As a manager of a team, your primary responsibility is to make sure the people working for you are doing the best work they can be and are inspired to come to work every day to do so. If you’re doing your job well, your team will, in turn, do theirs well and will be more productive, efficient, and overall happier with their jobs. Happy employees mean less turnover, which can save the company money in the long-term — it’s a win-win for everyone.
The challenge is to balance managing and leading a team while still being able to find time to get your own daily task list completed. Maybe you were thrust into a management position without prior experience or much knowledge, or had to lead a team before and are still looking for new ways to be efficient, but regardless, there are some easy ways to ensure your employees are happy at work without spending too much of your time.
Nobody wants to be around someone they can tell is acting fake, nor would they trust that person and turn to them with work-related issues or to help solve a problem. Don’t come to work with a “work persona” or with a face on, but rather be yourself and be genuine – people can certainly tell the difference.
Lead the team how you’re comfortable doing so, not based on how others lead or by trying to copy a leadership style that doesn’t work for you. Find your groove instead of trying to mimic someone else’s, and your employees will value that, as well as feel they can be themselves at work too.
Appreciate good work
When someone feels as though they put in a good effort and don’t get recognized for it, they can quickly feel undervalued and start looking elsewhere for work. Colleagues are often caught up in their own workload that they don’t take the time to offer recognition to each other, so step up and be the one who appreciates and congratulates an employee on doing well at their job. It will ensure motivation levels are high, and also set the bar and encourage other employees to do the same, which fosters a positive and empowering environment for everyone. Even a simple “good job” can make a big difference.
Have a good break area
Taking a break from work helps relax your mind, detach from the stresses of the day or problem at hand, and then come back at it with a refreshed brain, ready to tackle it again. It can also help people take a look at a problem from a new angle they wouldn’t have thought of if they had sat there racking their brain for hours on end.
Having a space to encourage breaks, like a family-style kitchen eating area with a big table and chairs, or a “fun room” with activities like a foosball table, books, board or card games, or a fully stocked mini-fridge. Also, having water coolers around the office encourages employees to get up every once in a while to stretch their legs and grab a drink, and maybe socialize for a bit with a colleague.
If you have the boss’s ear, advocate for a good and fun employee break area. Or, you are the one who runs the show at work, maybe it’s time to rearrange some furniture or even get to remodeling the office space. It may seem like a big upfront cost, but happy employees are more productive, efficient, and you’ll have less turnover to account for.
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