Managing people is hard. So often, it is brushed aside because it can feel so intangible. Everyone knows if you didn’t complete a project. But very few know if you’re falling short on being a good boss.
Brushing aside this responsibility is down right shortsighted. You’re failing your employees and, in doing so, your organizational culture. Don’t forget this is a core responsibility, and don’t forget the five things below that supervisors are so likely to forget:
1. Forget to clearly state expectations: Do your employees know what is expected of them? When you give them a new project, do they know the timing, the end goal, and the stakeholders involved? If you forget to do this, you’re making projects far harder to complete and failing to have the upfront conversations that make project planning easier. And, you’re singlehandedly contributing to a culture of inefficiency and poor communication.
2. Forget to do regular check-ins: How often do you schedule 1:1 meetings with your team members? If it’s less often than twice a month, you’re not really checking in. Projects shift and need re-jiggering. Your team members will no doubt have questions and want guidance. If you’re not making yourself available, you’re creating a culture of uncertainty, and, once again, a culture of poor communication.
3. Forget to ask about employees’ weekends: All work and no play makes for one heck of a lousy work culture. Employees do actually have lives outside of their workplace. When you forget to ask about their outside activities, you fail to acknowledge them as anything other than a working cog. And what kind of workplace culture would you have if it were made up of nameless cogs?
4. Forget to say, “Thank you”: Our recent research found that only 21% of employees feel truly valued in their workplace. When you consider that appreciation and recognition is a major driver of hard work and going the extra mile, you’d be foolish not to say these two little words. Organizations that fail to recognize a job well done will develop cultures of under appreciation. And that leads to fairly unpleasant work environments.
5. Forget to ask employees what they want to accomplish: Employees are people too. And when supervisors forget to consider their teams’ desires for career progression and professional growth, they fail to let employees reach their full potential. This is particularly alarming since 66% of all employees don't feel they have great growth opportunities. Do this and you’ll be stuck with a culture of apathetic employees coming in just to get a paycheck.
Here’s what’s notable about all of these frequently forgotten things: they are easy to fix!
Schedule a recurring weekly or bi-weekly 1:1 meeting with all of your team members (and every so often ask about their long-term goals). Ask them about their weekend on Monday morning. Fully discuss project expectations, and don’t hesitate to say, “Thank You” when they do a great job. You’ll have happier, more productive employees, and your work culture will flourish because of it.