We can all appreciate that managers can become a little self-absorbed at times, with all the pressure from the top and the time constraints that plague most people in a management position.
The thing is, while success in their own jobs is key to the smooth running of the company, the wellbeing and morale levels of their employees is just as vital, if not more, to the overall contribution that a manager can make to an organisation.
While your employees may not have a position as important as yours, it’s imperative that you step up to fulfil their motivating needs and support their development, so that they can achieve their own individual potential.
One way of boosting motivation and employee productivity, is to provide your staff with the right kind of work environment and development opportunities. After all, when your employees see that you actively care about their development, and love where they work, then there’s every chance that they’ll go that extra mile for you and the business.
These 4 key approaches, all free and easy to practice on a daily basis, can massively impact your staff’s morale and transform the way in which they view you as a Manager:
- Approachability: One of the key things for being a successful ‘boss’ is to constantly strengthen lines of authentic communication between you and your team; you would be surprised how many employees have ideas that they don’t feel they can share. Focus on opening all communication channels so that they can share their initiatives and concerns with you, in turn creating a healthy and inspiring environment.
Tip: As a manager you’ll notice that some personalities take the initiative and will approach you, while others won’t. Take a proactive step and focus on improving communication with ALL members of your team to uncover ideas that your shyer, less assertive workers might well have been sleeping on for weeks! Not only will they thank you for it, you might discover your company’s next big innovative idea.
- Communication: We bet you’ve all had a manager who’s known for ‘hiding away’ in their office. We’d also bet that you wouldn’t want to be thought of in the same way as them. Find the time to get out on the shop floor or do a daily round of the office, making sure to ask your employees what projects they are working on and how they are getting on. It’s a safe bet that they’ll have questions for you about the direction that the company is going in, and it’s just important that you get an idea about the systems that they are working with.
Tip: This is a two-way street. Yes, inquire about what your staff are doing, but also share any big news or decisions that have been made ‘higher up’ that could affect them. Some employees “need to know” and will feel a lot happier and safer in the knowledge that the company is doing well. The same employees will usually be more fearful during times of uncertainty, so look to be reassuring and honest in rocky times.
- Recognition: As a manager you need to make sure that you recognise good work. It doesn’t matter what the employee’s position is, everyone needs to feel valued and appreciated. If they do a great job, make sure you let them know. Be it a pat on the back or a few complimentary words, an employee will truly appreciate that you, as their leader or manager, have taken note of their efforts.
Tip: Try and tailor your recognition to their personality. Someone more outgoing might love to be congratulated in a public way (try an announcement in front of the team) whereas someone with a quieter personality might prefer a more private sign of gratitude (a quiet 1-2-1 at lunchtime will work well). It’s also worth remembering that there are plenty of people who won’t boast about their work, even if they have accomplished something great.
- Positivity: An admirable and important quality for a manager is to have is the ability to keep face even when times get ‘bad’. Keep your own troubles behind closed doors and make sure that you remain strong and positive when engaging with your employees. Many of them will look to you for guidance and could panic if you are seen to be falling apart.
Tip: While positivity is imperative, don’t hide major problems that can and will affect your employees. Make sure that once the issue is shared with your staff, you step up to the plate and take control. Also bear in mind that people don’t deal well with deception and some are really good at detecting underlying troubles, so keep your communication uplifting but sincere. In addition, some may be naturally more suspicious and might react negatively to an overly exuberant style, unlike those more extroverted, who can often respond with equal amounts of energy.
If you get the inkling that your team is lacking motivation then why not try implementing some of the changes outlined above. The days when managers could corner themselves off from their staff are long gone. So, if you’re thinking that you may have been hiding a way for a little too long then perhaps it’s time to make a change, starting today.
Are you a manager who considers the personalities and working styles of your staff before acting and making decisions?
Share your tips and experiences below!