The beginning of a new year is always a perfect time to reflect on the work you’re doing, pinpoint areas where you can make positive change, and take steps to improve your professional life. When you’re in an important leadership role, the changes you make can have a powerful trickle down affect that helps to keep your team happy, productive, and satisfied. If your New Year’s resolution list includes “Be a Better Boss” in 2016, these tips will put you on the fast-track to hit your goals in no time!
1. Lead through example
If you want to instill certain behaviors or professional values in your team, one of the best way to show them the right path is to be a positive model for them to follow. Embrace the positive ideals your company and your team needs to thrive, and put them into play throughout your routine in a visible, meaningful way. Setting a good example can guide and inspire your employees to follow suit.
2. Create positive connections with your team
Even when people love their job, work can still feel like work. Building office camaraderie, as long as its professional in nature, can give a huge boost to morale and help improve the overall work atmosphere. Take time to get to know your team better on a more personal level, and work to forge stronger connections that show you value their contributions.
3. Solicit feedback and input
This is another incredibly effective way to make your employees feel like they’re valued members of the company. Being open to feedback is one thing, but going above and beyond to actually encourage your employees to offer input and ideas can go a long way towards enhancing the workplace on many different levels. Showing them you care about what they have to say will make a difference in their day-to-day routine, improving morale and productivity all-the-while.
4. Set realistic objectives and expectations
When the pressure to hit performance goals and deliver results is on, pushing your employees to excel can sometimes get a little out of hand. It’s important to set realistic goals and expectations. Ambitious deadlines aren’t a bad thing, but aiming for reachable heights can help keep your team from buckling under the pressure. Set achievable goals and consider building in some added flexibility into your plan to help keep your employees pushing forward without the added stress and anxiety. Rather than rule with an iron fist, remain conscious of the realities of the day-to-day workflow and try to be understanding when extenuating circumstances arise.
5. Be generous with well-deserved praise
Many bosses are so busy with their own high-pressure roles that they neglect to offer encouragement or rewards when employees go the extra mile. It’s valuable to highlight positive progress and offer well-deserved praise when things are going well. Beyond private praise on an individual basis, making a respectful public display for the whole team is also an important way to highlight exceptional people and achievements. Aside from being great for team morale, this encouragement offers incentive for employees to take the reigns and be proactive in excelling in their roles.
6. Empower your employees to excel
The true sign of a great boss is someone who takes the time to encourage and empower their employees to excel in their role and advance within a company. Give your people the tools and incentive they need to better their own professional life. This can enhance their respect and appreciation for you as a leader. Mentorship, skill building resources, promotion opportunities, and professional encouragement are all useful tools to help set your employees up for success.