Good bosses differ from bad bosses by the way they make employees feel. From feeling unappreciated for their work to being unprepared for upcoming challenges, employees can develop genuine animosity toward their superiors.
While it's not an employer's responsibility to be liked by their employees, it is important to set up staff members for success and to support them in their work. Those who repeatedly fail to do so will lose their employees' respect. If you sense that your employees dislike you, assess your relationship with them to determine if there is any room for improvement.
Provide Clear Direction
Consider whether you clearly communicate job objectives. If employees determine that you are not a reliable source of guidance, yet continue to supervise them, they will resent you.
However, you can win their respect by confronting your shortcomings and making them part of the solution. Take some management or industry courses. Seek assistance from employees who have knowledge, experience, or insight that you lack; or bring in outside help. You can also promote talent from within the company. Doing so will help you grow as a team.
Bad Management Practices
A supervisor who engages in bad management practices may do one or more of the following:
- Interprets or presents information incorrectly to employees, making their jobs more difficult
- Does not take an interest in employees' work or career growth
- Operates by intimidation and keeps employees feeling insecure about their jobs
- Is insecure about their own position and sees employees as a threat
- Micromanages employees by watching them too closely and trying to control everything they do
- Doesn't encourage teamwork or collaboration
- Talks about employees to each other
Respect is a key component of any healthy relationship. If you want to be respected, you must give respect—all of the time. Employees who are repeatedly disrespected can lose confidence, which affects their ability to perform their job. They are also likely seeking employment elsewhere.
Treat all employees with respect by always saying "please" and "thank you." When an employee is talking, listen to what they are saying before responding. This indicates that you value and respect their opinion. Never talk to them in a demeaning way. If they make a mistake, discuss it as a learning opportunity and not as a failure.
A good supervisor leads their employees as part of a team. Through their skills, knowledge, and expertise, the supervisor encourages and motivates employees to work toward company goals. Success for your team means success for the company.
Employees should feel valued for their skills, knowledge, and hard work. They are part of a team that should be recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments in helping the company attain success. This is motivating and encouraging and can increase their desire to stay long-term at your company.
In addition, supervisors who take an interest in their employees' work and career growth also show their employees they are valued. This includes giving employees new challenges, responsibilities, and other opportunities for growth. To regain the respect of employees, make sure everyone's role is defined and that they all have an opportunity to share in the team's success.
Along with respect, trust is the other key component of a healthy relationship. Give your employees space to do their jobs. Micromanaging them by watching their every move indicates you don't trust them, which can cause resentment.
When you trust your employees to accomplish their tasks independently, you call forth their significant contributions. If you micromanage and nitpick their ideas and work, you will never tap into their discretionary energy or the best they have to offer.
New employees, employees in training, and employees who change jobs or acquire new responsibilities need more guidance. However, in a healthy work environment, their need for guidance will lessen over time as they gain the confidence and experience required to perform their jobs independently.
Micromanaging good employees will drive them to hate you—or run away as far as possible as quickly as they can.
Understand Employees' Jobs
A good leader understands each employee's responsibilities, as well as any issues or challenges they may face. By understanding their roles, you will be more effective in successfully guiding them and staying informed of their progress. Note that if you seem lost or unhelpful, they'll learn to not come to you for advice.
Part of building a good team is finding people who are good at what they do and letting them do it.
Be Fair and Respect Employees' Time
If your employees are scheduled to work a 40-hour week, it's fair to expect their full attention during that time. However, expecting employees to work many nights and weekends is unfair and shows little regard for their private lives.
Even if you're not specifically requiring employees to work those extra hours, they'll resent you for piling on work they can't complete during their 40-hour week. By working with your staff on setting realistic goals, you can start to regain their respect.
Recognize and Reward Good Performance
If your employee morale is low, it might be because your employees feel unappreciated for their work. They may even be wondering whether their work and accomplishments hold any value for you or the company. This may result in less worker productivity.
As someone your employees look to for guidance, you should be praising and rewarding them for both small and large achievements. This recognition motivates and encourages them to perform even better to attain greater success both for themselves and the company.
Show Employees Loyalty
Blaming others for mistakes is unprofessional and a bad reflection on you. Once an employee learns that you blamed them for a project or timeline that may have failed, the trust between you and your employee is gone. Do this enough, and your superiors will figure out that you are the sort of manager who struggles with accountability. Rather than pointing out who is at fault, be proactive by suggesting solutions to problems.
Good managers know how to develop and maintain healthy working relationships with their employees. They understand that loyalty, trust, and respect form the basis of these relationships, and work hard to uphold them. Good managers care about their employees and their futures and invest the time and effort in helping them attain their goals. Helping your employees succeed will ensure continued growth for your company.