Lead your team without being given the title of a “Workplace Dictator.”
The cliché complaining of a horrid boss or manager is not only found in movies; they also lurk in our real-world offices. It’s a common pastime for working-class folk to gather on weekends for a social ‘shindig’, which is supposed to be cathartic after a rough week at work, but instead, it often changes into a venting session of work complaints, primarily aimed at…the boss. What was supposed to be a fun get-together turns into a rage-filled reflection about your life choices, followed by a regretful reminder of how you should have trusted your gut and “stayed with the band” instead of listening to your parent’s so-called practicality.
Dear Boss or Manager, this is how some of your employees spend their weekends. We know that you’ve worked extremely hard to get where you are today, however if your employees are unhappy, they will not want to help the company grow, but rather see it collapse to the ground. Having said so, we understand that your leadership style cannot be totally easy-going because your goal is to drive employee productivity, in order to make a profit. All hope is not lost!
Here are a few methods/tips to help your leadership strategy to ensure that you’re respected and admired rather than feared and even, at times, loathed:
- Please be understanding:
Employees hate walking on eggshells around their employers. When it comes to leave day’s accrued, family emergencies, or if one has to leave work early for a personal obligation, there is a very noticeable cloud of awkwardness in the room. Some employee’s do feel as though their jobs are on the line if they even consider another facet of their lives while at work. It will really help the morale of a relationship between employer and employee if there is a sense of openness and understanding from both parties.
However… don’t throw the rules out the window. The human condition is such that we do actually need rules and structure in order to function properly. Have set rules and regulations in the workplace so that you can monitor each person’s progress but also have an ‘open-door’ policy. Remember, everyone is different and sometimes there might be something about the structure you have set up that is a bit distressing to an employee. Allow that employee to raise his/her concerns and then see how you and the employee can alter the structure so that the result is a happy environment for the employee which in turn leads to increased productivity for the company.
- Take the time to build a relationship with your employees:
Okay, this one can be a bit difficult because you don’t want to get yourself in the position where you and ‘Justin’ from the IT Department are having shooters every Friday night. Take an interest in your employees’ lives but not so much that it becomes intrusive or inappropriate and that goes for both parties. Instead, ask about their weekend or what their Christmas plans are. Try to find some common ground with others before bombarding him/her with the work task straight away. People appreciate the time you take to see them as an equal and, in turn, they are left in high spirits and happy to give their best at work. Strive to strike a balance between being a serious boss who is responsible and competent and the fun, out-going boss who can share a joke or two with their employees.
- Encourage everyone:
It is quite common for employees to have a low sense of self-worth in the workplace because they feel as though they aren’t doing enough to ‘impress.’ What bosses should do is to help an employee develop and grow for himself or herself within the company. Employees should not be in a job to merely impress everyone but instead learn new skills and techniques, while enhancing the abilities they have already developed. Having said so, when an employee does a good job or reaches a professional milestone, it is important for you as the boss to acknowledge and congratulate or even compliment the employee. This will build confidence that the employee may have been lacking previously. You need to communicate that it is okay to make mistakes, as long as we all learn from them and use that knowledge to better the company. In order to be a good leader, you should be able to identify the unique qualities in your employees and help them bring out those qualities in a healthy working environment.
“The leader is the person who brings a little magic to the moment.”
– Denise Morrison (President & CEO, Campbell Soup)