create an effective leader. The program will also help in working on the weaknesses of potential leaders and once leaders have been equipped with the important tools, they can take up specific projects and see them through.
Planning for the Future
We continue to live in uncertain times and we make plans for the future in every area of our lives. Companies must do the same. Under fortunate circumstances, a leadership position opens up when they reach the age of retirement.
In such cases, companies have time to prepare for the future, invest in a junior employee, and equip them to succeed someone else. But with all that is happening around us, companies must not wait for a leader’s retirement age to come close. It not only wastes time but also shows the company’s casual and laid-back attitude. Keeping a leadership measure in place matters here as it will ensure smooth easy transitioning and smooth sailing of the company.
Setting a Standard
Ensuring that a leader’s or all leaders’ capabilities are regularly measured sends a message. Everyone loves positive feedback, we love to hear praises for the work that we do. It primarily makes us feel good and encourages us to do better.
Keeping certain measures in place leads to the creation of a cycle, employees know that they are being assessed and measured which urges them to do better and when they perform well they are rewarded in different ways. It could be in the form of positive feedback, a trophy, a raise or a promotion. Therefore, leadership measurement helps ensure that all employees perform well.
Implementing a Positive Work Environment
I would like to start this point with an example. Companies like Great Manager Institute ® and Great Place to Work ® give importance to their work environment. Having a healthy, positive work culture is at the core of their being. They keep up this environment by assessing their leader’s capabilities to follow the company’s principles. A leader’s ability to implement positivity is a part of their Leadership Measurement Program. It allows them to check whether or not their leaders are adhering to the same.
Anticipating and Eliminating Risks
It makes an organisation’s priorities crystal clear. If you’re trying to create a culture of accountability, adding it to the company roster is a great way to start. Showcasing it as something that your organisation values are the best way to show employees that you’re serious about it. If you consider accountability a core value, it’s easier to hold your employees to it. Your expectations from them will be clear from their first day and vice versa. For example, when it comes time to conduct a performance review with a direct report, you can discuss if they’re living out the company’s core values. If they’re not acting accountable, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to encourage change.
Leading By Example
If you’re trying to create a culture of accountability, adding it to the company roster is a great way to start. Showcasing it as something that your organisation values is the best way to show employees that you’re serious about it. If you consider accountability a core value, it’s easier to hold your employees to it. Your expectations from them will be clear from their first day and vice versa. For example, when it comes time to conduct a performance review with a direct report, you can discuss if they’re living out the company’s core values. If they’re not acting accountable, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to encourage change.
Let Accountability Trickle Down
Everyone isn’t equipped to be a project manager or leader. However, every employee should have a sense of accountability and responsibility towards their roles. To be responsible and accountable, employees need to have their own individual goals and performance metrics. For example, you and your team have begun a new project and one of the team members isn’t ready to lead a whole campaign, but they can be responsible for certain tasks related to the bigger project.
You can help them by setting goals like, “write four emails with a 20% open rate.” This goal contributes to the overall campaign, but they can have total ownership over the results. They can write the emails, build them in the email software, and hit send. If the emails don’t perform, the marketing coordinator can then take full responsibility for the problem or error and try again.
Encourage and Celebrate Employees.
The measurement of leadership capabilities matters in this area the most. Finding potential leaders is not and should not be the sole concern of a company. Assessing and eliminating risks if need be should also be a priority. Ineffective leaders, or leaders who don’t suit your brand can cause major damage. Not identifying them or not measuring leaders can lead to poor decision-making, poor performances, losses, negativity and decreased productivity to name a few consequences.
The above-mentioned points are a few reasons why measuring leaders and their performance matters and are important. There are various other reasons for capabilities to be measured. It is important for all of us as we cannot stay in one place, in one stage in one step of our lives. Individually, we all must assess and measure our capabilities. We must not be disappointed by our negative results (if any) but must see them as an opportunity to work on ourselves and move forward. Companies must encourage assessments and measurement of the capabilities and performances of all employees as it is the only way to move forward and succeed.