We’ve all had a boss from hell – someone who makes your heart sink the moment they walk into a room. No matter how hard you try to make the working relationship better and change your view of them, you still can’t stand them. Even bosses from hell have their own bosses from hell. That said, with a few management tips and a bit of effort, managers can tweak their behavior and transform from ogre to angel. If you’re worried about what your team are saying behind your back, consult our list of hot tricks to win them over:
1) Stop the micro management
Micromanaging is one of the worst things a manager can do is. True, you may have employees who really do need the stick approach over the carrot, but the majority of your workforce are likely to be (fairly) competent adults who have a modicum of common sense and initiative – and if they don’t, why were they hired in the first place? Trust your staff to get on with their work without looking over their shoulder and telling them where they’re going wrong. By all means check in with them to see how they’re doing, but be confident enough that they’ll come to you if they need help.
2) Give your team the recognition they deserve
So you’ve mastered the art of not micromanaging. What next? One thing that will destroy your team’s morale is acting as if you regard them as cogs in a wheel, whose sole purpose is to come to work and get paid. As we mention in our Office Psychology guide, to be truly satisfied in your job, you need a lot more than just a fat salary. If there isn’t one already in place, create an employee recognition scheme to celebrate excellent work and effort. You could start an employee of the month award or have an office “wall of fame” to show off good work. It’s also important to ingrain a culture of recognition within your organisation – even a simple gesture like sending out a company wide email to congratulate someone on hard work does wonders for morale. Positivity is contagious, after all.
3) Listen to your team and value their feedback
If your team feel as if you never listen to them or that their opinion is not valued, their job satisfaction will plummet as their bitterness towards you skyrockets. Taking the time to listen to your staff and then act on this feedback is an important way to gain their trust and respect. Fail to do this, and your team will think you just see them as a resource rather than as an asset. As well as having daily or weekly check-ins, you could send out anonymous surveys to find out how they really feel about things. If you’re brave enough, you can get them to rate your management skills and ask them what you can improve on. Demonstrating humility won’t make you seem weak – it’ll strengthen your relationship with your staff. Make sure you actually make changes based on the feedback your staff provide so that they see the value in giving it in the first place.
4) Support and encourage personal and professional growth
Making sure your staff know that you see them as valuable members of the business is an important part of being a great manager. Keeping your staff happy is important, but keeping them happy and growing is even more so. Unlike the other tangible assets in your office that only require a bit of maintenance or an upgrade, your staff need to grow and develop professionally and personally if they’re to flourish and contribute beneficially to the business. If you don’t have the resources to sponsor further education and professional qualifications, even giving them time off for value-adding endeavours will spur growth and development.
5) Ensure that your office is fully stocked with supplies
A bit like never being listened to, not having the right tools to do the job can leave employees feeling undervalued. And if they can’t carry out their jobs, you’ll suffer too. When you’re gathering feedback from your team, ask them exactly what they need to carry out their jobs. It might be that they desperately need more pens or desk organisers, but never felt as if they could ask for them. You might think that there are more important factors that make for good management than keeping the stationery supplies cupboard is full, but without providing the most basic office stationery, you risk damaging morale.