Everyone wants to be liked by their employees; but understandably, not everyone wants to break the bank to be liked.
As poor employee - leader relations is a big factor in team failure, I have researched the best five affordable ways to ensure that your employees will love you:
1. Give the gift of time
Virtually free but in increasingly short supply in our manically busy lives, one way to make your employees love you is to give them the gift of your time.
Take the time to thank your employee's for the good job they did on a recent project, or take the time to wish them all a nice weekend or evening.
Create conversations with them throughout the working day, catch up with them after busy deadlines or create ways to get to know them on a personal level - how many kids do they have? Do they have dogs? Whats their favourite hobby? You'll be surprised at how much most employees value personal workplace relationships.
And finally, give them your time to focus on their workplace development. Provide your time to give performance reviews, offer hour long job chats or create feedback sessions in which you can discuss how they are feeling at work.
Time seems like such a simple thing to give, but in our busy lives it is more valuable than it seems.
2. Break the rules when they deserve to be broken
It may seem that to be a loveable leader you should treat everyone equally. However, treating everyone the same isn't always fair, as employees will contribute differently to the team.
For instance, Jane always puts in 110%, she's your 'yes man' - whatever needs doing, however many overtime hours it requires or however difficult the task is, Jane will do it.
But recently, Jane has been struggling with her mental health and has asked for every Wednesday afternoon off work so that she can see her therapist and take some time to work on healing herself. Of course, normally whole afternoons of work every week would not be allowed, but since Jane has given 110%` for X number of years, it would be the correct thing to do to bend the rules and allow her to take some much needed time off work.
3. Be transparent, trusting and communicate openly
Seems easy, right? But many leaders do find this hard to do.
Being transparent involves keeping your employees in the loop of all decisions and changes. You shouldn't be belittling your employees by not keeping them informed on any company decisions, contracts or ordeals.
Communicating openly is very similar to being a transparent leader. You must not hold anything back from your employees and ensure that a sense of free communication is promoted throughout the team. One of the top ways to ensure that your employees are happy is to create a sense of 'psychological safety', where your employees feel that they can share their opinions and thoughts freely without the worry of being judged or knocked down.
To be a trusting leader you should encourage your employees to come to you in times of need, you should be passionate, you should show compassion, you should always always always keep your promises and you should trust your employees to the fullest.
A final point to make, is that by being a transparent and open leader, this will, in return, make your employees transparent and trusting with you. This will create a positive and happy working environment for everyone.
4. Praise in public, correct in private
We have all been there - a public scolding from your boss can be extremely embarrassing and intimidating, and is almost guaranteed to make you hate them with vengeance.
So, be sure to always scold your employees in private where it is just you and them, and anyone else who is necessary. This will create a sense of trust within the organisation and will encourage people to act more freely without the fear of a public telling off or correction.
In saying all this, do make sure you do give praise both in private and in public where it is due. People will feel uplifted by a public appreciation of their work, and they will feel valued and respected if they are drawn to one side and thanked by you in private.
5. Provide opportunities for career and personal development
A final way to ensure that your employees love you is to create opportunities for them to develop and excel.
To provide opportunities for development you can:
- Provide ways to expand or improve their network, such as hosting networking conferences or putting your employees in touch with the correct people in your own network.
- Create growth plans: create a 12 month plan with every employee, this plan should include where they want to go, how they can get there and what you can do to assist them on their journey.
- Set 90 day learning goals, and encourage your employees to share it with each other so that everyone can help them to reach their goal within 90 days.
- Introduce training schemes to provide current employees with new and more up to date skills.
Admittedly, this is a more costly option - but you can make these career development opportunities as expensive or inexpensive as you like.