Image by: Victor 1558
By Michael Sterling
A good boss makes us feel like we’re a part of a team, that our jobs are worth something, and our time is never wasted. However, a great boss inspires their team, makes them aware that their job isn’t just worth something, but is in fact, a part of a bigger picture. These are the leaders that create a successful company.
The most successful of business leaders will tell you that their staff is the catalyst of growth, creation, and productivity. Although the image of a great employer may be blurred, the secret lies in the details. And it’s the things we say which ultimately become the springboard for wider business expansion.
In today’s economy, it’s easy to say things that rub people the wrong way. Though the economic crisis is slowly recuperating, many employees are still healing from it. It’s important to have empathy when running a staff – equality is much more respected than hierarchy. Keep this in mind as you move forward with managorial decisions.
#1) “Don’t worry about it, I do it all the time.”
If an employee makes a mistake, the last thing you want is for them to be scared to tell you. Not only will this create a pattern that will stem to other areas, but it will severely affect the quality of their work. As a leader, you must acknowledge their efforts. Otherwise, resentment is sure to follow.
Avoid things like, “It’s happened to the best of us” or “This is how we learn” or “You’ll do better next time.” Don’t make then feel lesser than their potential over a common mistake. Indeed, mistakes are how they learn, but the relief of knowing their boss forgives mistakes will build an obedience that’s hard to break.
#2) “Your work doesn’t go unnoticed. You’re doing a great job.”
It’s a common desire in humanity to do a good job at whatever we’re doing. We all want to succeed, and to be acknowledged by their superior will boost their morale which leads to greater productivity. Not to mention, it inspires other employees to want to achieve the same kind of accolade and before you know it, everyone is striving to do their best.
Avoid things like “You’re a Rockstar” or “You managed to come through.” Not only are these a bit condescending, but they are generic. They’re not personal, and are heard too times that they’ve lost it’s fiber. Be sure the message lands with authenticity, not overkill.
#3) “I know you can do it.”
There are so many threads tied to this one little sentence. In six words, you showed belief, trust, and respect – qualities that they will try to uphold. Their boss has shown notice to not only their work, but for them as a person. Such acknowledgment will bring the desire to match it.
Avoid things like “I’ve seen you do it before” or “It’s okay if it’s too much for you to handle” or “You can always split the tasks with ____.” Although it may feel like you’re trying to help, for them, it feels like you don’t believe they can do it. This will lower their work morale.
#4) “Thank you for everything you do.”
A simple thank you goes a long way. Your employees work hard, and it takes a great boss to know that success relies on the people in the trenches. Gratitude is always reflected, and in this case, the results will be in the work. For the person who signs their paychecks to show gratitude tells them a lot about your character.
Avoid things like “Thanks for your hard work” or “Hard work pays off.” These show that your only concern is the work, and not their well being. The objective is to connect beyond the files and the phone calls and the deadlines. Don’t make thank yous seem self indulgent. In other words, don’t give messages that say “Thank you for making me succeed.”
#5) “My door is always open.”
For some people this may be a little tricky because there are, in fact, many employees who take advantage of this. Make the point that you’re available for all concerns at all times. This makes your employees comfortable to speak their minds about their work environment, work load, and other things that may be occurring under your nose. Think of it as insurance.
Avoid things like “…in case of emergency” or “I’m available through email.” You are immediately building a wall that is only going to create separation, plus give the idea that you are much more important than him/her. So important that they need an appointment to see you.