Common Leadership Styles And How Employees Benefit From Them

October 7, 2022

Whether you are leading a small or a large group of employees, your leadership style plays a critical role in directing your organisation towards its expected goals and objectives. While leaders may already own a natural leadership style that they feel confident in, it’s important to acknowledge that the appropriate leadership style to use depends on the team, the outcomes expected from employees, the HR systems in place, and the overall nature of the business activities.

Here is a list of common leadership styles many organisations follow and how employees benefit from them.

Autocratic Leadership

This is a leadership style where the leader takes control of all the decisions and welcomes little to no input from subordinates. Autocratic leaders take charge and call the shots. The famous phrase “My way or the highway” sums up this leadership style precisely.

It takes a more command-and-control approach of leadership that gives directions and expects their subordinates to follow them as it is. You can witness this leadership style in Asian countries who are often confined to orthodox practises.

Two of the main benefits employees get from this leadership style is a clear direction and unambiguity related to their tasks. As a result, it makes employees more efficient and lets them know exactly what they need to do without leaving them stranded. It also completely eliminates any risks or errors employees may be subjected to due to their own decision-making.

Democratic Leadership

This leadership style gives more freedom for subordinates to provide their input, opinions, and viewpoints. Democratic leadership style inherits characteristics that are exactly opposite of an autocratic leadership style which is highly restrictive towards subordinate democracy.

Under democratic leadership, employees are involved in the decision-making and have the autonomy to make decisions independently and feel empowered to get their work done their way.

The attributes of this leadership give employees a strong culture of trust and collaboration. It makes employees feel involved and valued and provides a sense of belongingness within the organisation. Most importantly, it takes employees out of their comfort zone and allows them to voice themselves. It pushes them to constantly improve and prove their value to the company through their input.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

This is more of a care-free leadership style which involves letting the subordinates to think and act how they want to without any interventions. Laissez-faire leadership takes a step back from typical leadership responsibilities and lets the subordinates do what they feel best. With extreme levels of freedom and flexibility, sometimes this leadership style may appear uncommitted to the work of the team and the organisation.

However, this leadership style gives employees more autonomy in the HR platform, the ability to take responsibility for their decisions, risk management and completion of goals, and hone their leadership skills – all of which can help significantly towards their career and professional growth.

Participative Leadership

As it sounds, this is a type of leadership that encourages subordinates to participate in the leadership of the team. It’s more like a “we are all in this together” approach to leading an HR system and organisation. Participative leaders actively seek employee input within the decision-making process, where necessary, to deliver a sense of “Us and We” within the organisation.

The participative leadership style motivates employees to do better. It keeps them engaged within the organisation and easily leverages the exchange of knowledge, skills, and expertise among functional departments and teams. It also increases team morale and satisfaction and promotes easier collaboration, along with the development of team members who are ready to accept and act upon collective decisions.