Bosses are the people employees love to hate. If you’ve been promoted to a managerial role at work, it’s a delicate balance of getting your team members to respect you as a professional and getting them to like you as a person. Use these tips to get a jumpstart on becoming a well-respected and productive manager.
Make Your Expectations Clear.
When a new employee starts work, a good boss, according to Melanie Joy Douglas of Monster.com, will layout the priorities and state how performance is measured in a very specific way. There is also regular communication about expectations so that the manager and employee are both on the same page. This doesn’t mean to micromanage. As the manager, you tell the employee what results you expect, and you trust them to accomplish them however they see fit, within ethical and procedural guidelines, of course.
When an employee makes improvement in an area that has given them some trouble in the past, or achieves a difficult goal, then that person should be praised publicly. If the employee goes out of their way to help a customer or another employee, those are other good times to praise. Even a simple “thank you” goes a long way to helping employees see that they are valued.
Be Present, but not too Present.
To be a good manager, you want to coach your employees, says Douglas. That means providing education to your employees and leading by example. It doesn’t mean doing everything for your employees because they will not learn how to do their jobs well if you do, and you waste valuable time when you should be doing your own job. Be there to provide guidance, but avoid being too involved in the day-to-day operations of your team members.
Create a Respectful Environment.
Transparency within limits, regular communication, being available, trusting, and respecting your employees go a long way to creating an environment in which your workers will want to work hard and be productive. When you encourage creativity and innovation and encourage feedback at all levels, then you also create an environment in which employees feel that what they have to say actually matters and makes a difference in the organization.
Kevin Daum, an Inc. 500 entrepreneur and best-selling author says great bosses “empower their team with time, resources and techniques, to solve big issues with big ideas instead of Band-Aids and checklists.” Regarding communication, he points out that amazing bosses “integrate open communication to the point where the expression of honest concerns is expected, required, and desired by everyone involved to achieve the highest levels of team performance.”
Seek Out the Talent of Your Employees.
Look for the talents of your employees, and develop them. Give them work just outside their comfort zones if they are willing to take it on; send them to professional development conferences. For employees who need some extra training to do their jobs well, do the same thing: provide them with the tools and resources to learn what they need to be as productive and happy in their jobs as possible.
Remember that you aren’t a perfect boss as soon as you step into the role. Even with decades of experience, there is always something you can learn about being a better supervisor. With an attitude that you can learn something from every managerial situation, you’re better situated to be the kind of boss people actually want to work for.