In a difficult economy, companies may begin to retain and promote only their most skilled managers – those who possess excellent management skills and exemplify qualities of leadership. The good news is that leadership skills can be developed, if you know where to focus your efforts.

A study done by Gallup consultants identified 12 factors that affect employee productivity and retention. The more likely your employees agree with the statements below, the more likely they will produce great results while working for you and pledge loyalty to your organization.

Here are 12 questions you should always ask yourself to review your leadership skills and to define a great place to work :

Do I know what’s expected of me at work?

Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right?

At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
At work, do my opinions seem to count?
Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
Do I have a best friend at work?
In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my progress?
At work, have I had opportunities to learn & grow?

(Source: First Break All the Rules, Markus Buckingham)

Our job as a leader is to create the environment that is congruent to all these statements. We create the environment for success. The more your environment provides these things to your team, the more you will get the benefits of their productivity and loyalty.

I suggest you read the book First Break All the Rules by Markus Buckingham to get the comprehensive insight on how to recruit and place people based on their talents and how to create an organization structure that optimizes the use of your people’s talents.

Use this questionnaire at least quarterly anonymously just to determine how successful your environment has been to encourage talent. Leading is fun! Building a team is also fun especially if you know how !