Five Ways to Build a Better Relationship with Your Employees

Managers and team leaders have a crucial role in the workplace because they have the power to influence morale through the relationships they have with their team. When morale is high, workers perform better and generally stay with a company for longer. If you want to foster a better relationship with your team, then try these five tips that will get results.

Embrace Your Position

Many leaders haven’t done managerial training. They often acquire the position by progressing through the company and applying for a promotion. This can leave some people in this position feeling a little awkward about their role. If you feel like this then remind yourself that great leaders aren’t born, they are made and it all starts with the right mind-set. If you believe in yourself and learn to feel comfortable with delegating tasks and giving meaningful feedback, then your team will respond accordingly.

Be Approachable

In order to be approachable, you need to be friendly and demonstrate that you are trustworthy. This means having an open-door policy where workers can come and discuss any concerns that they have about their job or any issues that prevent them from working effectively.

A Harvard Business Review survey found that a staggering 56 percent of employees would trust a stranger more than their boss, which shows that in many organizations there is a climate of distrust between managers and workers. If you want your staff to trust you more then be sure to do these four things:
• Be open and friendly
• Do what you say
• Be respectful of other people’s ideas
• Be honest and supportive

You could also give them a task that you wouldn’t normally ask them to do because by doing this, you are showing them that you trust them. And humans are generally reciprocal by their very nature. If someone puts their trust in us, we are much more likely to put our trust in them.

Show Appreciation

According to Office Vibe, 89 percent of bosses think that the primary reason employees leave a company is to find a job that pays better when in actual fact, the figure is only 12 percent. The main reason why people leave a firm is that they don’t feel valued. This is backed up by research gathered by Global Studies. They found that the most common reason for people to leave their job was that they felt unappreciated.

Over time this issue can lead to low employee retention rates. However, it can easily be fixed by demonstrating good people skills and showing appreciation. A simple ‘thank you’ or praise for a job well done can do wonders for morale.

Know Your Team

Do you know the names of everyone in your team? If not, then learn them because people tend to do better when they are acknowledged. In addition, find out what motivates them and implement strategies to increase engagement. When people are fully engaged at work they feel better about doing their job and perform better as a result.

Encourage Social Connections

Most of us spend a third of our lives working and one of the crucial factors in feeling satisfied at work is the social connections that we make with our colleagues. The author of How to Be Happy at work, Annie McKee says, “one of the ways we can make ourselves happy and feel more fulfilled in our workplaces is to build friendships with the people that work with us…” Be sure to encourage this because it’s beneficial to your team’s happiness and well being, and it’s good for business.

As someone in a position of power, you can help to cultivate a better working environment through the meaningful interactions that you have with your team.

Read More

How to Stay Productive When You Work at Home

Whether you have your own business, are self-employed, or run a side hustle on evenings and weekends, you’ll know that working from home on your own can leave you feeling somehow both liberated and powerless at the same time. You have the freedom to spend your time however you like, but without the structure of a standard workplace, it can be hard to make sure that you accomplish everything that you want each day.

If you find it difficult to stay productive when you work from home, there are some simple things you can do to ensure that you make the most of every day:

Get dressed and get out of the house

One of the best things about working from home is that there’s no dress code and no one can tell if you haven’t ironed your clothes. To those in standard 9 to 5 jobs, working in your pajamas sounds like great fun, but in reality, it isn’t that conducive to being productive.
Our morning routines are part of the waking up process.

While those of us who work at home get to skip the long commute and bad coffee in the work cafeteria, simply rolling out of bed in our pajamas and sitting down at our desk to work normally isn’t the best way of getting our brains going. We need to work a little harder to get ourselves in the best mindset for a day at our laptops and getting out of the house, even for a short walk around the block, is a really effective way of doing that.

While it might seem obvious that getting up and going for a walk is good for your mental health, fresh air has actually been proven to increase productivity. A study by Harvard University in 2017 showed that breathing better air led to significantly better decision-making performance among their participants, in particular, they showed marked improvements in making strategic decisions and planning than those in a stale office environment.

So get dressed and go for a jog, say hello to the neighbors, or just run out and get yourself a coffee, you’ll reap the benefits once you get back home.

Have a dedicated workspace

Working at the kitchen table or on the sofa might be fine for a little while, but if your morning has to begin with clearing away the leftover dishes and your children’s bags or wiping up spills before you can really even put your laptop down, it’s not going to get you into that working mindset. Find a space that can be your desk whenever you need it; this should be a place that can stay organised and free of distractions so that when you sit down, you are ready to get to work.

Having a space to work that’s separate from the space you live and sleep in will help you get both into and out of the work mindset more easily. If you’re working from your bed, you might find it tempting to put down your laptop and drift off. Equally, at the end of the day, if your workspace is separate, you might not be so easily tempted into logging back onto your computer to check your emails when you should be sleeping!

If you share your home with others, like a partner, children, or roommates, make sure that they also understand that this is your workspace and that when you’re working, you’re not to be disturbed unnecessarily.

