Being a manager, your employees are your best asset that will help you do the best job. They are a tool and if treated correctly, will create a great work environment and a productive atmosphere. Listening to your employees and having an open door policy is your fist step at having happy, productive employees. Phillip Thow has a few suggestions for getting started:
Get out of your office
Don’t stay couped up an office and out of reach to your employees. If you get out of your office, walk around the office and get yourself out in front of your employees, you will seem much more approachable to your employees. Stop by an employee’s office and ask them how they are doing. Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Just this small exercise of getting out of the office and into the work environment will help ease tensions and let your employees know that you are approachable and willing to listen.
Don’t get confusing when explaining a task or project to an employee. Phillip Thow recommends that before presenting a task or project to an employee, create a list of expectations and goals for this task. Bring this list with you when introduce the new project and help guide them on the right path. Phillip Thow says that this not only helps the employee be more productive, but in addition, it shows them again that you are great at communication and thereby approachable.
Performance evaluations should be done at the minimum yearly; preferable every six months. Performance evaluations should evaluate the employee’s performance, attendance, work attitude, and any positive accomplishments that the employee has made since the last evaluation. Sitting down with the employee in a private setting for the evaluation is best. Once the evaluation is done, ask your employee to create goals for the time in between evaluations. This gives the employee something to strive for and a goal to reach. Take time during this employee evaluation to listen to any thoughts or concerns of the employee. Phillip Thow says to keep a written record of each evaluation and to make sure to check whether goals were met each time. This is another great opportunity to listen to your employees and show them that you are approachable and fair.
Phil Thow reminds us to always be empathetic towards employees. Be aware of your employee’s moods and if you notice something is off, invite the employee into your office and ask if they are okay and if there is anything that you can do to help their situation. They may or may not want to spill the beans, but Phil Thow says this action again shows that you are ready to listen at anytime and that you are approachable.
Phil Thow reminds us to notice the other side of the coin as well; notice your employees efforts and accomplishments and be sure to verbalize your appreciation for them. If they’ve worked hard and get no recognition from management, enthusiasm and drive fall and their work in turn will be less than satisfactory. Be sure to always remind employees of your appreciation for them and their hard work. Rewarding good performance and teamwork will not go unrecognized and will drastically improve the work environment.
Phil Thow recommends having monthly meetings with your employees and giving them the opportunity at this time to fill out anonymous surveys. These surveys will help you get the best information about how your staff is feeling and what, if anything, can be improved around the office. Employees are much more likely to be completely honest when they can do so in an anonymous way with no chance of ridicule. Try having a staff meeting where your employees can fill out anonymous surveys.
A positive manager/employee relationship is priceless to your company and its productivity. The happier and more comfortable your employees are at work each day, the more effective and productive they will be. Trust goes both ways and as a manager, you have to go the distance to show that you are a trustworthy, approachable person