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Seven ways to avoid haunting the nightmares of your employees

Written by Robert Ordever on Tuesday, 30 October 2018. Posted in Leadership, People

Halloween only comes once a year, so if you want to ensure the happiness of your staff, it’s probably best you avoid the terrifying manager from hell approach adopted by some

Seven ways to avoid haunting the nightmares of your employees

At Halloween, it's a good time to reflect on all things scary including your leadership style. If you're the type of manager who isn't getting the best out of your team, perhaps your approach needs refining. After all, good management is key to an engaged, motivated and productive workforce. Here are seven top tips to ensure you're an approachable, nurturing and effective manager rather than one who is distrusted and feared.

(1) Show humility

Using power to lead will create a you and them leadership style in which your team simply follows your orders rather than collaborates with you to achieve a common goal. By displaying humility, which means sharing authority and inviting feedback rather than imposing change, leaders will ultimately have happier, more engaged and productive people.

(2) Be inspiring

Great leaders exude passion and enthusiasm, making people want to follow them, emulate them and be known by them. Such leaders believe in their companies, people, products and services 100% and radiate positive and infectious energy. And the impact of a passionate leader can be huge, turning average workers into truly great ones who always go that extra mile. With just 45% of UK workers admitting that their manager motivates them to do their best work, as discovered in The O.C. Tanner Institute’s research, perhaps it’s time more leaders worked on being inspiring. 

(3) Empower

Your team will desire the opportunity to have more responsibility, so give it to them. Stop telling them what to do and instead assist and coach them, then move out of the way so that they can prove their capabilities. And remember that mistakes will be inevitable and form part of the learning curve but don’t punish these otherwise the trust you’ve built up will be lost. 

(4) Be available

Absent managers will never get the best from their teams as they’re missing the opportunity to coach, develop and nurture them. In fact, just 37% of UK workers say that they get the support they need from senior leaders to do their job effectively. So make yourself available and use walk around management to facilitate regular face-to-face catch-ups. It’s also important to limit the use of email and Skype.

(5) Give rather than take credit

Never take away credit from your team as this will instantly lead to distrust and bad feeling and ensure you regularly appreciate what your team does and the effort they put in. Appreciation and recognition are powerful tools for increasing employee engagement and improving manager-employee relations, however, remember that the odd pat on the back will have little impact. Instead, it’s important to recognise employees’ efforts and achievements regularly – ideally on a daily basis – publicly and in a meaningful way.

(6) Provide opportunities

With more than one in three employees often bored with their work responsibilities and 44% feeling stagnant or stuck in their current role, it’s important to offer employees the chance to learn new skills, have a voice, influence important decisions and expand their network. Also, be open to ideas on how employees can further their knowledge. Those who aren't regularly challenged will simply switch off.

(7) Get to know your team as individuals

A worrying 33% of UK workers say that their manager doesn't see them as individuals but just a worker. To combat this, casually stop by desks to say "hi" and to find out what's going on in people's lives. When a leader understands the motivations and priorities of their people, they’re better equipped to lead and inspire. It's also important to celebrate personal milestones, such as birthdays and the birth of a child, so employees know you care about them as individuals.

With Halloween upon us, take the opportunity to consider how your team views you. Could you be a vampire who sucks the life out of their team and gives little back, a zombie who is present in body but is neither engaging nor inspiring or perhaps a witch who must be obeyed and wants everything their own way?

Hopefully none of these Halloween nasties sound familiar but if there is a ring of truth in their descriptions, it’s time to make the change and turn from a scary manager to a successful leader. 

About the Author

Robert Ordever

Robert Ordever

A proud dad and devoted Fulham FC fan, Robert Ordever joined O.C. Tanner, the workplace culture specialist, in August 2014 as he entered the role of European people and operations director before becoming managing director. With experience of operations across retail and sports, he knows how best to achieve results with teams.

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