As a boss, you’re only as good as the people you manage. Today, more than ever, the average workforce is rich with diversity. Try implementing the following suggestions to become a better boss.
A Better Boss Asks Employees for Help
Employees love to feel needed. They want to believe that their work has an impact. Since you’re the authority, then asking an employee for help will show them that you’re human. Use this technique sparingly. If you constantly ask for help, then your team might lose confidence in your ability or think you’re just lazy.
Ask Your Employees for Their Opinions
As Dale Carnegie often stresses, “Everyone’s favorite topic of conversation is themselves.” Asking employees for their input creates cohesiveness within the group, even if you don’t implement their ideas. The intention is not to create a democracy, but to loosen up the workplace atmosphere and encourage the free flow of ideas. Part of being a good boss, and leader, is cultivating an atmosphere where your employees want to please you and show you their best.
Give Someone an Unexpected Day Off
Every employee would jump at a paid day off if you offered it to them, regardless of how much they love their job. The best approach is surprising them with the offer. This show of gratitude can have far-reaching benefits for you. Down the road, if a situation arises where you need an employee to go beyond the scope of his job to help you, he’ll likely remember the time when you did the same for him.
Participate In a Group Activity Outside of the Workplace
Use discretion when spending time with employees outside of the workplace. Arrange a group activity, instead of choosing only one or two employees. Popular group activities among co-workers are bowling, miniature golf, flag football, video game tournaments, and even slot-car racing. Setting up a competition with another company in your area, or even a different department of your company, strengthens the bond between you and your employees.
Host Cash Prize Contests for Your Employees
Naturally, the business you’re in will determine if running a contest is practical. Few things will get employees more motivated than cold hard cash; especially with commission-based employees. The A&E Network used to air a reality series featuring a used-car lot owner affectionately named “Chopper.” Chopper was a self-made man, a true American entrepreneur, and frequently ran sales contests with top prizes, ranging from $500.00 to more than $1000.00, for whoever had the most sales at the end of the day.
Use Reverse Psychology by Giving Credit Where It Isn’t Due
If you’ve ever bowled in a bowling league, then you have probably heard of the “Most Improved Bowler” award that one bowler receives each season. The American Bowling Congress, or ABC, created the award in order to motivate beginner-level bowlers into participating more in the game. By giving this award, the ABC plants the idea of improving into the bowler’s mind, and then the bowler desires to improve even more.
This tactic is just as effective in the workplace as it is in the bowling alley. Praise one of your employees for doing something well, and then lay the compliments on a bit thicker than usual. He will do his best to validate your compliments. For example, if you tell an employee that you admire his work ethic and sense of responsibility, then his tardiness will improve. Don’t go overboard with the compliments, or this method will backfire. Hollow compliments are more offensive than genuine criticism, so kissing up to your employees will cause them to lose trust in your leadership.
You may not be the best boss in the world, but your desire to improve (at all) speaks volumes about your character and integrity. Remember that your employees are people, and they all want to feel valued and appreciated like everyone else. Great bosses cultivate dedicated employees.
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