Open the door and go back in time… Remember when you worked for someone who was a great boss and a joy to work for?
There was little stress at work. You and your coworkers were motivated and productive; you got it done no matter what! And while work was busy and hectic at times, you loved coming to work and gave it your best. You felt important, appreciated, and you knew you made a difference! You even had “fun”.
Go down memory lane again… Ever worked for someone who wasn’t such a great boss? Work was crazy making… employees did what they had to do but not much more. There was no joy in going to work; you dreaded it. Your work had a “heavy feel” about it… and you moved on to a better and more rewarding position.
If you are the boss or a leader within your organization, one of the best ways to avoid or improve a negative work environment is to fine tune your own leadership skills. As the boss or the leader, you set the tone and your employees will follow.
This is why you want to be the best boss and the best leader possible. In return you will be rewarded with increased productivity and revenues. There will be less stress in the office. Employees will experience greater enjoyment from their work. Employee retention and performance will increase, and you can focus on building a strong practice and leading your team.
So here are three things you can do today that will make you a better leader:
Treat employees how you would like to be treated yourself.
Even though everyone has preferences on how they want to be treated by others, I believe there are some basic expectations we all share. All humans want to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. We want to feel appreciated, listened to and be heard. We want to feel important and know that we are making a contribution. We want to know that we matter!
All humans want to be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. We want to feel appreciated, listened to and be heard. We want to feel important and know that we are making a contribution. We want to know that we matter!
How do you let your employees know you appreciate them and that they matter? You tell them! Let them know that they matter and acknowledge their contributions. Show them that you care about them.
Be mindful of those times when your office is busy and hectic. Don’t ever forget that people tend to remember harsh words and how they make them feel, even when spoken out of frustration.
Here is what Maya Angelou said about this phenomenon: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Establish Clear Expectations
It’s difficult to do your best when you don’t know what “the best” means. Without exact expectations, it’s next to impossible for employees to do what’s expected of them.
As the boss or the leader, you must establish clear and realistic job descriptions and make them available to your employees. Be open for employees to make suggestions that would improve a job description.
Revisit, and if need be, update your job descriptions on a regular basis. Make sure employees also revisit their respective job descriptions at minimum once a year.
Providing your team with clear expectations allows them to get to work and deliver the best work they can. Without them, even the stars in your team will find it difficult to do well in their work. After all, it’s hard to hit a target you don’t know exists and hence can’t see!
Most people don’t enjoy being micro-managed. This behavior spells “conflict” when you work for a “micro-manager” who feels the need to control and closely observe how the work gets done.
Sure, when you first start working on a task or in a new job, you welcome the extra help and attention. But once you’re comfortable in the new setting, you’re ready to do things on your terms. And that’s when micro-managing becomes a problem.
Nobody loves a ‘Knowitall’ type superior who constantly hovers around them, while telling them what they need to do. It’s not only demeaning, but it can be very frustrating to be constantly reminded on how to do your work.
Additionally, being micromanaged does not encourage personal initiative or creativity to solve problems in the office.
Of course as the boss or supervisor, you have to direct your employees on what you want them to do… initially. But once you have done that, step back and give them room to develop and grow within your organization.
Give your staff (or the people you mentor) an opportunity to be creative and apply their skills without interfering and exerting unnecessary control.
When you hire the best, give them proper direction, and provide the right tools to do the job, there is no need to micromanage. Step back; trust your employees and your team to do the job for which you hired them.
I’ve discussed three powerful ways to becoming a better leader. All three can be implemented at once, without the expense. Just remember, improving your leadership skills is an ongoing process and not a onetime effort!
What are strategies you’ve used to create a better work environment for yourself and your stafff?