The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves
What I've Learned
People enjoy praise, compliments and the feeling of being needed. I know this for the simple fact that I fall under the category of "people" in the grand spectrum of categorization. I've worked for several companies in the healthcare field over the last five years and never have I seen such issues in management and leadership as I have since I became a registered nurse. If you're going to be promoted into a managerial/leadership position, shouldn't you hold those types of qualities? Shouldn't there be more than an educational requirement to fulfill a position that requires you to be in charge of other individuals? These are all questions that I have been asking myself since I've seen who has been given these positions of power.
Lead By Example, Not By Fear
The greatest leaders/managers I've ever worked for lead by example. They weren't afraid to dress like the other co-workers and get their hands dirty, so to speak. They taught others why certain things were done in a specific way so that the workers understood why they were performing the tasks that they were being asked to do. great leaders not only speak well, but listen with intent. Leaders that look to get a floor working smoothly work with everyone to make sure that their needs are being met and their concerns are being addressed. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anyone be able to do the things that I've just described in several years. The last time I saw an employer like that was when I was a teenagers working construction to help pay for school.
In the medical field, I've seen people promoted based on years experience vs. clinical experience. Most of the hiring process that occurs from within works on the "good 'ole girls" system where friends help their friends. The problem with this process is that the best person for the job is not given the opportunity to prove it. Sub-par leadership qualities are given the power to guide those that are oftentimes more qualified to lead. This system also seems to have a fear-inducing approach that has employees pointing fingers at each other and walking around nervous to make a mistake. If you mess up, you have a large chance of being put out of work.
With no clear guidance, employees are oftentimes unsure of what they are supposed to be doing, yet getting reprimanded for not completing those same tasks. A system that instills fear is one that will not stand for long. People need to feel secure in order to work efficiently, not be constantly worried about the consequences of failure.
A Little Praise, A Long Way
If you've recently been promoted into a managerial position, try showing gratitude through displaying acts of greatness. People that go above and beyond deserve to be openly praised. Write them a letter, make them a plaque or give them a gift card. People will respond much more appropriately to the idea of praise than they will the idea of being reprimanded. If you give your employees the mental tools to not only complete tasks, but do them with excellence, they will strive to produce maximum results.
Be Consistently Fair
Nothing starts issues at a workplace like showing favorites. If one person gets in trouble for being late, everyone should receive the same consequence. Lay the ground rules out in a clear and concise way and ask your employees if there are any questions or areas that need clarification. Allow your employees to feel involved in the system that they will be a part of and they will be more proactive in their work. Always keep an open-door policy in reference to issues at the workplace or personal issues that need to be discussed that may influence time off of work or work flow. Allowing your employees to have a voice that is actually heard will allow them to feel comfortable discussing issues that affect their work.
Always ask yourself the question: "Am I acting like the type of employer that I would enjoy working for?" What did you do well today? What could you have done better or will you work to do better in your future? Keep yourself in check in order to keep your employees smiling.