The future of work is being shaped by extraordinary changes in technology, globalisation and overwhelming information flow. Workers are asking for something different from their bosses. They want clear expectations, accountability, a strong sense of purpose, and ongoing feedback and coaching.
Being a boss isn’t complicated, but it does require some focused thought and attention to be amazing. And since many people are putting their faith in you, don’t you owe it to them to be your best for their sake? Well, here are 8 tips to help you reach your full boss potential.
This is proven to meet employees’ needs more effectively and improve organisational performance!
Understand and appreciate the individual, know what your people want from work.
Gallup research suggests that the modern workforce is interested in opportunities to learn and grow, the opportunity to advance as they develop and a manager who cares about them. They also want interesting work that makes a difference and aligns with their personal sense of purpose. That said, employees in different roles and from different generations may have different priorities regarding what they value most.
Individualising performance to each person is paramount, and managers must work to understand how these needs manifest for each employee!
Become a coach (not a boss).
Managers carry the utmost responsibility for guiding and inspiring employee performance. To improve performance, they must begin to philosophically and functionally shift from being managers of performance to developers of performance.
Successful performance development is not just about changing the way annual reviews are conducted. It requires managers to think of themselves in a new way: as a coach, not a boss.
Collaborate to set goals and clarify performance expectations.
The fundamental requirement for setting performance expectations is ensuring the manager and employee are clear on which duties the employee is responsible for; what defines outstanding, acceptable and unacceptable performance; and how performance will be measured. Managers and employees should work together to set these expectations!
Collaborative goal setting ensures expectations are fair, relevant and challenging. Did you know that, according to Forbes, employees whose managers involve them in goal setting are nearly four times more likely to be engaged than other employees?
Provide meaning, help people connect to the bigger picture.
Employees will not commit fully to their work if they cannot make a connection between it and the purpose and goals of their company. Good managers help employees understand their company’s strategy and values, why their role exists, and how their expectations align with team and organisational objectives.
Engagement soars when employees have this sense of purpose. Employees who strongly agree that they can link their goals to the organisation’s goals are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged.
Take an active role in ensuring individual and team goals are aligned.
Aligning individuals’ performance expectations with team goals ensures that they support teamwork, and research shows that employee productivity increases by 56%, on average, when managers are involved in helping them align their goals with the needs of the organisation.
Employees whose expectations align with team goals understand that they are expected to both give full effort to their personal responsibilities and collaborate well with coworkers.
Continually coach: Have frequent coaching conversations.
Employees need to know that their manager cares about them as a person, understands what they are working on and is available to them when they need support. Although the exact amount of feedback employees need varies by person and task, Gallup recommends that employees experience some form of coaching with their manager at least once per week, whether for purposes of recognition, development, problem-solving, constructive feedback or encouragement.
Engagement tends to fall substantially when employees don’t have meaningful, constructive contact with their manager at least once a week!
Accountability is critical to achieving high performance. Without it, establishing expectations and continually coaching are nothing more than just talk. Effective performance development requires managers and employees to take the time to review progress toward expectations, discuss lessons learned and plan for the future.
Accountability doesn’t mean using an annual review primarily for the purpose of helping make pay and promotion decisions. When this is the focus, an employee’s attention is on their pay and their manager’s ability to adequately rank or rate them, rather than on understanding what they did well, opportunities for improvement or how they can develop further.
Look to the future, not the past.
The best coaching conversations are future-oriented and create a positive, encouraging dialogue about how employees can do their best work going forward. They focus on learning and planning how to achieve future expectations.Traditional performance evaluations and approaches to feedback tend to overly focus on past performance and the specifics of what employees have done wrong.
These conversations can be viewed as critical and condemning, rather than constructive and focused on future opportunities for employees to do their best work.
And you? Do you have everything in place to become an inspiration and the perfect leader for your colleagues? Leave us a comment in the section below!