It’s not an easy feat to be the kind of manager that your staff both likes and respects, but you can pull it off if you’re willing to work hard and put in the effort. The end result will be more than just personal popularity; you’ll also find yourself surrounded by a team of happy, productive, and loyal employees ready to give you their all in everything you ask of them.
If you want to be a boss that employees look up to and genuinely admire, here are some points to keep in mind:
- Establish the goals of the team. Make sure your staff understands the company mission and its objectives for the coming months — and years — ahead. An effective boss understands that a good employee isn’t just there for a paycheck; he or she wants to be a part of things and know where the business is ultimately headed. One way to ensure your staff is always up-to-date on the company’s objectives is to hold brief, casual weekly meetings to give updates on important information and projects. Your employees will feel included and motivated.
- Listen carefully. Communicate to your staff that you are available whenever they have questions. When speaking with employees, try to figure out where they are coming from by asking open-ended questions and probing for information, ideas, and feelings. Your staff will appreciate your caring attitude.
- Celebrate successes. Set small and attainable goals every few weeks or months to give your workers assignments worth striving toward. It’s important to congratulate your staff at these points, rather than waiting until the completion of a big project. Simple gestures of thanks, such as ordering in pizza as a reward for a job well done, will be appreciated by everyone.
- Understand mistakes happen. As your employees strive to grow and become better at what they do, they will inevitably make the occasional mistake. A necessary part of the learning process, mistakes can’t always be prevented. A good manager encourages a culture of learning rather than fostering an environment in which everyone fears making even the smallest error.
- Empower your staff. Learn to delegate responsibility whenever possible, and let your employees have more of a say in how they tackle their work. By empowering your staff, your own strength and value in the company will grow.
- Publicly applaud, privately correct. It is vital to thank your staff regularly for their hard work and to give employees full credit for what they do. When you need to correct an employee’s behavior, however, be sure to do it in private and in a team-oriented way. Give the person the opportunity for reasonable explanation. Open criticism is negative and demeaning, and your staff will not respond well to it.
- Recognize employees as individuals. You may have a picture in your head of the ideal worker who can do anything, is well liked, and cheerfully works long hours without complaint. The truth is that each member of your staff has unique abilities and talents. As a good manager, it’s up to you to recognize this and use each employee’s strengths as wisely as possible.
- Lead your team by example. Your staff looks to your conduct as an indicator of how they should behave. You can educate and encourage your employees simply by how you address them and include them everyday. And if you lead the charge on a larger effort, such as organizing a volunteer food drive, your enthusiasm will ignite theirs.
- Encourage friendships among coworkers. Give your employees the chance to share their talents or interests with one another. For example, if someone would like to start a knitting group or a book club, let them use the lunchroom or a vacant office to gather together. By promoting friendships, you’re encouraging office solidarity.
- Keep learning. Not necessarily a “born” leader? Understand that many of the traits that make a person a great leader can actually be learned. Keep educating yourself by checking out the top sellers on booklists, attending seminars, and talking with your peers.
The bottom line? The ultimate secret to becoming everyone’s favorite boss is to be true to yourself and be the boss you’d like to have. That’s just good business.