Humans have a natural drive to be liked, and as a manager, this drive can be beneficial for the working environment. If your employees like you both as a boss and as a person, they’ll have stronger morale and a greater motivation to complete quality work. Here are a few tips to keep you on good terms with your staff.
Don’t try too hard.
Managers sometimes have to reign in their desire to make friends in the office. On one hand, this can cross professional boundaries that should stay in place, and on the other, managers may find themselves crossing into the territory of the “cool boss.” Your employees can tell when you’re trying too hard, and this reflects poorly on you as a leader. Instead, allow relationships to form naturally and avoid being too informal or forward.
Accept criticism and admit mistakes.
If you think you’re infallible as the boss, think again. This sort of attitude can be alienating to your staff, so when you make a mistake, own up to it. You might apologize on a one-on-one basis if it’s a personal misunderstanding, or publically if it’s something that has affected a number of staff members. Additionally, you should both accept and welcome constructive criticism when it comes to your policies, management style, and other aspects of the workplace. Not only will you seem more approachable to your colleagues, but you’ll be more relatable as well.
Don’t be over-present.
Too much face time with a boss can put employees on edge, so do your best to be present and available when needed without hovering. Spending too much time with your staff can also serve to highlight personal differences that may go unnoticed with less visibility. Make a point of being around for big news or landmarks in your company’s performance, but otherwise leave some breathing room between you and your staff.
Be tech focused.
In the IT industry, there are constant developments in software, hardware, and other exciting tech gadgets. If you want to make your staff happy, keep them on the cutting edge of fresh technology by offering them freebies, demos, and opportunities to try out new products and tools. Your staff will respect your industry expertise as a result, and think highly of you for providing them with skill building or enjoyable experiences.
Becoming a well-liked boss can be a challenge, but if you follow these four tips, you can quickly become your staff’s favorite boss. In many instances, that relationship must develop organically, so above all, try not to force something that isn’t’ there naturally.