When you ask someone about their dream boss, they usually have plenty of stories to tell about the exact opposite – a nightmare manager. One that does not make eye contact, or walks into the office whistling a happy tune and within minutes is screaming about a random issue. A recent Gallup survey of 7,200 adults found that approximately 50% of employees left a job at some point “to get away from their supervisor.”
Here are a few standout qualities to keep in mind as you set out to build your own talented team.
- Stay connected. Gallup reported that employees wish to be in daily contact with their boss, either by face, phone, or email. They also want their boss to express an interest in their personal lives. Giving someone your time and attention is a sign of respect, and shows you value them beyond their cubicle.
- Be relatable. Provide a glimpse into your world. When appropriate, strive to build a deeper relationship than simply “good morning” and “goodbye.” Mentioning your excitement over your kid’s upcoming tennis tournament or anticipation of a special fall tradition will add another dimension to your relationship.
- Clearly communicate expectations. Give concise directives, check in to see how things are coming along, and share your own experiences (both good and bad). Employees can better structure daily tasks with measurable (and attainable) goals in sight.
- Support employee success. When you demonstrate an interest in the professional development of a team member, they are likely to be more engaged. It takes time to connect effectively; spend a few extra minutes interrelating with one another. As you are discussing their performance and goals, ask how you can better assist in their professional growth.
- Offer employee freedom.
Different people perform better in varying working arrangements. Welcome input regarding the office environment, including the layout, collaborative spaces, and quiet nooks.
- Know how to effectively deliver your message. Gallup found that the clarity of expectations is the most basic employee need. As a manager, it is important to get comfortable with what you say and how to say it. Pay special attention to your tone of voice and body language. Business professionals I have spoken with mention the feeling of uneasiness they feel when their boss speaks at them, rather than to them. Observe staff cues and make adjustments as needed. Give feedback and maintain an open dialogue.
- Do not confuse dedication with devotion. Assuming a person’s first priority should always be their job is a mistake. Those with balanced schedules and time off to take a guilt-free vacation are often more enthusiastic about doing a great job.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Set the example as you create a culture of trust, learning, and confidence. Know that you have a choice in how your office is run. Ask your team what they suggest when it comes to a positive work atmosphere. You may be surprised with their feedback. It might require a large shift or only a few small changes. The goal is to achieve a win-win for all concerned.
I share more of my business etiquette tips on, The Huffington Post.