Let’s start with an easy one. It’s one that I think is really quite obvious and yet Managers at most place I’ve been employed have either deliberately or unconciously failed to respect their staff.
Respect in this context is more than just the respect you afford to the person in the street. Respect for your staff should run much, much deeper. After all, it is your staff that singularly have the ability to make you look good… or bad.
You wouldn’t employ someone who obviously didn’t respect you during the interview process. Now ask yourself why. What does it mean to lack respect for someone?
I’m posing rhetorical questions because nothing annoys me more than having to read through text where someone is spoonfeeding me. I guess I’m giving you a bit of respect and assuming you know what I mean. If you don’t, you’re on the Internet and I’m confident you can go do some more research
So how do I demonstrate respect for my staff?
First, I appreciate their individuality. Not everyone is like me. Not everyone has the same goals or desires and hardly anyone is in the same financial situation. Very few have had the same experiences.
I try to enjoy their different viewpoints but I absolutely lay on the line what my expectations are and what I believe our responsibilities are to each other.
Second, I provide encouragement. Some call this coaching or mentoring but I find that a bit to patronising. I try to find out the ambitions and motivations of the people I work with and find ways to help them achieve. But stop right there Mister. Do not be insincere in regards to this. You must really hold this ideal to be true. If you genuinely and sincerely help your staff acheive, help them grow and help them love their job – it makes your job as a Manager that much easier. Never be scared of a person who might outshine you. That’s for the best as well. Help them go where they want to go and maybe one day they’ll return the favour.
Third, share responsibility and authority. It’s an absolute nightmare to have to do the same task day after day like a robot. Assembly-line work scare the bejeezers out of me. If you have a set of tasks that you undertake regularly – such as reports for senior management, delegate it to one (or more) of your staff, give them some guidance and assistance and them leave them to it. DO NOT micromanage it! Similarly, authorise your staff to make some decisions on your behalf. You’ll be amazed at the quality of the decisions you’ll see when you give your staff the opportunity to shine.
Fourthly, we’ve already touched on micromanagement – but it’s worth mentioning on its own. Don’t do it. Set the task, set the expectation, set the timeframe and expect the best. You only need to performance manage if they don’t deliver but that has yet to happen for me. People enjoy being trusted. Make sure you set concrete targets and provide any assistance required.
Lastly – and this really goes without saying – provide positive feedback all the time. Pat them on the back, go out and do lunch occassionally, set challenges and celebrate achieving them, publicise successes wider than just the team and give ALL credit to the team members responsible.
As long as you keep in mind that your staff are your arms and legs. You can only succeed with their assistance. Mutual trust and respect is absolutely essential.
Happy to hear your thoughts…. I’ll touch on another aspect of what I believe to be good management before next Sunday.