As any good team leader knows, you get the most out of your employees when they’re happy to work for you. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend all of the time, but getting your team on your side will lead to a happier and more productive workplace, with people willing to go the extra mile to please you. If you want to win your employees around and make sure they like you, here are the five things you should be doing…
1. Be a Good Listener
Good team leaders spend more time listening than they do talking, so make sure you give your employees the time and space to talk. People like knowing they can chat things over with you, whether that’s the mundane stuff about ordering more biros for the stationery cupboard or about what’s worrying them in their lives outside of the office. Be a willing and compassionate listener – people will feel more valued and will like you more as a boss if you let them talk openly to you.
2. Keep Your Word
If you say you’ll do something, make sure you do! People will only like you if they know they can trust you, so always follow through on your promises whether they’re big or small. It could be something as minor as giving feedback on a project or as major as giving someone a salary raise, but nobody wants to feel they’ve been conned or ignored. If you say you’ll do something, set out a clear time frame for completing the task and stick to it.
3. Set Out Your Expectations
If you let people know what you expect from them, they’re going to be more productive and like you more. If people aren’t entirely sure what it is you want from them then they’ll probably be very wary and defensive around you, and uncertainty doesn’t lead to a healthy or happy working environment. Set out your expectations and goals clearly so that people know what they’re aiming at. Having clear expectations means people will be eager to meet and exceed them in order to make you happy.
4. Give Constructive Criticism
Believe it or not, your employees will value criticism if it helps them get better at their jobs. Giving feedback and constructive criticism means individuals know where they need to improve and that will make your team stronger as a whole. Provide fair and justified criticism when necessary and people will learn to value your opinions and up their game in the future.
5. Ask for Feedback
If you’re happy to dole it out, you also have to be happy to take it. If you’re going to provide constructive criticism to your team then you also have to be willing to ask for feedback on your own performance. If your employees feel they can give an opinion and help you improve as their boss then it’s a win-win situation all around. Ask them what you could be doing better and they’ll feel more valued and more content working for you.
The simplest advice is just to be kind and considerate. Even when you’re having to do the difficult or unpleasant things like letting a team member go, always try to be compassionate, thoughtful and ‘human’. You don’t have to be besties outside the office, but get your employees to like you as a boss and you’ll find the office becomes a happier and more productive place to work.