All employees in a managerial position know that it isn’t easy. In most businesses, managers are removed from their employees, but that is just the nature of the relationship. Regardless of the systems that tend to be built into the company, managers are responsible for training and nurturing their teams. But it also can be said that managers have things to learn from their team members.
Learning these things can be difficult on your own, so seek the help of an organisational development consultancy if you feel that this is needed for your business.
Way to learn from employees
Whilst it is a standard practice for leaders to teach those who work under them, there are many things that their staff can do to guide management.
Here are a few things that employees can teach their managers.
New ideas for the business
Employees often have new ideas that are original and potentially beneficial to the company. It is essential that managers create an environment where employees are encouraged to share these ideas. As a leader, it is easy to believe that you are responsible for coming up with all new business ideas, but this isn’t true. Giving your team a platform to speak up might push them to provide a fresh perspective.
If you are trying to remain current and keep up with trends, the millennial’s in your team can be an excellent resource for new ideas as they know what’s new and trending. Because they haven’t been caught up in “the way things are” for long, they can bring new ideas to the table, especially regarding marketing and advertising. They are plugged into the online world and will know what is trending and which social platforms are up-and-coming, essentially assisting the business to connect with more people.
Improving the hiring and onboarding process
Chances are that employers haven’t been through the hiring and onboarding process in some time, but this is the first interaction your employee has with your business.
It’s essential to constantly evaluate your processes and change them accordingly so it works in a way that is beneficial and efficient for the organisation. Asking for opinions and recommendations from those who have recently gone through that process will give you the best insight into its effectiveness. They are the aptest at providing relevant feedback.
Being a better leader
It can be challenging for managers to evaluate themselves and know the areas where they need improvement. Feedback from your team can help you understand your areas to improve.
However, your employees may find it difficult to critique you directly. Make them feel more comfortable being honest with anonymous surveys or performance reviews for any feedback. Be direct with the questions you are asking to get the best constructive feedback.
Nurture a sense of community
As a manager, you can sometimes be removed from the day-to-day working lives of your team. There can be distinct lines of authority between management and employees, making teams feel uncomfortable around their bosses.
That being said, employees on the same level that work together build relationships naturally as they are around each other daily.
Managers can see these relationships and use them to build a community with the business and help foster an office culture. Do the team go for after-work drinks, volunteer together or exercise together?
However, your employee’s interaction with each other can provide insight into interpersonal perks. The workplace should be a friendly environment and a place of open communication.
Being taught to trust
There aren’t many employees that work efficiently when the boss is micro-managing them. But the pressure is on management because the repercussions of bad work and low productivity can be detrimental to a company.
A successful manager can strike a balance between cracking the whip and trusting their team to get the job done to the required standard. A great employee can teach their manager that they are capable of getting the job done.
Ways to improve your leadership
Being a good leader can be a great asset to the company, your team and yourself, but sometimes you need to know what is it to be a good leader.
To be a good leader, you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses and the things that motivate you.
To be a great leader, you need to connect with your team by encouraging growth, giving constructive feedback and facilitating open communication.
Anyone can delegate tasks from a corner office, but this isn’t all needed for an effective leader. An effective manager plays a significant role in the team and also the company as a whole. When working under a great manager, you tend to be happier and more productive. The ripple effect that comes from this can reach the bottom of the command chain.
Promote open and honest communication.
A significant part of a successful manager is creating an open line for communication with your employees. Your honesty and transparency can be an example for your team members, who will likely follow suit.
When talking to your team members, you need to be straightforward. Your team are a reflection of yourself, and if you are honest and reinforce your fundamental values, along with the company’s values, your team will follow your lead.
A great leader can customise interactions and communication with individual team members to suit them. This kind of communication requires you to take the time and understand what type of interaction mode is preferred by each team member. One may like a text or email, while others prefer face-to-face communication like an in-person meeting or Zoom.
Demonstrating active communication and transparency helps build trust within your team and improve morale.
Train your team, don’t give orders.
Your team will each react differently to receiving an order. To nurture excitement and a general want to work, be encouraging and communicate in a way that each employee understands. Managers should coach employees towards a committed work environment without coaxing them.
Trying to control people to do tasks in a certain way isn’t going to receive the level of engagement you are looking for. Training is about showing people the choices that they have in front of them. This helps promote a sense of ownership for the project, encouraging your team members to work harder.
Your team won’t grow if managers don’t teach them anything.
Build relationships with your team members.
A team manager requires mutual respect, trust and understanding between a manager and employee. You need to learn how to connect to your team to achieve this.
A leader must have positivity, purpose, empathy, compassion, humility and love. These essential qualities will put you on the right path to genuine connections with your team. Having a real relationship with your employees is critical to developing trust, which is necessary to build a cultural base of accountability and high performance.
To build connections with your team members, you have got to know their personalities, interests, strengths and weaknesses and hobbies. Understanding these aspects of your employee can give you an insight into their aspirations and motivations.
Nurture personal and professional growth.
Acting as a champion for your tea, it’s imperative to be a great role model and lead your team correctly. You should be as invested in their success and growth as your own.
You need to be emotionally invested as a leader, and this will push you to empower your employees’ growth. Push them with challenging opportunities and guide them in the right direction.
Inspire and motivate your team. A strong leadership strategy provides positive reinforcement and encourages your team to take on new challenges and do their absolute best. It’s always good to push your employees to take on challenges. Whether this is a touch client or a complex sale, your team members feel good when they overcome this and know they can handle more than they thought.
When managers believe in their team members and give them the chance to learn and progress, they may be shocked by what they can accomplish.
Set clear goals and expectations for your employees
Setting clear expectations and goals for your employees from the offset is key to success. When setting objectives, ensure you are encouraging and open to questions and feedback. Even including them in each step of the process can foster engagement.
Explain the company’s goals and objectives and how your team fits into the bigger picture. Keep up motivation and inspiration by updating the group about their vision and how close they are to achieving their goals.
It’s essential to explain how these goals fit into the bigger picture for the business. Regardless of authority level, each team member should be able to tell you how their work contributes to the business’s end goal and success.
To avoid employees’ goals getting to a standstill, check in periodically to modify or rearrange them if needed. This will let your team know what they are working on and that you are around for help if they need it.
Wrapping it up
So there we have it! Our ways to learn from your employees and improve your leadership skills.
Things you can learn from your team are:
- New business ideas
- Improvement in the hiring and onboarding process
- Being a better leader
- Nurturing a sense of community
- Being taught to trust
Ways to improve your leadership skills are:
- Promoting an open and honest environment
- Train your team
- Build relationships with your team
- Nurture growth
- Set clear expectations and goals
We hope this information can help you improve your working life.