Maybe you’re noticing a dip in sales or productivity at work, or perhaps you’re dealing with some bad attitudes with your staff. If there is a problem internally, you may not be leading your staff in the most effective way. If you want to make a big change within your staff, you should start those changes with yourself. Here are a few things to focus on as you learn how to be the change you want to see in your team.
Lead by example
It may seem cliché or trite, but it’s still very true that the most effective leader is the one that practices what he or she preaches. If you want your staff to do something, do it yourself first. Don’t expect your employees to arrive to work five minutes early every day when you regularly show up 15 minutes late. You want to set a good example for them to follow. If you want your staff to think more creatively, practice some creative thinking exercises with them. Don’t get angry at your staff for doing things one way if you’re doing them that same way.
The buck stops with you
It may seem counter-intuitive to your normal self-preserving instincts, but when you’re the manager, the buck stops with you. Be willing to take the blame for things that go wrong. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t discipline an employee to correct an action, but it means that their failure is your failure. If an employee makes a mistake, it’s because of your failure to train them sufficiently. Be willing to step up and share that blame. Know that their loss is your loss, and that admission will go a very long way to building loyal and productive employees.
Just as you share in the blame when things go wrong, so too should you share the celebration when things go right. Be sure not to enjoy all the glory that comes with a job well done by yourself. Instead, find ways to share that success with your team. Give them small rewards and offer what you can as a bonus or incentive. Buy them lunch, coffee or even just take the time to tell them that your success is due to the entire team’s hard work. When you show your team that you’re willing to share the success, they’ll be more willing to work hard to get you that success.
The Golden Rule
Another very simple way to build your staff’s loyalty is to simply live by the Golden Rule: treat everyone else as you’d like to be treated. Just because you’re the boss, that doesn’t give you free reign to be rude. Instead, make sure to be kind to your staff, offer them the same courtesies you would expect them to offer to you. Then, as you and your team deal with harder projects, you’ll all be more likely to have each other’s backs through even the most difficult of times.
This article was written by Deborah Flomberg for Small Business Pulse