Managing a team of employees is a complex, and difficult responsibility. Many people in leadership roles want to establish personal relationships with their employees, which is beneficial, but not the most important approach. Exceeding certain boundaries in this aspect can negatively impact your business. Though it may be a difficult reality to accept, business relationships should be strictly professional. Friendliness is always a plus, but expecting friendships to blossom from managing employees should be avoided.
A manager’s authority over his or her employees creates somewhat of a barrier between both parties. The best thing you can do as a leader is acknowledge that metaphorical distance. Respect an employee’s decision to not eclipse that barrier, should he or she choose to maintain nothing more than a business relationship. However, friendliness, humility, and respect can portray an open mind. Simply leaving the door open for your staff to see you as less of a boss and more of a co-worker is a step in the right direction.
Another harsh reality for those in a position of power is that it is impossible to know what your employees want at all times. These desires could include insight into their future with the company, better opportunities available, or even an adjustment of their hours. Regardless, unless made known, managers won’t be able to pick up on their employees’ wants. That is why as a manager, you should never shy away from asking questions. Even if you feel as though their requests will be unattainable, showing that you care about their thoughts and opinions can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to raise expectations either. An employee that feels like your business is stagnant or progressing slowly will seek job opportunities elsewhere.
Humility is perhaps one of the most important qualities of a good manager. Many leaders believe they possess more power than they actually do, which can lead to an abuse of this power. Managers should earn the trust and respect of their employees. Expecting your staff to listen to you at all times simply because of your position within the company can belittle their titles, and damage any preexisting faith.
A key trait that is often overlooked by leaders is self-confidence. Once given the position of manager, know that you made it to that point for a reason. Your co-workers and peers trust you to lead and make the right decisions. A manager who fails to see this, doubting every decision they make along the way, will eventually be consumed by their own self-doubt, leading to a decline in not only his or her efficiency, but the staff’s as well. Tell yourself the truth in specific situations before telling others. Even if it is a hard pill to swallow, it is vital to deliver this news without sugarcoating any details. Employees should see their managers as deliverers of all happenings within the workplace.
Holding a management position is no easy task. It is important to understand your role as a leader, properly handle the power you were given, and establish trust among your staff without crossing any boundaries.