Inability to make decisions without your input. You staff constantly asks you for advice on the smallest details. It’s likely you haven’t empowered your employees, or they’re just too afraid of potential consequences if they don’t approach you on everything. There’s definitely a balance so make sure you check out my colleague’s post (Stephen Lynch) about having an open door policy.
A high turnover. Look at how many people you’ve directly or indirectly managed and have resigned within 1-2 years. Leaving for more money is likely not the initial motivator. People typically leave their boss not the company (unless you have a terrible company culture). Quite obvious, but few fail to face this reality.
Former employees disappear, forever. Nothing says it more than anything if your ex-employees don’t keep in touch or you don’t get recommendation requests. Good bosses typically become mentors or role models for ex-employees.
Lack of feedback. You fail to communicate with your team and may not have set expectations, goals or timelines. Bad bosses often change their mind frequently leaving their team feeling off balance. You’re also not available to receive feedback about yourself. Most people like to see progress and to progress in their careers. It’s important that you provide timely feedback. Positive feedback is typically best and constructive feedback is important if something needs to be improved or corrected.
If any of the above is true, here are 4 simple tips you can use to engage your team and help you get out of that bad boss category:
- Create transparency. Don’t keep your team in the dark. Share your company’s performance, track and communicate progress. It will help your team understand that the things they work on directly impact the company’s success and ultimately their own.
- Make work meaningful. Reinforce the importance of everyone’s role. Provide clarity and direction by defining both team and individual goals. Avoid ambiguity at all costs. This will help foster ownership and will help get things done.
- People-Focused Culture. Promote the sharing of ideas, suggestions and improvements. Recognize people for their achievements. Live your company core values and have your team nominate colleagues who meet different core values.
- Nurture employees and create a path for growth and opportunity. Create opportunities for career development and progression. Talk to your employees about their career plan. Does their current role make full use of their strengths and abilities? Provide feedback (both the good and constructive) sooner than later.
Take the time to think about the points above and keep in mind that highly engaged employees are 26% more productive and on average their company’s earned 13% greater returns. Creating a more engaged workforce benefits the company, your team, and yourself.