Screenshot from “Office Uprising”
One of the main responsibilities of any manager is to inspire their team to work more efficiently. After all, employees’ productivity, the way they carry out their duties, and the joy they feel from work depend on the leader of the team. That’s why quite often manager’s key priorities are development of their own leadership skills and creation of corporate culture that makes people want to work as efficiently as possible.
There are many books and online courses dedicated to that topic. There’s quite a lot of information about it, and it may become quite difficult to understand everything.
1. Be yourself
Almost all courses on leadership talk at length about the right ways to conduct yourself with your employees. There are different strategies and approaches to leadership, correct ways to encourage and criticize your employees, the right ways to position yourself in the team… Yeah, all that is indeed important, but only under one condition – you are being sincere.
People can feel when others are being fake, so if your behavior seems unnatural, all the methods you’ll learn and try to apply will be simply fruitless. Try to use only those leadership strategies and tactics that correspond with your personal beliefs, values and comfort zone – then employees will feel your sincerity, and therefore they’ll follow you.
2. Accept feedback
Unwillingness to admit your mistakes, missteps or incorrect decisions is one of the most common mistakes that managers of any level can make. Yes, you should be an example for your employees, but that doesn’t mean you always have to act superior. If you made a mistake and are trying to sweep the situation under the carpet, people will notice such behavior, and they will eventually start acting the same way. As a result, the team as a whole becomes fake – everything is always “fine”, the problems are glossed over. People aren’t looking for solutions to these problems, and in the end it destroys the company.
To make sure something like that doesn’t happen, try to create the most transparent corporate culture that will make people want to receive feedback. Let each employee know that they can always tell you the real situation – and that you won’t act like it’s a disaster. And it is best to start with yourself – set a personal example for your employees, and they will start accepting responsibility.
3. Get to know your people
It doesn’t mean you should become best friends with everybody, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to get to know your employees a bit closer. Your assistants, managers, department heads, project team – people that you encounter almost on the daily basis are a part of your team. These are the people you rely on when solving different work problems, and if they feel that you’re being attentive, they will become more engaged in the working process.
Talk to your employees, learn about their lives, ask what motivates them to go to work – show people that you care about them and their success. By seeing the goodwill of their leader, your subordinates will start working harder. Plus if an employee knows that you also have their best interests in mind, they accept honest feedback easier.
4. Trust, but verify
When you know your employees, you can trust them, but you should also keep in mind that nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. First of all, the leader should base their opinion on the objective data that can be easily verified – and employee monitoring software are a great way to do that. The more transparent the work is, the easier it is for you to monitor every employee’s productivity. Plus the atmosphere in the collective will suffer less from nebulous ideas and mistrust.
We recommend interacting with your team through a time tracking system from the very beginning. Kickidler can make sure all employees are actually working with complete devotion. And members of your team will soon become confident because of your fairness and integrity.
Another thing you should do is set written tasks for every employee and insist them to be done on time. Your employees should get used to the fact that you keep track of all the tasks you assign to them.
5. Appreciate good work
Praising is an important element of the motivational system. If a person has been working hard and efficiently, they’re subconsciously waiting for approval. But, unfortunately, colleagues seldom give each other positive feedback – everyone is too concentrated on their own tasks and problems. So it’s up to you to give praise where it’s deserved.
The main thing here is to be objective. If the work has been done well, you should compliment it, but if the task has been carried out poorly, you should mention that as well. We recommend you depend solely on independent criteria, for example, on Kickidler’s productivity reports. Are you 100% sure that the person deserves recognition? Compliment them! Are there any doubts? You should probably wait a bit before praising them and in the meantime assess the situation.
6. Simplify the routine
Employees’ time is one of the most valuable resources of any company. After all, you are paying people to spend their time and energy to carry out the tasks you set for them. And, obviously, the less time is spent on routine operations, the more efficient your team is.
And the overall performance will increase so much – it’s in the human psyche to tire quickly because of monotonous tasks. Having outsourced some routines to machines, you’ll save your people’s energy and help them concentrate on things that are actually important. User-friendly calendar that synchronizes reminders about different meetings with the work schedule, programs that simplify daily calculations – you should try different tools that may be useful in your company.
7. Estimate risks wisely – and reward reasonable risk-taking
People are afraid of failure; it’s in our nature. Statistics show that if a person thinks that there’s a 60% chance of success of any risky project and, therefore, a 40% chance of failure, they will most likely pass on that particular project. It is especially relevant in companies that don’t pay enough attention to corporate culture – people are afraid to make mistakes, they are afraid to get fired, and so they try to dismiss risky projects. At the same time it’s quite obvious that the company will suffer losses from such decisions.
Nevertheless, almost every company has people who are ready to take risks. Those are ambitious, confident employees – and it is those experts that lead the company to success. Find such people among your employees and encourage their aspirations (of course, if the risk they want to take seems justified to you).
8. Give your employees more freedom
And again it’s all about psychology – yes, an adult can do something just because they “have to”, but by trying to persuade themselves to do something they don’t want to do they waste a lot of internal resources. Try – if possible – to change the motivation of your employees from “I have to” to “I want to”.
Study their interests and hobbies. Try to analyze all the data you get and then share duties in the team accordingly. Very soon you’ll notice increased productivity.
9. Start with yourself
Perhaps, one of the most difficult parts of manager job is the search of balance between personal duties and the actual management. You have to monitor every employee, support them, create comfortable working conditions and help them reach their fullest potential. But, at the same time, you also have your own tasks to perform. How are you supposed to find time and energy for all that?
The answer is simple – treat yourself the way you treat your employees. Understand your preferences, don’t forget to give yourself compliments when you succeed at work, simplify your routine – lighten up your life as much as possible. Once again, automated time tracking systems help with that a lot.
Employee monitoring software Kickidler
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