Set a schedule and stick to it

One of the most difficult things about working for yourself at home is knowing when to stop. If a client is emailing you at 8 pm, should you respond? How about 10 pm? Most normal companies have business hours – for example, between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Saturday. Most of us wouldn’t turn up to a regular job on the weekend and log on for half an hour, but it’s easy to do at home. While it can feel uncomfortable, especially if you work for yourself, it’s really important to set boundaries.

Most of the things we think of after we’ve signed off for the night are not emergencies that need to be attended to immediately. On the rare occasion that you really do need to finish a task that day, of course, you should make sure it’s done. The rest of the time, simply adding it to your to-do list for the following morning is enough. That way, you know that it will be taken care of as soon as possible within your working hours, but you still get to enjoy your evening with family or friends.

Having clear working times will encourage you to work hard within those hours to get tasks finished on time, and will ensure that you can relax outside those hours, and get the downtime that your body and mind need to stay healthy and productive.

Make a to-do list everyday

While not quite the same level of pressure as a boss looking over your shoulder, it’s surprising the boost that ticking off a task on the page can give you. Without a list, it can be easy to forget smaller tasks or to get your priorities wrong and waste time on less important jobs leaving you scrambling to finish that one key project.

When you start work in the morning, review the list you’ve made for the day and add anything else that you can think of. You can also include personal tasks or “life admin” in a separate section if helpful. You can then use this list to help structure your day; maybe you want to get a larger project finished before your lunch break and keep the smaller tasks for the afternoon so you can fit them in around a phone meeting. Having a list of tasks and planning out each day at the start will super boost your productivity and having all your tasks in one place allows you to prioritize them sensibly.

And don’t stop at the day in front of you; have week or more of to-do lists set up in advance and if you come up with tasks that you know will take a little longer or that need to be completed at a point in the future, add them to the relevant days when you think of them.

Maintaining productivity at work can be challenging even in a standard job. At home on your own, without colleagues to help keep you motivated, staying productive is even more difficult, but these four simple tips can help you take advantage of the freedom you have while working at home, rather than letting it overcome you. With the right workspace, the right mindset, and a plan for every single day, you can turn even the laziest morning into a surprisingly productive day.

Read More

6 Surprising Reasons Why Your Employees May Leave Even When They Seem Happy

Employees may leave because of a difficult work environment, a bad boss, or a work-life balance that is no longer sustainable. Why do employees leave when there are no clear reasons to do so, however?

It can take some work to discover why such unforeseen resignations occur. If you can spot such trouble when it appears on the horizon, you may be able to act pre-emptively. Here are five reasons why employees sometimes want to leave when everything seems right.

They hope to find a better life elsewhere

It used to be that being happy and satisfied with your job was good enough. Today, however, jobs need to be far more than simply satisfactory; they need to help employees feel that they are making a difference. Workers need their job to help them feel proud of who they are. When an employee leaves the job even when they have no apparent reason to complain, it usually means that something made them want to reevaluate everything. Maybe they went through a personal crisis, or maybe they saw how someone quit their job to start their own business.

You can find out what is going on by conducting employee reviews. These should be carefully aimed at uncovering not just what your employees have done at work, but also uncover how fulfilled they feel.

Employees look at who else gets recognition

The absence of recognition isn’t always the problem. Sometimes employees may be recognized adequately, but not in the way that they hope for. For instance, many employees do not want applause. They want quiet recognition. You can only know this by asking at your employee reviews.

Employees also want to be recognized in well-defined ways. They do not want recognition for vague achievements.

Some research has uncovered that as much as employees care about finding recognition for themselves, they care deeply about who else is recognized. Context helps them learn how much value their own recognition carries. Recognition needs to be consistent and meaningful.

Employees need flexibility

Flexible working formats are being offered everywhere. People work from home far more than ever before. When employees see other companies offer better work-from-home arrangements, they would like to find a better deal for themselves. Offering flexibility at work is vital.

Inflexible job definitions can be unacceptable

The average worker has worked at a dozen different jobs by the time he turns fifty. As much as people change jobs, however, they often chafe at the inflexible nature of the job descriptions that they function under. While well-defined job descriptions are a good thing, inflexible ones are not. Employees hope to start with specific job descriptions, but then to be able to mold them to suit their needs. Such freedom is important to employees.

Employees dislike red tape

Employees today want to see their workplaces function nimbly, and without too much process or too many rules. Things that slow down work can have a detrimental effect on employee satisfaction. Employees need autonomy and freedom. If they aren’t trusted to do things on their own, they feel they should look elsewhere.

Work isn’t a two-way street

Employees quickly recognize when a job is just about serving the company. They rarely see that the company is as eager to serve them. They can begin to feel like they are simply cogs in the wheel serving the larger good but never paid attention to themselves. While it can be difficult to change the way a company operates, it’s important to move in the direction of helping employees be their best.

While these insights can be hard to implement it is important to try. If you don’t act quickly, it’s possible that your employees will.

Read More