When you’re in a management role, it’s not uncommon to feel a certain separation from your staff – as if you’re viewed ever so slightly negatively and with a certain amount of hostility. That’s not because you’re a bad manager, it’s just how management is: sometimes your staff will love and appreciate you, and other times they’ll resent and blame you for their ills. This article, though, is all about establishing stronger, more productive links between management and staff, making these two important tiers of a business less distant, and more understanding.
One on Ones
There is no doubt that the age-old one on one is still a mightily useful way to connect with rogue employees, inspire slower staff, or otherwise find new ways to connect on a personal level with each and every character that works beneath you. Be gentle and careful with your questioning, and try to approach each employee from the same place – one of understanding, compassion, and friendship. You never know what you might be able to inspire from your employees by showing them you’re truly interested in their lives and wellbeing outside of the workplace.
If something’s going badly wrong in your team and you don’t know about it, it’s your fault. Working from this simple definition, it’s clear that you should, as a manager, be making great efforts to open up that communication channel between your office floor and your own private office. Often, the best way to do this is through employee surveys, run through providers such as Inpulse.com, that help your staff feedback their criticisms through a simple desktop app that’ll pop up as they work. Far easier than conducting an employee audit over many weeks and months.
There are plenty of humorous memories shared by staff members from last year’s Christmas party – sometimes they’re so hilarious that they last all the way through the year until the next festive get-together. One thing’s for sure: getting your team out for a few drinks and some social time is going to bond everyone together that bit tighter. Whether these parties are wine-sodden or more active – taking part in laser quest or bowling matches – is up to you. Ensure that management mixes with the staff to make these events worth it for the social cohesion in your office.
Give Staff Responsibility
Sometimes, issues do reside with the management team and their style of management. For instance, micromanaging some of your team members might make you feel like everything’s going well within their work, but it makes your team feel overwhelmed with attention as if their agency as an intelligent worker in their own right has been tugged away. Give your staff some space to find their own management styles and their own initiative, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised that they don’t need help through all of their jobs – it’s perfectly easy to work well unmonitored.
These tips are important in bringing your management team that bit closer to your staff, helping employee cohesion and productivity in the workplace.