Use Your Digital Workplace To Identify Leadership Qualities

By Rob Nikkel
October 31, 2017
4 min read
Evaluating SharePoint alternatives

Summary: Use your digital workplace to identify and groom leaders within your organization with these 5 behavioral focus areas. Use the Leadership Checklist provided below to identify the soft skills you need to work on to become the best leader you can be.

Traditionally, the workplace has valued tenure and technical skill when it comes to promoting individuals to leadership roles. Although employee loyalty and technical skill are crucial to a successful company, they are not necessarily indicative of leadership qualities. Leaders must be highly trained and experienced. However, in addition to industry experience and resume qualifications, great leaders require authenticity, empathy, listening, accountability, passion, optimism, and on and on. This is one of the topics that really resonated with me when I heard Vince Molinaro, writer of the Leadership Contract, speak at the “Art Of Leadership” conference last week. Vince gave five behavioral focus areas, to validate when witnessing interactions, including those on your intranet!  So, if you’re looking to find and groom a leader in your organization, you can use the following list as a better lens for identifying leadership potential in your organization.

Customer Focused

How often are work discussions based on opinion, hearsay, or vanity metrics as opposed to the impact on customers?  Leaders spread the voice of the customer and share stories of both struggle and success.  Online, they do this with leadership blogs, publishing client interviews, even those less rosy ones, as well as spread the positive word from satisfaction surveys.  When sharing online, they’re open to social feedback from staff, responding accordingly.

Communicate Clear Expectations

Ever had meeting after meeting on the same topic, without results?  Leaders first seek to understand but move towards decisions and action.  Timelines, necessary resources, and potential challenges are stated.  They establish online operational procedures to start, using document management, forms, and workflows to give clear guides and always focus on an intended outcome.

Strategic Clarity

Strategy is about value creation.  It requires knowing why customers choose you and how you’re known as a brand.  Leaders bring dialogues back to this reference and have relentless curiosity wanting to know why and how actions align.  With an intranet, blogs and article shares, compelling graphics or video, and relevant examples are posted.  Strategic project collaboration often crosses functional boundaries requiring first a problem definition, future picture, and rallying of resources.  It then moves to milestone establishment with task assignment, and ongoing communication, which can be supported by intranet project sites.

Foster Diversity

This means openness to other perspectives, experience, and ideas.  These are shaped back to the core values.  Leaders will talk about purpose, values, and related behaviors to pull together people around a common cause.  Corporate announcements carry a blend of communication sources, from personal milestone celebration to positive stories, community involvement, and work/life success recognition.

Relationship Building

Leadership means serving people.  This means face-to-face conversations where possible, small gestures like taking someone for coffee, public gratitude, and empowering those behind them.  Digitally, the indicator here isn’t social popularity and number of followers.  For sure, it can be seen in their online interaction, wall posts, comments, and thumbs up given to others.  Most importantly though, it’s where they share knowledge and make efforts to bring talent together (not necessarily theirs) for the greater good.

There is a disparity in the workplace between leaders and great leadership in an organization. While leaders can easily be identified by their experience in the industry or the qualities listed on their resume, it’s more of a challenge to identify and analyze a great leader, where soft skills are just as important as technical aptitude.

If you’re in a leadership position or looking to advance an employee lead your team, ask yourself ‘what areas am I/are they excelling’ where can you/they work harder? We’ve compiled a checklist of soft skills in a leadership role that you can use to assess areas needing improvement. Use this checklist, or create an anonymous survey in your intranet for your employees to rate their leaders, to identify areas to improve. When you’re building your form in your intranet, make sure to select all answers are anonymous in the security tab. It’s important to keep anonymous as answers could be skewed as to avoid confrontation.

By Rob Nikkel

Rob Nikkel is the CEO and fearless leader of Intranet Connections. With 20+ years’ experience in software development, he specializes in developing holistic product strategies. A self-described culture leader, Rob is passionate about creating thriving working environments and shaping the company through engaging employee experiences.