By Rhonda R. Savage
If you've ever been in a management position, there's a good chance you had several pet peeves regarding your staff members and their behavior. What you may not realize is your employees probably have a few complaints too.
It's true that oftentimes these complaints can be unreasonable, and as an owner or supervisor, you need to accept the fact that you can't always make everyone happy. But it’s also important to know what you can improve on as a leader. When staff members respect you and the way you manage your team, it improves morale. When morale goes up, production goes up. Here are eight ways you can you improve your management style.
1. Change Your Attitude
If you often come to work grumpy, it’s time to change your tune. Each day depends on your attitude when you walk in the door. If the moment your staff members see you in the morning, you’re rude or give off a negative attitude, it may affect their moods and result in low productivity or bad customer service. Make a mental choice the moment you wake up in the morning to be a positive influence on your staff. Do not complain about the day before or dwell on the traffic you dealt with during your commute.
Here’s one way you can change things around: Ask staff to bring in an inspirational thought, humorous anecdote or joke to start the day off on a positive note.
2. No Micromanaging
Too many supervisors micromanage their staff. Excessive attention to detail can hold back the growth and development of your business and team members. Employees who are micromanaged feel frustrated, lose confidence, become timid and are discouraged. Attention to detail is a positive trait in any supervisor, but if you're correcting every little detail or do everything yourself, you'll hurt your performance and that of the team.
As an owner or a supervisor, you need to delegate, follow up without micromanaging, and hold people accountable. Create a system in which your employees can keep you updated on the projects they've been assigned. This way, they don't feel you’re micromanaging or taking over, but you’re able to keep updated on the progress.
3. Hold Employees Accountable
On the flip side, supervisors who are too “hands off” or who don't hold employees accountable are also doing their employees and business a disservice. Good leaders coach and mentor but don't micromanage or let things float along. You know the strengths and weaknesses of your people.
The days of dictatorial leadership are gone. Most employees today thrive on independence, growth and involvement. Yet they also thrive on feedback, accountability and firm, fair leadership. Finding a balance is crucial for the success of your business.
4. Stop Complaining
This is a difficult time in the economy. Your employees care about you and the company, but if you're burdening them with your woes, morale will go down. Don't share everything. They don't need to know it all. Focus on being positive, cheerful and supportive.
Some people may argue that your staff needs to know the facts. Yes, but do not harangue them daily that their job is in jeopardy. Let them know what the goals are and how important each and every one of them is to the success of the business. If the business is in trouble and you’re considering layoffs, first ask yourself these questions:
- Can you be training and encouraging employees to do more and be more in your market?
- How is your customer service?
- Are there other places you can trim before resorting to layoffs?