Many times, if there is always some fire-fighting or feud inside an office, it’s because of a chaotic or confused leadership. When you send out confused signals to your employees, it saps their creativity. And when you try to micro-manage everything they do, it has the same affect too. So how can be hands-off and yet be hands-on? Here are ways to inspire your workplace and keep your contract and permanent employees firing on all cylinders…
Many of the work force is employed by small and medium businesses. Which means, much of their employee strength is anywhere between 5 and 50. So how do you manage a tight set of employees and retain them? By inspiring them and keeping them engaged with you even outside the regular office setting. The vision and mission has to blend in to your style of working. And the more informal the setting, the better it is for your employees. Just having an informal workplace will not do. The approach should be just as informal.
A lot happens over java
Yes, coffee or tea, it’s the best way to start your day with your employees. Not only will they tell you what’s bothering them, you will get to know first hand, their problems and possible solutions as well. The moment you begin to empathise, your approach to your vision and mission becomes that much more humane. What you say is not as important as how you say it. Anything said over a cup of coffee will be way better than impersonal office mails.
Walk around the columns
Yes, it’s not just the water-cooler conversation you should eavesdrop upon but actually get down and dirty by chatting up with people at their work desks. Or in the pantry and loo. Yes, the more informal, the better. And the chatter should not be your agenda. It can be as simple as, ‘Hey, what’s got you so excited today?’ to ‘What’s bothering you today?’ If it’s work, you can give them effective suggestions based on your extensive experience and if it’s personal, you can use your EQ to calm them down, and perhaps even solve their problem by just being a patient listener. Pray why? Because most people have answers; only nobody bothered to hear them out completely. When you do, you score brownie points. And if it’s a problem that concerns a larger team, you can call them out and have an immediate brainstorming session right in the middle of the office where you are as much a team player as the others.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch
Yes, that’s what the business managers will tell you and they are right. You should make the most of this principle too. Sometimes, you should go for lunches with your employees. Chat with them in their place of comfort. That’s when they will be their real selves. It’s not like you will uncover major business tricks, but it will help to make the team gel well even inside the office. As a boss, you will become that much more communicable. If you work in a big office, you are still working in a small office. There are only so many people working on your project. That’s your office staff for you. Work with them and make the most of your lunches.
Sharing and caring helps
Being approachable is as important as sharing what you know. It could be an anecdote or your own humble beginnings. But what it does is make you human. And that’s just what the employees need, so they don’t hesitate to talk to you when circumstances permit. You should be perceived as accessible. That itself will keep many managers on their toes. They know that if they don’t do their job well, their subordinates can walk right into the CEO’s chamber.