Here are some key things you can do to be one of those bosses that help to connect, motivate and engage your people.
A survey by Glassdoor of 2000 UK workers in 2017 found that one in five people will resign because of a bad boss.
The most common problem was ‘disrespectful’ behaviour and stretched from ignoring employees to taking credit for others’ work. They discovered 41 per cent had skipped work because of a terrible boss and 20 per cent had been forced to take sick leave.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
1. Connect their work to the big picture:
Ensure everyone understands their role and how their performance matters to the business. People are engaged when their daily work contributes to something bigger than themselves.
2. Recognise and reward:
Notice what they’re doing well and show appreciation in ways that matter to the individual. In a recent workshop of twelve people I asked people what motivated them. Of course money was mentioned but so were, development, new opportunities, excellent feedback and mentoring.
3. Do what you say you will do:
Make sure people know the Vision, Mission and Values. Help them see and understand the strategy and the steps that are being taken. And make sure you walk the talk by being a role model of the values. Saying one thing but doing another kills vision and belief.
It’s been said that it’s not that people don’t like change but they don’t like being changed. There are times in an organisation’s journey when change needs to be imposed but this should be the exception and not the norm. People throughout the business have great suggestions, ideas and insight. As a manager it’s your job to bring out the best from your people so that they are driving the change themselves.
5. Let go:
It’s the only way to really empower people. My challenge to you is, ‘What would you do and not do if you really trusted your people?’ I once had a manager who told me he had never ever given so much freedom to an individual working for him as he did to me – but I still wanted more. I still felt I was being held back. Check your perspective by asking them.
6. Stretch them:
People can surprise us when we help them go beyond their comfort zone. They grow in belief and self-confidence. When you stretch them it shows you’re confident in them and this always brings out the best.
Engaged people make more discretionary effort. It’s a win-win. When you do these things you’ll find managing easier, less time consuming and more rewarding.
In the 1960s, Douglas McGregor put forward his theory of motivation and management which involved Theory X and Theory Y styles of management. Theory X managers see people as workshy, lazy and irresponsible. Theory Y managers see people as hardworking, responsible and problem solvers. People will tend to respond in accordance with the way that you see and treat them. If you view them as incapable, you will treat them that way and they will act accordingly. If you view them as people with the potential to take responsibility and do well, they will respond to this positively.