Managers have a lot on their plate, after all, manage is literally spelled out in their title. Managers are relied upon to keep the workplace boat afloat in a way that both utilizes company time in an effective manner and makes the company more productive and efficient in the meantime. What’s more, today’s managers have to focus on employee engagement, performance management, training and so much more. It can be lonely at the top.
With all of these tasks at the crux of a comprehensive management strategy, it can be difficult to keep your eye on daily habits and routines. Here are four crucial additions to a daily management routine.
“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, and how you’re led.” – Steve Jobs
1. Instill confidence in your workforce
While it is important to be a tough warrior for your company, it is equally important to give credit, and build up morale where appropriate. Paying credit to truly remarkable work, reward that work and therefore encourage more actionable results like the work that warranted your praise. Instilling confidence also gives leeway to creative thought, spurring a new wave of intrigue and problem-solving techniques for everyday tasks.
How can you do this every day? It could be as simple as taking 15 minutes to be grateful for your employees and the unique contributions they bring. While this feels like a difficult task for an overworked manager, it’s really important to people who are working daily to move the company forward. If you manage people on a daily basis, do your best to send a “thank you!’ email, write a card to an employee who finished a meaningful project or simply walk to someone’s desk to deliver a thank you “face to face”. At Red Branch, we take the time every week to tell each other who we’re proud of and why.
These simple (and free) steps can put you miles ahead of other workplaces. In fact, according to a survey of 2,000 Americans released in 2013 by the John Templeton Foundation, “people are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else. And they’re not thankful for their current jobs, ranking them dead last in a list of things they’re grateful for.”
93% of employees in the same survey agreed that grateful bosses are more likely to succeed, and just 18% thought gratitude made bosses seem “weak.” Survey respondents reported that hearing “thank you” at work made them feel motivated.
“To truly build a sustainable management structure, leaders must instill confidence in their staff at some point or another. If workers can trust and believe in the ability of their supervisors to construct a positive and productive workplace, they are more likely to exhibit company loyalty.”- admin, Situation Management Systems, Inc.
93% of employees agreed that grateful bosses are more likely to succeed. Click To Tweet
2. Establish trust
Gaining not only the respect of your workforce but their trust, as well, is a key component of curating a great work environment. Without trust from your workforce, you have little room to inspire your employees. In order to truly offer input in a meaningful way, your employee needs to want to listen to you. Without trust, your employee may not take your advice/input into immediate consideration, but rather pass it off as a nagging request. Establishing trust is about creating a network of support and constructive guidance. Gain the trust of your employees and gain a wealth of employees who want to work for you to the best of their abilities.
How do you create this trust on a daily basis? Start by keeping your word and being fair and consistent with employees. Begin by tracking the commitments you are making. This could mean recording weekly meetings with a service like Uberconference or even Evernote recording. While crude, this can help you remember that you promised the accounting department you’d hire a replacement for Carl before Q2 of 2016.
“Tracking promises doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can start by making a list of the people you depend on, and the people who depend on you (your boss, your team, colleagues in other functions, and so on). Then, for each relationship, list your key ongoing commitments, for example: “I will provide my direct reports with the resources they need.” And, under those, your specific promises: “I will hire two new engineers by the end of September.” Software tools can help you review and update your list frequently,” writes Elizabeth Doty, in Strategy + Business.
Being fair and consistent with employees is also crucial to gaining the trust of all of them. Many managers manage based on performance (which is not bad) but can frustrate less extroverted or obvious performers. If you are giving preference to an employee that performs well but is not expected to follow the same rules as other employees, it can be detrimental to trust. The same goes for chastising employees in public or private. Keep an equal and fair attitude across the board, no matter how you personally feel about the person you need to reprimand. But be careful:
Joe Kraus, founder of Web portal Excite.com once said , “Nothing demotivates people like the equal treatment of unequals. When you hire a bozo and treat him the same as a rock star, it deflates the rock star.”
Managers have more power and responsibility than they think. In fact, employees look to managers to model office behavior AND ethical behavior. Managers play a major role in determining whether employees embrace a company’s values. If managers and top leaders don’t model ethical behavior or enforce rules in a fair manner, employees lose trust. Studies also show that people are more likely to override their own ethical concerns if their manager doesn’t share those concerns.
Employees look to managers to model office behavior AND ethical behavior. Are you a good model? Click To Tweet
3. Build a resilient crew
Build a crew, or team that can rely on each other when the waves get thick. Build each of your employees up in the key areas of resilience and grit. Based on the work of Albert Bandura, “self-efficacy” in the workplace frames these key employee behaviors:
- The courses of action people choose to pursue,
- How much effort they put forth in given endeavors,
- How long they will persevere in the face of obstacles and failures,
- Their resilience to adversity,
- Whether their thought patterns are self-hindering or self-aiding,
- How much stress and depression they experience in coping with taxing environmental demands,
- The level of accomplishments they realize.
As you can see, each of these is absolutely crucial to daily achievement and overall organizational success. You can build a resilient team every day by:
- Celebrate and relish success. Take the time to create an environment where employees can be successful. Frequent “brain breaks” and 20-minute “walking meetings” can help, as can taking a moment to revel in daily, weekly or monthly successes.
- Build a teaching culture. Instead of constantly showing every new employee the ropes, create a culture in which employees can learn from one another. This breeds resilience and breeds OUT dangerous co-dependent relationships. When each person has a chance to show their skills, the entire workplace flourishes.
- Work to manage stress. Avoid complaining, but do allow yourself and employees to take the time to vent steam before diving back in to solve the issue. Here are some great thoughts on why complaining is not always a bad thing.
- Show interest in each of your employees’ unique skill set. This act of building up each employees strengths shines a light into their ability to help other fellow co-workers with their validated talents, strengthening the core of your team.
“As you solidify your team, actively place your trust in them. Demonstrate your confidence in team members, empowering them to successfully lead their own efforts.”- Gregg Renfrew, commentary writer, Fortune
4. Encourage networking outside the company
This one seems obvious, but it’s not entirely an innate practice. Remind your employees to reach out to other people doing cool things in the same field. Who knows? Maybe a collaboration project is in order… Check out these tips on how to network effectively.
Building a cooperative company can create a stronger team dynamic AND help each person focus on honing their unique skill set. Great managers aren’t afraid of losing their people by allowing them to network. They focus on how to learn best from others and how to bring the team together!
How do you build this into a daily routine? Join groups on LinkedIn, research common departmental questions on Quora and sign up for industry groups via Meetup or your local Chamber of Commerce or community group. Send out ideas for your employees to get involved. Not only will they be flattered you thought of them, they’ll be excited to pursue their field of passion outside of work (hopefully). Often overlooked because it’s seen as traditional? Your local chamber of commerce.
“It doesn’t matter if someone is inside or outside of your industry, if they are interesting and influential, be willing to commit time and/or resources to meet, connect or help that individual.”-Tom Farley, commentator, Fortune.
Great managers don’t become great overnight. Nor do they go to one seminar, or read one article to create a lifelong philosophy. No, great managers are built day by day with consistency. Add these to your daily routine today!