When you’re running a business, it can be hard to know how to strike the right balance between creating professional and personal relationships with your staff. You don’t want to be overbearing and stifle your team so they never want to come to work.
But you also don’t want to have everything too relaxed and make it clear you have a couple of favourites within the group. The secret is to figure out how to boost employee wellbeing and morale, so we created a 3-minute read that’ll tell you exactly what you need to do.
Give some thought to the way you guide their careers
If you want to demotivate someone, be non-committal and vague when they ask you about their prospects for development and advancement. Everyone wants to have a clear idea of what they’re working towards, so make sure you are open when these sorts of questions come up.
And what’s more, don’t wait to be asked. If you want to boost morale set every employee on a clear developmental pathway. That way they’ll feel a lot more invested in the business and the team because they’ll feel like they’re getting somewhere, rather than just turning up for a pay cheque.
Put on formal events to celebrate key milestones
Formal events for birthdays, milestones, big sales deals, and anything else you can think of are a great idea. It’s all about humanising your role as the boss or manager by showing your employees you really do value their input. Be more relaxed, let them cut loose, and get to know them at these types of events. That way, you’ll come across as sincere, and they’ll find you a lot more approachable when it’s time to get back to some hard work.
Be open, honest, and transparent when breaking bad news
No one likes to know they’ve been overlooked for promotion, or that their bonus isn’t going to be as big as it was last year, there’s just no getting away from that. But what you can do is take the time to speak to everyone as an individual just like you would like to be spoken to yourself in these sorts of situations.
Being open, honest, and transparent is the best way to make them understand the decision that’s been made. You shouldn’t expect them to smile and skip out of the door, but it will ensure there’s no resentment that builds silently in the background.
Set achievable targets that will make the whole team pull together
Targets motivate a team like nothing else, but they need to be realistic. If a target is too easy then it’s basically pointless, and if it’s too hard it will make the whole team feel like you’re completely disconnected from the struggles they face on a daily basis.
The best approach is to set a challenging yet ultimately achievable goal: the sort that could be reached if everyone found an extra 10% let’s say. They’ll then have something to shoot for that will give them that feel-good factor when they achieve it.
Get to know the people behind the job titles
Your staff are people at the end of the day, so why not take a little time to get to know them? You don’t have to try and be everyone’s best friend, and actually, that’s a big turnoff for most employees.
But what you do need to do is understand what makes them tick. Everyone responds to criticism, pressure, and motivation differently, and the more you can tailor your management style the better. It’s all about putting yourself in a position to get the most out of your team, and it’ll be your career, and the business as a whole, that benefits from your proactive approach in the long run.
Have lunch with the team at least once a week
Having lunch with the team is a great way to make yourself more accessible and approachable. You don’t have to turn it into a meeting with sandwiches on the side, but if someone raises an issue with you, engage with it. There’s no use turning up and spending the whole hour talking about work, and there’s also no use in telling people to find you once you’re finished eating.
Strike the right balance and you’ll soon find that your team seek you out when they have issues, rather than suffering in silence.
Always thank someone for a job well done
Last but not least, celebrate the high achievers and superstars in your team. When someone does a great job there’s nothing more deflating than feeling like no one noticed, so don’t be the boss who does that. Take the time to thank them, spell out how it will help them build their career, and motivate them to keep going in the same vein. It’s the best way to get the most out of the team.