From the Trenches: Tips for Managers

How do you become a good boss?

My employer is going through a lot of changes due to a recent buyout and it’s made me think a lot about this question. I’ve seen so many problems come up that could have all been solved with a little more of this:
Communication.

Communication can make or break a company. It is one of the primary drivers of employee satisfaction. There can be any number of problems with a company but I know the reason why, and it’s a good one, then it’s amazing what I’ll put up with.

Here’s an example of how this works.

Recently the company started enforcing a strict clean desk policy. My supoervisor told me about this in a brusque way without any explanation. Naturally, I disliked the policy, because I didn’t know the cause.

If my supervisor had taken even thirty seconds to say “We have this new policy and here’s why, can you help me out with this?” I would have been willing, even happy to help. Because the supervisor just told me what to do and not why, I had no chance to become engaged or even want to help out. Result: grumpy employee, grumpy supervisor.

I don’t advocate sugarcoating all information, or undue explanations for everything, however a successful manager will always treat their employees with respect. It doesn’t take brown-nosing or false compliments, it just takes an upright, honest attitude.

More tips for Managers and Supervisors:

Be engaged with your employees. Know how they are doing. Show interest.

Understand the material that your employees understand. That way you know their challenges.

Always recognize success and show interest.

Only reprimand employees in private. When doing so, be honest but not brutal.

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Listen as well as talk.

Develop a team mentality. Instead of saying “do this,” say “this is what needs to happen and why. How can you help me do this?” Obviously that might not always be possible but it’s possible more times than you’d think.

Keep your worries at home. Don’t let them color your behavior.

Don’t play favorites. Develop everyone.

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