Years ago I started a hotline called ‘Bust-A-Boss.’ It gave employees the ability to call in and get advice on how to deal with a tyrant of a boss. Over the years I have been involved in so many conflict resolution sessions with employees and their leaders, I feel that I have become an expert in how to be a great leader. In addition, I have led a team for years and my success rate is pretty good in keeping wonderful talent in our company.
The bottom line in the workplace today is job satisfaction and that hinges on the relationships between team members and their leader. With that said, our work environment has changed so much that many leaders are managing their work force remotely and covering a 24/7 time schedule. There are a few tips that I use to manage this crazy workplace in my own company that I will share to make your life and the lives of your employees better.
1. Stop group think, stop managing the team and focus on the individual. It is so easy to send the blanket email or have the weekly meeting that is really about one person but you waste everyone’s time on a ‘group message’ when it should be for one individual
2. Be available – I always answer my phone – ALWAYS!
3. Conduct one-on-ones faithfully every week with direct reports – give feedback and individual development coaching at that time
4. Use your morning ‘line up’ to always jump start the day with energy and positivity
5. Give employees the ability to add value to their job and contribute to make a difference
6. Remember it is the leader's job to create and share the vision in a positive way, but the employees have to embrace it and believe in it in order to meet the goals
7. Fire them up daily – you cannot have any downtime
8. Remember feedback is really the ‘breakfast of champions’ – a recent Human Resource Management survey found that only 2% of leaders provide ongoing feedback. Most feedback is general in an annual performance review
9. When giving feedback, remember to listen and not do all the talking
10. Allow employees to give you feedback – don’t ask for input if you are not going to listen
11. Be consistent! Weekly one-on-ones, practice what you preach, be open to new ideas and remember - you are always on!