Have you ever worked with such a difficult boss that quitting was the only option? A strained relationship with a manager can make working conditions impossible to bear. A 2015 Gallup study of 7,200 adults found that 50 percent left their jobs for this reason.
Why are US businesses having a leadership crisis? Schools aren’t teaching the proper managerial skills. Among them are setting priorities, communication, providing guidance, and creating a culture of engagement. You’re already familiar with what alienates employees. Here’s how to become the boss you’ve always wanted.
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Keep Staff in the Loop of New Developments
Have you ever worked with a supervisor who made policy changes without explanations? Some bosses merely bark orders. Entrepreneur describes distinguishing features among inept, good, and great managers. The inadequate boss issues stoic commands. By withholding details, fear gains a foothold among workers. The good supervisor provides reasons for a new procedure. The great boss invites staff feedback to improve business operations. Employee ideas become the solutions to problems, resulting in positive change.
Involving employees in business decisions demonstrates a high regard for their intelligence. When workers feel their input is relevant, they become more vested in the company. To foster this dynamic, hold regular staff meetings. Gallup reports that this practice makes workers three times more likely to be enthusiastic about their jobs.
Invest in Employee Training
During lean economic periods, you may be inclined to shelve training for a more lucrative time. However, allocating funds for staff education makes your business more competitive in the long run. For your company to remain progressive, your staff must advance their skills. Simultaneously, there’s always room for administrative improvement. Here are the benefits you stand to gain with ongoing staff education. Your employees will perform better. Referring to the Gallup study above, workers want job expectations to be clear. Understanding what’s required of them, they work more efficiently. In a study reported by The New York Times, staff education was twice as effective as machinery in raising productivity. By cross-training employees, they gain a broader view of your business. They learn the finer points of operation for several jobs. Multi-skilled staff members are interchangeable in a pinch, such as employee absenteeism. Teaching staff members new skills prepares them for advancement. When more roles emerge within your business, you’ll have capable workers ready to assume them. Promoting from within also saves money, time, and effort in hiring additional personnel.
You have several options for educating staff. Among them are tuition reimbursement, skill improvement classes, managerial training, technical in-servicing, virtual learning, mentoring programs, and professional certification. ETS elaborates on various types of staff training here.
Become Personally Acquainted With Employees
You don’t need to be “best buds” with your workers, but don’t keep them at arm’s length either. With employees that are amenable, ask about their families and hobbies. Gallup reports that employees want managers to take an interest in their lives apart from work. Why is this important? First, you’ll foster cooperation. By showing you care about workers, they’ll be more responsive to company concerns. Secondly, you’ll better learn their talents and strengths.
If this term sounds vague, you’re probably familiar with the synonym phrase, “executive think tank.” Call a caucus of key executives, representing different management styles. Then brainstorm ideas to design a vision for your business. Base the projection on the goals and aspirations of your firm. How do you want your company to function in future years? What steps should you take to remain competitive? Meet regularly with your group to answer these questions. Then present the vision to your staff.
To develop strategic leadership, first assess the challenges ahead, looking for trends that involve your industry. Observe how other companies are responding to changes, and follow their lead. Then, adopt the role of an economist. Obtain information from several sources, analyze the data, and identify market patterns. During brainstorming sessions, promote open dialogue among your colleagues. Address thorny issues, and maintain goodwill when opposing viewpoints are expressed. Conclude each meeting by assessing if you’re still on target with business goals. If not, modify your action plan.
Now, motivate your employees to achieve these aims in specific ways. This blueprint constitutes your “strategy.” Once accomplished, celebrate with your staff.
Regularly Compliment Staff
Genuine appreciation is the sign of a great boss. Be quick to applaud excellence, both the small and spectacular gestures. In this way, you show that every effort counts. Praise also increases staff productivity. It has the same positive effect as receiving money. A 2012 study reported in PLOS One found that our brains are wired to respond to reward, whatever the form. The stimulus registers in the brain region called the striatum. The mental boost prompts us to repeat the action that produced the satisfaction.
Complimenting your staff generates a ripple effect of benefits. Your workers feel valued and develop confidence. More motivated, they exert their best effort. Expressing your gratitude forges a bond that sustains employee loyalty.
Treat Employees to Off-Site Events
In a fast-paced setting, it’s common to get caught in the momentum and lose perspective. You can forget there are faces behind the work being done. To counteract this tendency, periodically take your staff off-site for some fun. The reprieve can also reward goal achievement.
Team up for a scavenger hunt, paint night, company barbecue, sports event, cooking class, escape adventure, or mystery dinner theater. Gathering informally will foster camaraderie on the job.