I do have a (not so rare) ability:
I can walk in any type of business and be able to feel if this particular company's employees are well treated and if they are overall happy to work in that place.
Try for yourself:
If you are attentive enough, and with some practice, you'll not only 'feel' but 'know' the level of employees' engagement towards their company and therefore how viable this firm is at mid- and long-term.
I mentioned this in an earlier post:
Happy employees make a successful company.
Don't take my word for it. Look at these recent statistics:
Do I need to say more?
Care for your employees and they will care for you.
That's a very old proverb, I give you that.
Unfortunately, despite the old message and these statistics that speak loud for themselves, both are superbly ignored by most managers out there.
Not caring for the workforce is much easier than working to ensure their satisfaction – especially that we all know that to satisfy a group of people is a serious challenge, and requires hard work and attention of every minutes.
Of course, it is a shortsighted solution, as it costs much in terms of potential and actual business loss, high turnover, breakage and more.
Should you want to change your management style and become an efficient leader, here are five baby steps you will need to learn and implement – and eventually make naturally yours:
1. The infamous ‘open door policy’!
Never forget that your employees spend more time at work than they do with their families and friends.
They need to communicate, they need to know that their voice is heard and understood.
The ‘open door policy’ does not mean – or at least not in totality - that you leave the door open and that anyone can come talk to you and that’s it.
It means that you need to pay attention to what your colleagues have to say; and that you must keep an open-mind and don’t be judgmental.
Numerous studies demonstrate that the more management is paying attention to employees and is reactive to what is said, the more employees’ participation increases.
You are on the path to leadership when employees’ frustration is changed to engagement and the ‘don’t care‘ attitude is shifted to ‘my team (company) success is my success’.
2. Share profits.
Most companies translate profit sharing by paying bonuses.
This is wrong:
Even if it is not contractually true, because they are cash money, bonuses are quickly seen by employees as a due – hence losing their real meaning and true value.
Quickly, bonuses become another company benefit – a non-negligible one most of the time -, not an incentive to promote company’s belonging.
If you want your employees to be fully engaged with their firm, they must feel that they ‘own’ it!
To that end, give them the company; give them company’s shares:
The harder they work, the better they achieve their goals and even exceed them, the more shares are given to them.
In other words, they do not work for ‘a’ company anymore; they work for ‘their’ company.
It changes the entire perspective.
I let you think about it…
Do you start to see the short- and mid-term benefits for your company?
3. Fun management.
OK, that’s a truly difficult one!
I am sure you will agree with me:
You (like anyone else) are usually more looking forward to go to a fun place rather than to a dull and boring party.
Now, imagine that that fun place is your place of work.
Wouldn’t you look forward every day to go to work?
Whatever your line of business is, and how dull and boring to everyone else it might be, if the mood is stress-free, relaxing and fun you will be happy to go to work and your productivity will increase.
Laughter, enjoyment and fun role-plays develop bonds between team members and allow each colleague to develop their passion and express themselves.
The outcomes are always greater engagement, higher motivation… to the benefit of the company!
Fun management is a very complex process that requires full attention of the leader over a long period of time.
This is the reason why you need to ensure that someone else will be able to back you up whenever required.
Remind me to post an article in the near future about Fun Management to explain how it works.
4. Spend wisely.
To make money, you need to spend money – another old wise proverb!
The salaries and wages paid to the team must not be too low or too high – they must be within the higher mid-tier to start attracting the best talents and develop the best ‘home grown’ professionals.
A low-pay will keep the best talents away and will lower the chances to grow colleagues’ motivation and reduce that so expensive turn-over to its bear minimum.
5. Show that you care.
Show your employees that you care by being attentive to their needs (child care, useful benefits or a comprehensive package).
Employees will never forget what you’ve done to make their life better.
Rest assured that they will repay you back for whatever you’ve done for them:
You made their lives better and simpler, promoting a better balance between business and private life.
They feel better, therefore they will work and perform better - in the most simple and most effective way.
None of the above is rocket science; in fact it’s Leadership 101!
But like all basic truths, it is simple to comprehend, but extremely challenging to reproduce.
You worked yourself for years for companies ‘promoting’ a cold, boring, repressive culture.
Were you really interested in achieving your goals and paying attention to management messages, beside working hard to be promoted, hence working for yourself - not for your company, at the end of the day?
But not everyone is driven by the will to grow and become one-day member of ‘top management’.
Most employees are satisfied by being just that: employees.
If your company culture does not promote employees’ satisfaction, do not expect from them to ‘walk the extra mile’.
They won’t because they won’t have any reason to do so!
Being a leader is much more difficult and challenging than being a manager.
But it is also much more rewarding.
How challenging is it to shift from manager to leader?
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