The desire of being a good manager and making employees happy seems obvious, but was not always considered important. Before the 20th century, most workers were treated like machines with no feelings or ambitions, and all they had to do was doing their very specific job for long hours and go home to feed their families.
The human relations theory was developed in the 1920s and 1930s, and claimed that employees are motivated not only by money, but also by a variety of social factors, such as belonging and self-fulfillment. After in-depth research on this subject, we have found the best 6 tips on how to be the best manager that everyone loves:
1. Set Realistic Goals
Goal-setting has been found to increase motivation and performance, even more than financial rewards. Knowing that you have a list of defined tasks to complete in a specific time is a motivation boost; it makes you feel productive and successful. It is great to have something to aim for, and setting goals supports that by helping people imagine a path for a vision and encouraging them to think about the meaning of their work. It is also very important that these goals be realistic and achievable. As a project manager, you have to know what your employees are capable of, and more importantly, what they are not capable of. It's never fun to realize that you can't complete an assignment you're given, and it is definitely a motivation killer.
2. Be Attentive to Your Employees
Considering your employees' time and abilities is good, but it is not enough. They all have a life beyond work, and sometimes they need a thoughtful boss who knows that. For instance, if one of your employees' kid is sick, suggest giving them a day off or a work-from-home day if you can (even if they don't request it), and don't forget to ask how the kid feels the day they return. People appreciate caring, especially when it comes from their manager.
3. Create a Pleasant Work Environment
One-third of your life is spent on work, which is 90,000 hours! And for a place where you spend the same amount of time as in your bed, it has to feel comfortable. You don't want your employees to wake up every morning and hate the place they are going to because it is dark and boring.
So, how can you create the best work environment? Your workplace environment consists of three factors - technological, physical, and cultural, and you need to address each one of them. For example, start using productivity tools, let more natural light in for your team's mental health, and encourage regular communications and collaboration. That's it, all 3 factors are improved! Easy, isn't it?
4. Make Remote Work Better
Of course, for many of us a "pleasant work environment" is irrelevant these days, as we deal with social distancing and learn how to work from home. You can fix it too! Try making remote work more collaborative, so your team will feel like they are still working and socializing at the office. Take control of your schedule, pay attention to your coworkers' and employees' needs, and use technological tools to experience your work-from-home day as a regular and productive day.
You can also get the best out of remote meetings by making them more social. I once used the "confused lady" meme as a background in a finance zoom class; it was really funny and I got so many enthusiastic responses from classmates I didn't even know. You can use your creativity and make your zoom work meetings more fun and interesting this way.
5. Use Negative Reinforcement Instead of Punishment
Using punishment at work is effective in stopping an unwanted behavior, but can not necessarily cause the desired behavior, and it absolutely destroys employees' motivation. If an employee is late for work and you ask him to stay after hours as a punishment, he may try to arrive on time tomorrow or for the rest of the week, but his morale will be harmed and his productivity during these hours will probably decrease. The solution is using negative reinforcement. Just like a positive reinforcement is used to maintaining a wanted behavior by rewarding, a negative reinforcement is used to make a wanted behavior happen by avoiding a negative outcome. In our case, try bringing cakes or special season fruits to work every morning for a few days, and you will see that the same employee will start showing up on time so that he has some tasty food left.
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6. Make Your Employees' Lives Easier
No one should work hard for things that can be done effortlessly, and the same is true for your employees. As a matter of fact, what makes you not just a good manager, but really the best manager, is the way you see the wide picture. If you know the needs of your team and you can foresee the ways to make your team more productive, you are in a win-win situation. Tasks will be finished on time, and your team will be happy and have more time to do more interesting and innovative stuff.
The market is full of tools and software that will surely help you and your employees focus on the important things at work. For example, deepTalk is using artificial intelligence and NLP technology to create a smart meeting assistant that works for you. DeepTalk securely captures your conversations in the meeting rooms or on video conferencing conversations with your teammates and automatically extracts insights in real-time, so you can focus on the discussion. While you are managing your conversation, deepTalk provides you with live transcription and automatic action item extraction. No need to take any notes, and all the relevant information is shared for the simple collaboration. Beyond the fact that technology can boost your team's productivity, it will make your employees appreciate you and the resources you provide them.
Start being the perfect manager your team can ever have, it's not too late, and it's definitely not hard. Just follow our simple tips and you're there!