The Importance of Good Employee Relations
About this lens...
This was originally published on my website, The Sugarbuzz Project. It has become the #1 post on my blog (although I'm not sure how), and I think it's a very good reminder of how a boss should be when working with others.
Low morale in the workplace can have a serious negative effect on the quality of work that your company puts out. Nothing can hurt your business quite like a group of disgruntled workers looking for ways to 'get you back' for some perceived wrong. There are several things one can do (or avoid doing) that can help you get along better with your employees, thereby making them more likely to enjoy being in your employ.
Be willing to get your hands dirty.
Nobody likes having orders barked at them from some goon perched up on a catwalk. Many employees see this as a person who is on a 'power trip', not understanding the job that the subservient folks must carry out. When the employees see a supervisor willing to get his hands dirty and work alongside the employees, even if only for a short time once in a while, the employees will respect his/her ability to empathize with the workers that are the bread and butter of the company.
Be a friend...
When a supervisor visits with his employees during the work day, there is a sense of team spirit built within the business. Taking a few minutes to ask a worker how their day is going is a great way not only to build a rapport, but also to give the employee an opportunity to ask questions or bring up things that need to be brought to someone's attention. Naturally, if an employee feels comfortable with their supervisor, they are more likely to share information that may be left undisclosed, such as dangerous work conditions, etc.
...but don't be too friendly.
While it is good to be friendly with your employees, showing too much of a buddy-buddy relationship can lead to accusations of Nepotism, whether or not it exists in reality. People have a tendency to become jealous when they see someone get a promotion, pay raise, etc. when they feel that they are just as deserving, but feel it is being given based on friendship.
Don't treat people like idiots...even if they are.
Even if your employees are total morons, you need to allow them to keep their dignity in front of their co-workers. Embarrassing them by degrading them in front of customers, co-workers, etc. is a bad thing, and only creates resentment toward you and your company. Also, keep in mind that this is the age of the blogger, and a bad company image on a blog with even a few hundred subscribers can unleash havoc on your reputation. Don't assume that people are too stupid to be effective, and even if they are, show them respect.
Be willing to take the blame.
Not everything that goes wrong in the workplace is an employee's fault. Sometimes (if not most), the blame must be directed towards the top. If you make a mistake as a supervisor, admit it and rectify the situation to the best of your ability. Don't blame the employees if it's not ultimately their fault. An employee that sees you admit your imperfections as a supervisor will respect you for being able to stand up and take the heat.
I have a question for you...
I'm wanting to get a little bit of feedback from you.
Is your boss a crappy boss?
So you want to be a better boss?
Do you think I'm way off? Think you have some juicy tidbits of advice on how to be a better boss? Just want to rant about how much your boss sucks and he needs to read this? Let me know!