You’ve might’ve noticed something obvious by now…
We talk a lot about management on this blog, and even more about teams.
And yet, we talk even more about people.
Because people are what makes companies thrive or die. People sell products, not companies. People are what make you a great boss, or a terrible one.
Speaking of being a great boss…
There are very few absolutely mandatory requirements for being a worthwhile leader and effective manager of people…
…but one is this: people should want to work for you.
Note: we didn’t say they need to like you, or approve of every single thing you do throughout your day. We didn’t even say they need to be completely fulfilled at work 100% of the time…
Your employees need to want to work for you, and with you.
It’s one of the single most important traits to being an effective manager of people, so let’s dive in a little bit.
Why does this matter?
Like we’ve done in several other blog posts, we’re going back to goals now.
What are your personal goals for work?
- Get raises
- Make more money
- Change the world
- Be fulfilled
Pretty common themes, and luckily we don’t have to dive into the goals of most of your employees… as it’s likely they are similar.
So, working backwards through the formula and strategy for achieving those goals… it should be obvious that other people are a huge factor in your own personal goals (again, as well as your employees).
You can’t do your best work without the aid of mentors, proper and effective guidance from your superiors, and A+ work completed by your team members.
People are important.
Your work and personal goals specifically depend on other human beings in the workplace, so it is imperative that they want to work with you! Real relationships (and even friendships) are everything in business, and it’s crucial you set yourself up for success with your own employees.
Let’s get started.
Here are a few tips for getting people to sincerely enjoy working with you (and for you!)
1 – Treat EVERYBODY you work with like VIPs.
We were going to say treat your employees like VIPs…but the truth is it goes farther than that.
Nobody wants to work for someone who talks bad about other people behind their back, so this point includes upper management and your direct superiors as well!
And what do we mean by VIPs?
Not just “special.” Treat them like royalty every single day.
Like we’ve said many times before, your coworkers are essential to accomplishing your own goals. Treat them with the utmost respect and trust. Find unique and important ways to show them you care about them everyday, even if it’s just saying hello with a smile on your face.
(yes, we’re aware that is the corniest advice ever, but that doesn’t make it wrong now does it?)
2 – Get known in your field outside your own building.
We get it, you’re loyal to your company and to your team, but authority means a great deal.
By authority, we do not mean “in charge,” we mean “documented and recognized knowledge and expertise” in your given field.
- give presentations at industry meetings,
- volunteer to teach a class or two at a local college
- write stuff on the Internet (start a blog, or just write relevant articles on Medium)
The sky is the limit as far as opportunities, and making your expertise and knowledge known outside of your own building carries a few huge benefits:
- You might actually attract outside talent to your company
- You will gain more rapport and respect from your own coworkers
- You will have forced yourself into learning situations (You wouldn’t want to appear dumb in any public manner, right? You’ll likely study before any presentations, etc).
- Honestly, you will get notice by other entities that could lead to future jobs, deals, or other opportunities.
Become an expert, why don’t ya?
3 – Be the fun boss (but not in that way).
We did not say “the silly boss”, or the boss that chooses to be inappropriately chummy, or the boss that chooses to be buddies while sacrificing effectiveness.
Maybe we should not say “fun,” but “passionate and enthusiastic.”
Be the boss who makes actual WORK fun. Bring passion and energy into your meetings, and your daily interactions with employees. Let them see you as the man/woman who LOVES her work. Be that role model.
Enthusiasm is contagious.
(also, this will never ever look bad to your superiors either)
4 – As always, empower other people.
Your job is not too control your team.
Your job as a manager is to let them loose to tackle important problems, and do meaningful work for the company and themselves.
- Lead them, don’t control them.
- Educate them, don’t hold them back.
- Give them more responsibility, not less. They won’t let you down.
Transfer more of your responsibilities and power, and delegate. Set themselves up for their own personal wins in front upper management. They will love you for it.
5 – Be a straight-shooter.
We really couldn’t figure out any other way to say this…but this just entails getting known as the completely honest and trustworthy boss.
Again, this particular bullet point often falls into the “well duh, Wide Angle” category.
Stuff you’ve read and self-help books for years… but also stuff managers fail to live by every day:
- Do not mislead, lie to, or trick your employees. Ever. This is a one-way ticket to destroy trust.
- If you make promises, follow-through (put things in your calendar ASAP and don’t leave yourself room to forget)
- Adopt a reputation of being fully transparent.
This last point needs to be explained a little bit further…
In our opinion, becoming known as the “no-nonsense” boss can be a slippery slope.
On one hand, yes, employees generally appreciate a boss that will tell things like it is…good or bad. However, it is important not to err on the side of being offensive and blunt.
Develop a straight shooter mindset that your employees can depend on when they need.
6 – Don’t just seek out trust, BE trustworthy.
We have written on trust quite a bit, so we’ll keep this really short:
Trust is a vital component to having people want to work with you, but it’s not like something you can simply sign up for for $19 a month; it requires actually being a trustworthy person.
In addition to #5 above, all of your coworkers need to feel confident they can rely on you when they need you, and that you won’t talk about them in a negative way behind their backs.
Gossip and the like does nothing but inform the people you talk to that you can’t be trusted not to talk about them either.
7 – Allow employees to become insiders.
Believe it or not, your employees probably want to know what’s going on in the organization!
So, include them as much as possible.
This could mean running important decisions by them (this could likely make you a better decision maker as well), or just telling them about important upcoming changes within the department.
Don’t divulge important secrets of course, but you should make a mental note that your employees do care about their careers, and the company…else they wouldn’t have taken the job to begin with.
(In fact, they might even want inclusion and camaraderie more than they do compensation benefits. There are a million different articles about the millennial workforce published every day for a reason; they think differently and want different things out of work. One of these things is to feel included)
If at all possible, share information with your team members. Empower them. Make them part of the process and successes.
If you’re truly interested in becoming a rockstar manager that everyone enjoys working with…
You should start working towards this now.
Don’t worry, becoming the world’s happiest, fun-loving, and chummy boss is NOT a requirement.
There’s no need to be fake in order to get approval from your coworkers. Do your best work, treat other people with the utmost respect and then some, follow some of the tips above.
If you’re interested in learning even a bit more…we highly suggest the following articles as a starting point: