Guidelines on Effective Leadership in the Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 21, 2022 | Published November 5, 2021

Updated October 21, 2022

Published November 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Every company, business, or organization needs leaders to guide it in the right direction. For any business to succeed, it's important that those managing it are effective leaders. Exploring the various ways to become an effective leader can help you direct your team successfully and increase overall productivity. In this article, we discuss what effective leadership in the workplace is, share some qualities that effective leaders have, and provide guidelines on being an effective leader.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

What is effective leadership in the workplace?

Effective leadership in the workplace is the ability of an individual to coordinate and manage the various skills and ideas of employees to achieve company goals and objectives. It's essential to the growth and progress of any company.

An effective leader can make critical decisions and motivate other employees in the workplace. An effective leader can positively communicate and direct the team on the goals and visions of the company. Apart from issuing timely instructions and directives, effective leaders are responsible for optimally managing the company's resources.

Necessary qualities for effective leadership

There are certain qualities that are necessary for you to be an effective leader in the workplace. These include:


One way to encourage productivity among employees is by being a trustworthy leader. Create an environment where your employees are comfortable enough to share their questions and concerns with you. It's important that they trust you to make sound decisions.

Building trust with your team takes time. For your team to trust you, it's necessary that your actions and statements clearly show that you're credible. To do this, it's important that you are consistent in your values, principles, and actions. Ensure that you fulfill your promises and obligations. Acknowledge your mistakes and create an environment where your team can hold you accountable. Being trustworthy means your team can rely on you, making you an effective leader in the workplace.


In the workplace, mistakes and errors are inevitable. While managing your employees, it's important to note that they may make mistakes while carrying out their duties and responsibilities. While encouraging employees to give their best, an effective leader is also patient enough to make room for mistakes. Effective leaders give their employees room to grow by listening to their opinions and taking time to understand their points of view.

It's crucial for an effective leader to have the ability to remain calm and patient, even in frustrating situations. To be an effective leader, it's important that you try to understand your employees and hear them out before coming to a conclusion about them. For instance, an employee might have trouble executing your instructions on a project because they are unclear and not because the employee is lazy.


In the workplace, the leader's attitude toward tasks and projects determines the behaviour of employees. Commitment and loyalty from employees do not come automatically. It's important for you to be committed so that you can inspire commitment in employees. This may require that you work twice as hard as your employees. It must be clear from your persistence and your attitude toward work that you truly believe in the company's vision. An effective leader must show employees that they are valuable to the company and that their work is essential.


Positivity is an important quality for any effective leader to have. Although businesses have low seasons, an effective leader remains positive by reminding employees that the company's goals are achievable even during such seasons. During team meetings, it's important that you maintain a positive tone to inspire employees. Encourage the strengths of employees and support innovative ideas.

Good communication skills

Good communication skills are closely related to being an effective leader. Communicate your ideas, goals, and instructions well to lead others in the workplace. Employees might not understand the company's vision unless it's properly explained to them, but once they have a keen understanding, you may find that their work aligns better with organizational goals.

To communicate effectively, it's important that you are an active listener. A good way to communicate is by simplifying your statements and illustrating your points with personal experiences. Pay close attention to what employees point out to you so that you can understand how to communicate with them.

Related: Active Listening Skills: A Key to Effective Communication in the Workplace


To be an effective leader, it's crucial that you understand the feelings and needs of employees. For employees to work hard at their jobs and commit to their roles, it's important that they feel safe, included, and valued by their leaders. An empathetic leader understands that employees may have personal problems and shows genuine concern about their lives.

An effective leader is approachable and willing to interact with members of their team. Be flexible enough to accommodate the needs and ideas of your team. It's also advisable that you maintain a balance to ensure that employees achieve a high level of discipline.

Guidelines on effective leadership at work

Here are some ways you can maintain and ensure effective leadership in your workplace:

Encourage feedback

An effective leader encourages employees to advise them on areas where they can improve. One of the best ways to ensure that you effectively lead your employees is by measuring your progress through their feedback and comments on your leadership style. Encouraging feedback also allows your employees to feel included and respected in the organization.

Similarly, to maintain effective leadership in your workplace, you can regularly provide employees with detailed feedback to encourage their improvement. Note that the purpose of feedback is to allow employees room to grow. This means that while you may comment on the areas they can improve on, allow them to be flexible and creative when implementing their ideas.

Understand your leadership style

To be an effective leader, it's important that you're self-aware. Capitalize on your strengths, and model your leadership style around skills that you possess. To maintain and encourage effective leadership in your workplace, it's important that you understand the kind of leader you want to be. You can also take note of the principles that may guide your leadership style. Your principles and values can help you know what to focus on and what methods to implement to ensure that you lead your team properly.

You can understand your leadership style by taking leadership assessments and analyzing your strengths. Understanding your leadership style allows you to handle challenging situations more effectively and encourages employees to do the same.

Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles

Reward productivity

One key characteristic of effective leaders is their ability to allow their employees to grow and improve. One way to do this is by recognizing and rewarding employees that are highly productive and creative. It's important that you reward employees based on their performance. Besides encouraging such employees to commit and contribute more to the company, this also encourages other employees to improve their skills. You can do this by giving them bonuses and extra opportunities or acknowledging their work in the company newsletter.

Related: 17 Performance Review Tips for Employees

Delegate properly

Some leaders make the mistake of believing that they can take on all tasks by themselves. To encourage effective leadership in your workplace, delegate tasks to employees appropriately. Analyze the skills of each employee to determine and assign tasks according to their strengths.

Delegating tasks give employees room to grow. It also encourages a high level of creativity in your organization, as they can carry out assignments in their own way. Delegating tasks to employees also frees up your schedule and allows you to take on more important tasks.

Conduct periodic check-ins

For any organization to be productive, it becomes necessary for leaders to have regular check-ins with employees. To be an effective leader, communicate regularly with your team to get updates on the various projects employees are engaged in at the time. Having regular check-ins also allows you to manage issues as they arise.

Being an effective leader means being involved and supervising employees' work to ensure that it's up to standard. An effective leader is fully invested and committed to the activities of their employees. As an effective leader, performing regular check-ins helps you make sure that all employees are being engaged properly. You may find that you're better able to assign work or create production schedules when you are aware of your employees' daily activities.

Related: How to Develop Effective Leadership Communication Skills

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