As we celebrate our nation’s independence, many working professionals wish they could muster the courage of our forefathers to make their own Declaration of Independence. Poorly managed employees have a valid list of grievances. Could your management style be stifling your company’s productivity?
1.“I don’t know what’s expected.” Lazy management is not independence. You might think you are giving your employees freedom, but an approach which is too “hands off” will make them feel anxious. Give clear direction. Employees can’t hit a moving target and will grow weary of poorly defined or frequently changing goals. Don’t leave your people guessing about whether they’re meeting expectations.
2. “I’m sick of being micromanaged.” Mentor, don’t hover. Just like “helicopter parents,” managers who hover too closely will stifle creativity. Make yourself available to answer questions and check in regularly, but don’t breathe down your employees’ necks. Give them space to brainstorm and experiment. Employees will grow more confident and competent when they are given the freedom to explore. Demonstrate trust and expect failures. It’s all part of the innovation process.
3. “I don’t feel appreciated.” People need to feel a sense of purpose. This may be lacking in a workplace atmosphere so “free” that progress is never measured or rewarded. A lack of manager awareness means poor work and productivity alike will go unnoticed. Your employees will begin to wonder if their accomplishments even matter. Be deliberate about recognizing achievements.
4. “My ideas aren’t valued.” Don’t override your team’s decisions without proper consideration. The reason you hired these professionals is because they bring a diverse and valuable collection of competencies. If decisions are routinely vetoed by management, employees will stop innovating. Listen to and carefully evaluate new ideas. If you must veto, offer solid reasoning. You lose your employees’ respect when you presumptively dismiss their proposals.
5. “I’m always the last to know.” The workplace is a fast-changing environment. If managers don’t prioritize communication, they will cultivate disgruntled workers. Share information as quickly and authentically as possible. Schedule regular meetings so communication isn’t shoved aside by deadlines. Nothing is more frustrating than feeling you’ve wasted time and energy pursuing a defunct goal. Managers who are candid and communicative will reap their employees’ respect.
6. “I’m treated like a number.” Get to know your employees as individuals. Call them by name. Find out what makes them tick. You never want to overstep personal boundaries, but a little interest goes a long way in building trust. Share your own relevant career experiences and listen to employees’ ideas on how to improve the workplace. By establishing a safe environment for personal expression, you will strengthen employee satisfaction.
Managing right is the key to fostering workplace independence. Brink Results can help through targeted training, workshops and behavioral assessments like ProScan® , which empowers management to capitalize on employees’ strengths and motivations. This creates an environment which reduces stress while increasing morale.
Your employees will thrive in a secure, communicative workplace where independence is supported through clear direction, regular feedback and recognition of achievements.