What really sets the best managers above the rest? It’s their ability to build a team of employees who have great inner work lives – consistently positive emotions; strong motivation; and favorable perceptions of the organization, their work, and their colleagues. The worst managers undermine inner work life, often unwittingly and most times with the best of intentions.
As Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer explain in “The Progress Principle,” seemingly mundane work-day events can make or break employees’ inner work lives. But it’s forward momentum in meaningful work – progress – that creates the best inner work lives. They go on to explain how to activate two forces that enable progress:
- Catalysts – events that directly facilitate quality work, such as clear goals and autonomy
- Nourishers – interpersonal events that uplift workers, including encouragement and demonstrations of respect and collegiality
This applies especially in airline ground handling services. Though airlines compete for business through pricing, scheduling and service amenities, a passenger’s flight decision is also influenced by the actions of the airline and ground handler employees. In order for aviation services staff to provide top-notch support, effective leaders must find ways to make certain these employees feel valuable in their roles. Adopting these critical traits for effective leadership is essential to the success of your aviation services team.
1. Know Your Team
An effective leader knows the employees that make up their frontline staff. He or she communicates the goals and standards of the airline customer and knows how to support the team in times of success or underperformance and reports to the airline any opportunities for praise or improvement. An effective leader understands how to break down each task to ensure the team is prepared to accomplish the goals of the airline customer.
2. Share Control
The most effective leaders know that leveraging the team’s strengths is just as important as recognizing those strengths. He or she knows how to trust frontline employees to deliver on the shared mission. Collaboration requires leaders to achieve success through resources outside of their control, even when those may operate differently from the leaders themselves. The key here is for the leader to gain commitment from each team-member to achieve the requirements of the customer at the level of quality and consistency required.
3. Be Transparent
Effective leaders disclose information that is beneficial to both employees and airline clients alike. They share performance on all metrics to show how each employee contributes to success and to gain the team’s commitment to correct and improve. Leaders know how to balance the good news with the bad, affecting staff performance for the better.
4. Stay Optimistic
Great leaders are positive, have a passion for the work itself and are optimistic about the future. They are conscious of their behavior and communication; and they know how to positively affect the perspectives, beliefs and behaviors of their team. Effective leaders build a structure and culture that supports a collective ownership.
5. Show Gratitude
Collaborative leaders recognize the importance of showing their appreciation to each employee. They thank their team for their efforts and take no job for granted. They know that their own efforts are only as good as the whole of the team.
Effective leaders bring passion, energy and drive into their every-day style of managing. They build and invest in highly effective relationships at every level to ensure that leaders and frontline staff, equally, have the trust and knowledge to act for the long term.