Managing a team of people is one of the most challenging – and also rewarding – things that people can do at work. It means you yourself have worked hard to get to a position of influence within a business – or are indeed the boss!
However, all is not rosy in the garden of UK workplaces, as our new survey shows the average office worker spends more than SIX days a YEAR just complaining about their manager or boss.
One in five spending about an hour a day thinking negative thoughts about who is managing them – but do not despair! This seems to be part of a wider picture that shows three quarters of these workers felt their workplace had a culture of moaning and that certain people and situations were catalysts for the whinging to begin.
It is tempting to think of this kind of behaviour in employees as light-hearted or just annoying, however, there is a serious issue at the heart of this from a wider productivity and bottom line perspective with people who moan regularly about their manager, on average, being paid nearly £700 a year for the privilege.
So, how can you ensure that your workforce is happy and productive and not leaving their working day worn out by negativity? Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team to help everyone leave the office with a smile on their face.
- Make your decision – are you a manager or a leader? The difference is often greater than you think, but the main one is that leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them. A successful business owner or head of a team, ideally needs to be a strong leader with good management skills to get their team on board to follow them towards their vision of success.
- Do you have a leadership model? If not, why don’t you try and find one? Here are some good places to start
- You can walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Often so much about human distance is communication. Finding a successful way to discuss business with your team is critical to getting them on board with what you want to achieve.
- Do you identify their talent and nurture it? Have you found out what the individuals of your team are really good at and help them to achieve their goals? Employees who are provided with the opportunity to succeed at what they are good at are far more likely to put 100% into things that they find less enjoyable or rewarding.
- Do you tell them when they have done something well? Often in workplaces employees feel they are not valued and that the only time they receive feedback is when it is critical – learn to give praise and reward both individuals and the team as a whole in a way that means something to them. There is no point in giving a bottle of Champagne to someone who is t-total!
- Are you a part of the team – or an outsider? This is a hard one to crack because often managers feel they have to keep a personal distance from their team to avoid conflict of interest, however, people are social beings and far more likely to give 100% for someone they feel has invested in them personally as well as professionally. Spend some time getting to know their interests and what they do outside of work. This improves communication and helps win their trust when you need them to go the extra mile.
- Feeling the pressure? Well, the chances are your team is too. And if you are struggling and stressed out you are passing this down the line. How are you personally coping with your own stress and what example is this setting to your team? Work can be hard and it’s important to make use of any resources you have to enable a positive approach to dealing with stress. Here are some helpful links to being more mindful and dealing with stress at work:
- Do you set clear goals and objectives? Managing a team can be hugely stressful with a lot of pressure. You want your team to help you in the right way so are you sure you really know what you expect of them and are you delivering?
- What do you do if you find out someone has been moaning about you or a colleague? Despite appearances, experts believe that people who are consistently moaning or ‘slagging off’ people behind their backs are doing so because they feel vulnerable and out of control. The behaviour, which can often turn into a group or ‘pack’ behaviour, is often born out of insecurity so ask yourself, do I/the company also have to take accountability for their actions? Too often it’s easy to focus on the incident or problem than to see the big picture. Before reacting, take some time to figure out why it’s happening and what you can do to act positively to change their behaviour.
- What if things have gone too far? In extreme cases, of course, things can go too far and it is vitally important for the rest of the team’s morale that this is handled well and that people are communicated with properly if a dismissal or legal action has to be taken. Change of any kind can be hard to manage on top of the day job, so ensure you keep things professional and as open as possible for all concerned.