Starting your own business is hard. But, for some, managing a team is even harder. Anyone can read books and learn how to do things like file a tax return and register their company. But, not everyone is naturally a great manager. Some people are great at it straight away. They are the managers that people love working for and will happily go the extra mile for.
They inspire respect, but also commitment and loyalty. These managers attract the best staff and get the most out of them. If you can be this kind of manager, the rest of your job suddenly becomes much easier. If you can become a great leader, that commands the respect of those that work around you, you’ve always got support. You know that you aren’t going to have to worry about getting your team to work hard. You know that if you need extra help, there will be someone to do it and you know that you aren’t going to spend a good chunk of your days dealing with staff issues and complaints.
This kind of leader tends to have a more productive workforce. They are happy and motivated. They know that they’ve got a great boss and they are keen to do their best. But, as I say, this doesn’t come naturally to all of us. We don’t all naturally inspire this kind of respect. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn or make changes to your leadership style, and it’s certainly worth trying if it will help you to get more out of your team.
Get Stuck In
Staff respect managers that get stuck in. Those that sit up in the office barking orders and never help out, or those that know you are busy but keep adding jobs instead of lending a helping hand, will never be respected. Get stuck in and help out where you can. Try using a virtual office to free up some of your time, and use it wisely. Even simple things like a cafe owner helping to wipe tables down at the end of a busy shift can make a massive difference to morale.
Remember, You Are Looking For Respect, Not Fear
Do you want your staff to work hard because they are scared of you? Because they are frightened of losing their jobs? Or because they respect and admire you, and they want to work? Remember the answer to that question when you speak to them. Treat them with respect, listen to them, and always be polite and they’ll do the same.
We can’t make everyone happy all of the time. No one can. You might not be able to fulfill all pay rise requests, holiday applications, or flexible working needs. But do what you can. Make their lives as easy as possible, and they’ll be loyal and hardworking.
Keep an Open Door
An open-door policy doesn’t have to mean a physical door that is open. Sometimes you need to close your office door, and that’s fine. But, your team should know that they are free to knock on it whenever they need to.
The best leaders know that they can’t do it all on their own. They know that they need help. And they appreciate that other people have great ideas. Encourage suggestions from your team. Ask what you can do to make their jobs easier, but also what they think could improve your business or products.
People that enjoy their jobs are often better at them. Those that go into work and spend time smiling and laughing, enjoy being there. But, this often comes from the top. If you don’t enjoy running your own business, what hope is there for anyone else? Go into work with a smile on your face, chat with staff, and enjoy your days. Seeing you happy, almost permits everyone else to do the same.
Of course, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes things work against us. Things might not be going well in the office, our you might be having trouble at home that’s making it hard to smile. When this happens, you’ve got two options. There’s the old fashioned, leave your worries behind and don’t bring them into work. Plaster a smile on your face and don’t let anyone in. Which long-term staff will often see right through. Or, you could be honest. Let your team know that you are going through a hard time, apologize for your mood, and ask for their support. This kind of honesty can further increase respect.