Being a manager is about more than making hiring decisions and disseminating policy. Driving performance in employees is a multifaceted challenge that requires a variety of worker-facing attitudes and values to create a corporate culture that is productive, unified, and happy.
Responsive and compassionate management can overcome many pervasive workplace issues, from turnover to engagement to workplace cooperation. While some manager and HR professionals attempt to address such issues at an employee level, cultivating a company culture founded on good business communication skills and empathy is a far more effective way to create the workplace you want, and it’s a process that starts with the management.
As a manager, employees will look to you to seek inspiration and direction. Thus, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the goals you want your team to achieve, and ensure that they’re shared by your staff. Business Insider indicated that identifying these objectives and making sure they are clearly communicated throughout your entire team is one of the most important things a leader can do to encourage performance.
In order to achieve maximum worker engagement throughout your company, an environment must be fostered in which employees feel personally invested in the work that they’re doing. According to Forbes, this can be easier said than done, as only around 30 percent of workers surveyed indicated they were fully engaged. It’s important to overcome this separation many workers feel between the work they do as an individual and the impact it can have on the overall company. Taking care to both hold employees accountable for their own results as well as foster a culture where success and excellence receive recognition are two steps that can be taken toward this end.
If properly implemented, such tactics can not only keep your staff more productive but can also keep them happier and, by extension, employed with your company for longer. At a time when 40 percent of employees report an intention to find a new job within six months, according to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), management strategies designed to retain top talent prove essential for companies to save money and HR man hours in recruiting.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to identify what it is that employees want from an employer. According to HBR, management that demonstrates trust in its employees is more likely to have a loyal and dedicated workforce. Workers want to feel valued, which means that managers should be confident about giving them responsibilities that make use of their skills and abilities. And staff typically want to be able to play as hard as they work—so it pays to be generous and flexible with things such as requests for time off or non-standard scheduling.
One condition that you may not be able to directly control when it comes to your workplace is how different employees interact with each other. Though it’s possible to hire for cultural fit as well as skills, the reality of any situation with multiple people involved is that personality clashes are inevitable, and management should know how to handle workplace conflict effectively.
HBR revealed that one of the biggest tools that any manager has in his or her toolbox when it comes to defusing a potential combative situation at work is empathy and emotional intelligence. In most instances, conflict arises when people feel like their concerns aren’t being met. Knowing how to acknowledge those feelings in a real way instead of brushing them aside in the name of conflict resolution is a key management competency that can help you keep the peace at work.