Good Managers Manage Relationships
Leading a group of employees from various different backgrounds successfully can be one of the most challenging – and rewarding – experiences for a manager. Meeting the individual needs of each employee can be a fun psychology problem that fills your day and keeps things exciting. Or it can be the most arduous task you have – especially when it involves employees that are contributing to the loss of company productivity.
In the United States, over 41 percent of business owners estimate the cost of an unproductive employee to be over $25,000 annually. This stacks up to over $600 billion lost throughout the entire workforce. For a number of small businesses, having a single unproductive employee can be the difference between success and failure as a company.
Most managers, however, completely miss the mark when it comes to motivating their employees. They use a top-down approach and an ‘I’m the boss, you do as I say’ type of attitude. Not only does this tend to create negative relationships with employees, but it is also extremely unmotivating.
The key to successful management isn’t about wrangling the slackers into line, rather it is about being flexible and taking time to understand each employee’s point of view. Managers that lead the most productive teams develop strong, positive relationships with their coworkers.
Business owners estimate the cost of an unproductive employee to be over $25,000 annually. This stacks up to over $600 billion lost throughout the entire workforce.
Focus on the Positives
Some studies have suggested that managers that focus on an employee’s strengths more than where there is room for improvement generally see more productivity in the workplace. In fact, over 61 percent of employees feel engaged in their job when managers promote the positive work they do as opposed to only two percent that do when employees feel as though their supervisor ignores them completely.
Celebrating both the small and the large tasks that employees complete in a given day are of major consequence in increasing workplace productivity and in building a relationship. People love the chance to succeed and setting up ways for them to do that in a meaningful way is a difficult managerial skill to master. However, once you have, the benefits are more certainly worth it.
According to a study completed by researchers at Rutgers University, social interruptions are one of the greatest stressors in the workplace and can greatly impact the productivity levels of employees. Employees that were able to anticipate an interruption were able to avoid some of the negative effects such as increased workplace errors and a loss of concentration. Enabling employees to use headphones, for example, may limit disruptive employees from distracting them.
Some level of social interaction in the workplace has been shown to increase spontaneous learning and collaboration among coworkers. Furthermore, having friends in the workplace has been linked to a greater likelihood of employee happiness and longevity, making it an essential part of the work environment. It is important to not completely limit social interactions among employees, but as the manager, you should recognize when the threshold between collaboration and slacking has been crossed.
Employees that have trust-based relationships with their managers also tend to be more productive and work harder to complete tasks. After all, it is hard to perform poorly for someone that you have a good relationship with. Employees that trust their bosses to back them up, support their ideas, and lead the team will accept more difficult work-related challenges with vigor and will be more loyal to the company.
A top-down managing strategy decreases company loyalty, stresses workplace conditions, and contributes to a general lack of productivity in the workplace
Building trust with employees is not always an easy thing to do, but it goes a long way. The important thing to remember is to listen to problems that come up and deal with them promptly. Doing so lets employees know you care, shows that you take them seriously, and proves that you can complete tasks yourself. Furthermore, be willing to compromise. The manager isn’t a successful leader because they are the sole person that comes up with good ideas; they lead because they know how to recognize good ideas from others and implement them.
The days of top-down management being acceptable for the workplace are ending. Many studies have proven that that type of strategy decreases company loyalty, stresses workplace conditions, and contributes to a general lack of productivity in the workplace. Managers that can work closely with their team and build strong bonds with them have been shown to be distinctively more successful and have the work to prove it.
Did you like today’s post? If so you’ll love our frequent newsletter! Sign up HERE and receiveThe Switch and Shift Change Playbook, by Shawn Murphy, as our thanks to you!