According to ISO, Top Management is defined as a person or a group of people who directs and controls an organization at the highest level to ensure that adequate resources are provided to meet the organization’s objectives. Commitment on the other hand is being dedicated or having an obligation to see an activity through.
This article aims to guide management system professionals on how to attract the dedication of their leaders to ensure an effective management system performance.
Firstly, it is important to note that there are several types of leaders;
Autocratic Leadership: In this leadership, leaders make decisions on their own without consulting subordinates.
Democratic Leadership: In this leadership style, subordinates are involved in making decisions. The democratic leader holds final responsibility, but he or she is known to delegate authority to other people.
Strategic Leadership Style: Strategic leaders sit at the intersection between a company’s main operations and its growth opportunities
Transformational Leadership: Transformational leaders motivate others to do more than they originally intended and often even more than they thought possible. They set more challenging expectations and typically achieve a higher performance, they empower others.
Team Leadership: Team leadership is about working with the hearts and minds of all those involved. It also recognizes that teamwork may not always involve trusting cooperative relationships.
Cross-Cultural Leadership: This form of leadership normally exists where there are various cultures in the society. This leadership has also industrialized as a way to recognize front-runners who work in the contemporary globalized market.
Facilitative Leadership: is dependent on measurements and outcomes – not a skill, although it takes much skill to master. The effectiveness of a group is directly related to the efficacy of its process. If the group is high functioning, the facilitative leader uses a light hand on the process
Laissez-faire Leadership: gives authority to employees. According to research, this kind of leadership has been consistently found to be the least satisfying and least effective management style.
Transactional Leadership: This is a leadership style that maintains or continues the status quo. It is also the leadership that involves an exchange process, whereby followers get immediate, tangible rewards for carrying out the leader’s orders.
Coaching Leadership: involves teaching and supervising followers. A coaching leader is highly operational in settings where results/performance requires improvement.
When you take a minute to think about which category your top management falls under you are well on your way to getting them to commit to the improvement of the performance of the management system. When you do this also, you know how he or she can be approached.
Regardless of which category your top management falls under, there are clear attributes of a good Leader that he or she must possess. They include; Honesty/Integrity, Confidence, be able to inspire others, a good communicator, have clarity of purpose, good vision, accountability. He or she should also possess emotional intelligence, show empathy, be enthusiastic and be humble. These attributes are necessary for any leader and as a MS professional you should understand how to leverage on them to get the desired results.
As it relates to any ISO Certification, you should clearly communicate with them on their expected responsibilities like ensuring the availability of resources, setting objectives, targets and goals, guiding and motivating staff, among others. And some ways to achieve these are through strategic trainings or briefings, frequent updates and reports, planned strategic meetings and so on.
Much more than these, you should ensure your communication with them is in numbers or data showing the resultant effect of their commitment or lack of it to the business. You can also go further by dressing your numbers to get a quicker attention and subsequent action.
By doing these and more, you should be able to get the following benefits of Top Management commitment;
- Actualization of set goals and objectives
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Increased profitability
- Faster decision making
- Increase in operational efficiency
- Job satisfaction
- Corporate sustainability
- Increased employee morale and retention
- Efficient maintenance of certificates