As many of us already know, an unhappy employee is often an unproductive employee. With statistic showing that around 70% of employees hate their jobs, this is a big problem. One of the top reasons for disengagement in the workplace is when workers think management to be dishonest, disrespectful, or incompetent. A vast number of employees attribute their job dissatisfaction to the behavior of their direct manager. While no boss is perfect, there are a couple of leadership mistakes that good managers can avoid in order to keep their employees happy.
A “Hands-Off” Approach
While you shouldn’t overstep your bounds and micromanage employees, leaving your staff to fend for themselves isn’t a good idea either. Even if you aren’t directly involved in a project, you should aim to keep in touch and communicate with your team to help keep them motivated. With about 47% of people falling asleep at work, a focus on employee engagement is paramount. If you let your employees work unchecked, a simple misunderstanding can balloon into a client’s project completed in the wrong way. Though it isn’t easy, it’s important to find the right balance between managing employees and stepping back to let them take charge.
Treating Employees as Best Friends
As much as we all want our peers to like us, it’s important to remember that employees are employees and not our buddies. If you’re too friendly, some employees may be tempted to take advantage of you. You may find yourself with late work, absentee workers, or worse. Becoming close to your employees can also take its toll on you when you must make decisions regarding layoffs and pay cuts. You don’t have to close yourself off completely from socializing with staff, but you don’t want to foster a work environment that is stressful, or uncomfortable either. Conducting yourself in a professional yet approachable manner is always your best bet.
Undervaluing Skilled Staff
Failing to provide feedback to your employees, whether positive or negative, can lead to a myriad of potential problems from angry customers to lost profits. You should alert employees to inappropriate behaviors before they can cause an issue for the company. Conversely, it’s also important to recognize and reward employees for a job well done. You should show workers that their efforts are seen and appreciated while encouraging other employees to follow their lead. In fact, 65% of employees believe that respectful treatment of all employees and all levels is one of the most important factors in workplace satisfaction
You should have more one-on-one time with staff members than just during their quarterly review. It’s a good idea to have an open door policy that allows you to make yourself available to employees on a regular basis and encourage open communication. Be sure to listen more than you speak, and let employees know that you take their concerns seriously. Take steps to address problems that workers bring up so that they know you are invested in their future with the company and value their opinions.