"I hate my boss." It might surprise you, but those are the most commonly spoken words by your employees. But don't take it personally. Your employees have statistics on their side: 60% of managers claim they don't have the time to respect their team.
A worrying 68% of managers fail to engage in their staff's career development. And a whopping 82% of managers are wrongly hired. Ouch. Still, becoming a good boss is a learning journey. Managing is not an intuitive skill for most business professionals; therefore, it's fair to give a new boss some time to learn and understand their role.
But, what is even more surprising is the fact that employees might still use those hurtful three little words to describe a good manager. The thing about your employees is that they are more likely to dislike you just because you are the boss.
In other words, you don't have to worry about your management skills. Unfortunately, distrust and dislike of the management is a rooted phenomenon in psychology, anthropology and sociology. Indeed, anthropologically, people are designed to work in groups.
However, the ideal group size seems to be 8. Anything larger than 8 gets chaotic and unpleasant. When you consider the size of your business team, it's easy to see that employees are not expressing a personal distrust in your management skills but in a group structure that doesn't align with their natural needs.
In a professional system that is built around distrust and dislike for the management, it's tricky to introduce any new team management tool and policy. From the employees' perspective, you are only trying to trick them, either to pay them less or to get rid of them.
The main issue about management and creating trust is that, ultimately, your employees fail to see how management tools could benefit their career and work-life balance. If you want to make a difference, you need to establish a trusted relationship by showing how your strategy can improve their lives.
Make them part of the process
Even though workplaces in the UK are authorised to monitor their employees' activities in the workplace, many employees feel threatened by this approach. They assume that their employer chooses to monitor activities in an attempt to spy on their privacy and – to put things clearly – find an excuse to fire staff.
From phone logs to opening e-mails, companies have the right to read and hear most professional interactions on the workplace. It's easy to understand your employees' distrust of such practices. However, you can introduce the necessary monitoring policies openly and honestly.
Employees don't want to feel threatened by monitoring tools and structures. But, if you take the time to highlight how such a system could benefit them, then you can make it easier for them to accept it.
For instance, a software tool that automatically tracks time means they don't need to keep a time log anymore. Task management tracking lets you learn more about their work approach and provide relevant advice, improvement and training where necessary.
In short, turn a negative into a positive if you're going to use tracking devices.
Make sure they have the opportunity to manage their pay
In a business where you need to keep your team organised to fulfil tasks in a timely fashion, you need to who is on site at what time of the day or night. The manual clocking system is a little old-fashioned and doesn't meet the purpose of it.
Imagine teams in a supermarket, for instance. With the regular opening hours ranging from 7am to 8am to 10pm to 11pm, it's fair to say that a supermarket will need more than one team in a day, whether they're working at the til, managing stocks, handling store security or dealing with cleaning and clearing of surfaces.
Using a professional scheduling tool – take a look at the Deputy's roster app if you need inspiration – can not only let you manage your teams accordingly but it also allows your employees to handle last-minute changes safely.
A rota tool lets your staff take on additional hours as you notify them of free lots and be in charge of their income.
Perks shouldn't be decided in isolation
Everyone loves a perk. Unfortunately, too many companies get it wrong. Businesses that choose to give perks only to a selected few, as a way of rewarding their best employees each year are likely to damage the team morale.
Additionally, if you choose to introduce shared perks, it's important to select relevant and valuable rewards. The typical free beer Friday and discounted memberships to local partners can also leave many employees feeling dissatisfied.
Perks that are not arranged with the best interests of your team at heart can backfire. Typically, the introduction of a perk system that lets employees choose what they want is more effective. Give your staff a say in what they want to receive.
Let them be the voice of the company
When the company runs a blog, the most common scenario is to entrust the management of the content system to the marketing team. Nobody else is going to produce blog articles, and as a result, the marketing team is the only one who can contribute to the brand reputation and online presence.
When you run a solo-user CMS, you are telling a large group of people that you don't want their professional contributions. Instead, offering a multi-authors CMS for your business blog can allow each employee to express an opinion about market trends or share their expert knowledge.
Give publishing rights to your best editors but encourage everyone to write draft articles.
If you check their social media presence, value their opinions
Social media checks are more and more common in business, during the recruitment phase and even afterwards. However, it can lead to discriminatory behaviours and witch hunt online.
If you are going to run social media monitoring, you should also introduce social media praises, such as LinkedIn recommendations for your staff or sharing their informative posts.
Give them the thumbs up
As a manager, you need to think beyond controlling your team. Monitoring tools and structures should not be used as a way of punishing a few or using threats as a managing device. If you introduce strategies to track your team, they need to know what THEY will gain in the process.