So you’re our client, you are interested in managing people effectively – but this month we are asking – Are you a good leader? This article has a real personal flavour for me.
National Boss Day is generally observed on October 16th in the United States. It has been pitched as a day for employees to thank their bosses for being kind and fair throughout the year, with the purpose of designating a special day in the workplace to show the appreciation for bosses. Although this is an American tradition, we thought we’d provoke you to think about what your staff might say about you. Would they be thankful and appreciative of the role you play as their boss. Do you influence, inspire and mentor your team members? Here are our recommendations to get the best out of your workforce and you may actually feel valued too!
Start with why
I love Simon Sinek – not in the passionate sense, but in the professional sense. He is a leadership and business guru and I had the fantastic opportunity to see him speak in London in the Summer. In his book, ‘Start With Why’, Sinek argues that great leaders and organisations are driven by a clear and compelling “why” – the fundamental reason behind their existence and actions. He argues that consumers are motivated to buy products or services, not because of the product or service itself, but by the underlying purpose and values the company represents. As a boss, do you ask yourself why you do what you do; are you genuinely passionate about the work you do? If you can then learn to communicate your ‘why’ and lead with this to connect with your employees – you will get them to understand your business and want to work in the same way that you do.
Managing your staff effectively requires a deep understanding of your individual employees’ goals, strengths and performance processes. When you know your team members well, it becomes easier to make wise decisions when interacting with them. Almost every element of working as a manager, from offering praise and criticism to delegating assignments to employees, can benefit from a strong relationship with your team members. Instead of being suspicious and “gaining trust” from employees – why not just instil trust as a value of your company and start from there – employees will feel more like adults/human beings and will want to do their best for you if they feel valued and trusted.
The ability to motivate
It’s important for a leader to be able to not only motivate teams to reach a productive outcome, but also to be able to motivate individual employees. That means they need to listen for what may interest their employees, effectively identify and capitalise on their strengths and partner with them to help them find opportunities for growth. Ensure that your employees feel engaged in their work by providing them with ample opportunities to grow both in their jobs and in their careers. Delegate tasks appropriately and look for opportunities to maximise each employee’s strengths.
What do they call you?
Do you or employees refer to you/yourself as “The Boss” and how is this perceived? This is an interesting phrase often viewed as a negative association. There is much research that shows that those ‘bosses’ who are seen as motivational leaders, are approachable and get stuck in and work hard, gain much more commitment and respect from employees. Personally, I hate it whenever anyone refers to me as “The Boss”, I simply could not have achieved what I have here at Centric, without having good people to help and support me.
Give constructive feedback
Recognising completed work or a specific project helps bring a sense of resolution and satisfaction. Giving honest feedback in a kind and respectful way shows your employee you see what they are accomplishing and honouring individual contributions helps workers feel appreciated and believe they can achieve even more. When you acknowledge the work of others with employee recognition, it also signals to your team that you truly value what they are doing. Don’t steal their thunder – celebrate it instead!
Lead by example
As a boss, you have a different position from all of your other employees, but you still have the opportunity and responsibility of leading by example. This means, treating others with respect, assisting with prioritising and getting projects done, turning up for work and being on time – even dressing appropriately can have an affect on the way others act and behaviour within the workplace. As a boss, think of yourself as a leader, you set the tone and impact heavily on company culture and values, and employees will look to you to see what is acceptable and what is not.
We are currently undertaking Bitesize training for line managers but also provide Strategic workshops on the people agenda for Directors and Business Owners. For further information or assistance with any of the themes contained in this article, please contact us here.