If you’re in a position of power in your company, you understand the stresses and responsibilities that come with managing a team of employees. The efforts of a great boss trickle down to the very last worker, so be sure your management tactics leave you poised to create a great team.
1) Head to Head
Keep yourself in the know and encourage your employees to come to you with open communication. By establishing weekly or even biweekly one-on-one sessions, each employee will feel properly heard. These sessions are a great venue for employees to speak up about concerns they may have been hesitant to voice. These meetings will also allow you to determine if there are any things you could be doing differently to make the work place happier and more productive. Putting in the effort to get some face time with your employees, even if it’s a mere five minutes, will fortify your team by letting them know that you value their work and their commitment to the company. You’ll be surprised at how much the work improves once individuals realize you have a vested interest in their success.
2) Gifts of Appreciation
Get your employees little gifts that are relative to the office to show them your appreciation. Something simple like a personalized mug for each employee will show them that you are grateful for all of them individually. These appropriate gifts will accurately express your heartfelt gratitude and make it easy to show your appreciation without maxing out the company credit card.
3) Individualized Training
If you notice your employee struggling with certain tasks, don’t shirk the work off to someone else and hope the problem resolves itself. It will surely come up again. Make sure you give said employee the training and one-on-one mentoring they need to continue to improve. If you’re strapped for time (and what boss isn’t?) then look into colleagues who may be able to provide assistance, or sign your employee up for online classes that can easily bring them up to speed.
4) Don’t Slack on Slackers
Don’t ignore it if one person is slacking. This will cause resentment in the ranks of those who are picking up said slack, and you’ll be losing money and productivity by letting it slide. Slackers demoralize those who are hard workers, and can be toxic to your work community if not swiftly dealt with. Take action quickly; if you’d like to give them a chance to prove themselves, put them on a 60- or 90-day performance plan. If they don’t meet said goals, they’re out.
5) Admit Mistakes
Be the example you want your employees to follow. Accountability is important; your title doesn’t make you exempt. Many confuse admitting a mistake with showing weakness—in reality, it’s the thing that makes you a stronger leader. Show employees how to learn from mistakes by providing a real-life, tangible example through your efforts.
6) Praise Publicly, Give Feedback Privately
If your employee does something right, commend them for it. You can even give away small gift cards for those who do well on performance reviews for an extra bit of motivation. If you’re giving positive feedback, feel free to do so in front of other team members. It will give the individual public recognition for something they did right, and entice others to strive to similar levels of success. In contrast, never give criticism in earshot of other employees. It will only embarrass your employee and give them cause to resent you.
7) Bonding Hours
While it’s important to maintain an air of authority, it’s also essential to get to know your employees as people. They have a life outside of the office just like you do, and it would be in your best interest to understand it. Blow off some steam together after the end of a long week with a laidback happy hour, or splurge on your employees with a catered meal to say your thanks. Too much work and not enough play leads to unhappy employees and an unproductive work space, so make sure socialization and camaraderie within your company thrives.
Becoming a better boss means committing yourself to helping your employees, examining your own work progress, and developing a keener sense of empathy and understanding while increasing productivity in your team. While it’s a tough task, the best bosses are those who take the time to improve themselves and by example, those around them.
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