Hiring a person with the ability to answer endless questions, multitask, problem-solve, and navigate a fast-paced environment while keeping calm and collected sounds like a zen master, not a manager. In today’s constantly changing and competitive world, hiring managers who are open to learning, changing, and adapting while staying relaxed and respectful is crucial. Here are five beneficial skills you will want all your managers to have in order to help create and keep a healthy work environment.
Poor communication in the workplace creates confusion, competition, and mistakes, causing staff to lose motivation and confidence in their abilities to do their job. Good communication is essential to productivity and maintaining strong coworker relationships. Managers who learn and practice delivering clear communication will not only build trust and morale among employees but will increase quality and productivity as well.
To practice clear communication, figure out what your main point is and say it in one sentence. A sentence is easier to process and remember than a monologue that is likely to lose the employees attention before the necessary information is received.
Knowing who to communicate with is another factor in clear communication. Do not share information with employees unless is it important and is going to help them do their job better. Dishing out unnecessary information can cause misinterpretation and office gossip.
Trust and Integrity
Managers are responsible for creating and keeping a safe and fair work environment, one where employees feel respected and valued. Managing others with an open and honest demeanor, while holding employees accountable will inspire employees to do their best and gain the trust that is needed for a successful team. When managers model and uphold the policies of the business it brings the feeling of fairness to the workplace and the word “accountability,” transforms from “you’re in trouble,” into “I care.”
Office morale is greatly affected when there are poor performers who never face repercussions. The other employees may perceive a manger as weak or favoring the employee, and lose respect and trust in their leader. Addressing poor performance as soon as possible while the event is still fresh in everyone’s mind will demonstrate the manager’s integrity and commitment to the team as a whole.
Today’s world is changing at an alarming rate. Technology is causing everything to move faster, keeping people in a state of flux and anxiety. Stress in the workplace use to be situational and now it is accepted like the air we breathe. Having a manager who can model and teach employees how to manage their stress will not only benefit your staff but their productivity as well.
Take the time to listen. When interacting with an employee be present and truly listen. Ask yourself why the employee is talking to you. Is there really a problem or do they just want to connect with you, are they looking for recognition? Often employees will bring issues to the manager when they just want a reason to talk to them, or they will complain about a coworker to get recognition for themselves. Giving employees the respect and attention they deserve can inadvertently solve many problems.
Walk and talk. Walking meetings are becoming more popular to encourage exercise and help break up the time spent sitting. Discussing a serious topic while walking helps calm anxiety and exert nervous or tense energy and can yield better results than sitting across from each other and having a conversation.
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions. Being able to understand your own feelings and how they affect your thinking and problem solving helps tremendously when handling diverse and competitive personalities in the workplace. Knowing what triggers you, how it feels and how you act is important to make sure your response is indeed one from a management position and not a reaction from your emotions.
A few ways to begin to enhance your emotional intelligence is to take some time to ponder these questions.
How do you react to people when they are mad, frustrated, lying, or emotional? Do you rush to judgment before you know all of the facts or do you make assumptions? Understanding how you react during certain situations will help you gain perspective on how you respond and affect others.
What are your weaknesses? When you know what your own weaknesses are you will understand how employees feel when you have to point out theirs.
How do you react to stressful situations? Do you get upset, angry, blame others, or stay calm? Thinking about this question at a time when you are calm will give you valuable information as to how you affect your employees during stressful times.
Emotional intelligence gives you the ability to make the best decisions during stressful situations and to teach the awareness and skills to your employees.
Willingness to Admit Mistakes
Many managers believe that owning up to a mistake is a sign of weakness, but a good manager knows that the real error is trying to cover it up or ignore it. The truth is that admitting to a mistake and fixing the problem can actually strengthen your relationships with employees.
When you make a mistake, deal with it head-on by sharing information with others, so the problem doesn’t spread further. Empower employees to offer their ideas and solutions, and you may find a quick fix that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. You may think admitting to a major blunder will cause employees to question your leadership, but it will actually increase their confidence in you and encourage them to admit their mistakes as well.
In conclusion, managers are responsible for making sure employees’ duties are completed efficiently and that the companies goals are achieved, but knowing how to earn trust, admit mistakes and create a calm and supportive environment is just as important. Invest in training your managers to learn emotional intelligence and effective communication, and it will pay off with increased employee productivity, commitment, and loyalty.