The actions of a boss directly affect the actions of employees. Make sure your habits reflect the very best version of you, increasing staff motivation, enthusiasm, and productivity.
Read our five Corporate Habits that negatively impact your workplace morale.
1. Being a ‘Boss’ rather than a ‘Leader’
"A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could. - Charles Erwin Wilson"
75% of people leaving jobs, don’t quit their jobs, but they quit their bosses. Being a successful and motivating boss can be difficult at the best of times, even if you are a natural born leader.
What is the difference between a boss and a leader?
By definition, A boss is ‘a person who is in charge of a worker or organization.’ A boss assignments tasks, controls employees and makes the all-important decisions.
A leader is able to influence and inspire others, leading by example to ensure employees are focussed, dedicated and motivated.
How to inspire employees:
Share your vision – let them be part of it. Knowing you're involved in something special is a fantastic feeling!
Forget micro-managing; it’s belittling, frustrating and reduces productivity
Praise, encourage and develop staff – training, rewards, and celebrations are great, but sometimes all it takes is a simple “Thank You for working so hard on this”
Talk about the possibilities and benefits – describe 'why' a task is important, not just 'how' to do it.
Share your knowledge and gain theirs - take the time to truly understand each other's skills sett and passions.
Acknowledge and act on feedback!
2. Being too busy to connect with your team
"A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected."
An essential part of being in charge of a team is continuous work on building relationships with strong bonds of trust- this simply cannot be done if you don’t take the time to connect with your team. Of course, being in upper management is stressful and inevitably you won’t find the time to check in with every member of staff on a daily basis. However, when days turn into weeks, issues will arise due to a lack of connection and communication.
Poor communication within a company can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and frustration among employees. Lack of transparency, unclear expectations, and insufficient feedback channels can all contribute to a negative work environment.
How to build a connection and trust within a team:
Be fair – take a close look before you tumble down on someone for their actions. Take a moment to put the situation into reasonable perspective, asking ‘Why did this happen’ not ‘How did you let this happen’. Doing so may highlight ways in which you can offer further support to staff.
Honesty is the best policy - ensure you remain transparent, even if the news is negative.
Don’t gossip – this isn’t high school! Staff members' personal information should remain confidential and most definitely avoid negative remarks regarding employees.
Get stuck in - don’t just say you’re a team player, prove it! Don’t ask others to do the jobs you dislike, finish your own work and maybe even offer to take the brew every now and again! What’s the harm?
Be empathetic – try and be understanding of individual situations, support your staff and don’t be afraid to offer help.
3. Underestimating the value of feedback
"We all need good people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve" - Bill Gates
Nobody is perfect, that's why open, honest communication is essential to ensure employees aren’t afraid to admit when things haven’t gone quite to plan. It happens!
Ask questions, provide surveys and honesty boxes- there are many ways to gain honest feedback. Regardless of their position, all employees should be listened to. If a culture of ignorance flourishes within an organisation, the likelihood of feedback diminishes, as its felt comments often fall on deaf ears.
Failing to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts and achievements of employees can demotivate them. Regular recognition, whether through praise, rewards, or opportunities for growth, is crucial for maintaining high staff morale.
4. Setting a bad example
The actions of a boss directly affect the actions of their staff. Dress how you’d want your employees to dress. Work when you want your employees to work. Don’t arrive 40 minutes late in tracksuit if you expect your staff to arrive 15 minutes early in a suit and tie. Regardless of your position, enforce the behaviors you wish your employees to reflect.
Examples of negative habits impacting your staff:
Talking over others – making others feel inadequate and undervalued.
Leaving events and training seminars early – leaving early undermines the importance of such events, encouraging employees to take it less seriously.
Focussing on negativity – remember to always praise where praise is due!
Working on your time/days off – this can make others feel as though this behavior is expected, negatively affecting their work-life balance.
Whilst your input is well valued, you can’t provide it at every stage of your employees work. Constantly monitoring and controlling every aspect of employees' work can be demoralising. Micromanagement undermines trust, stifles creativity, and prevents individuals from taking ownership of their responsibilities. Understand the way in which people work has changed, trust and flexibility are now key for attracting and retaining the best talent. Let your employees know you believe in their skills.
If you're looking for more advice on creating a positive working environment and company culture, check out our other employer resources and blogs here.
For a confidential discussion, get in touch!