8 Things Your Employees Notice About You
As the owner, you are accustomed to observing your employees. You’re always keeping your eyes peeled, hoping to discover star performers, identify the bad apples, and just make sure you’re generally in tune with the mood of the team. You might be so focused on looking at your employees, in fact, that you’ve not considered what they are seeing in you.
Whether you’ve thought about it or not, your employees are noticing these 8 things:
1. How you speak to them and others
Your words are some of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. Your words can speak encouragement, excitement, and confidence into your employees, just as they can elicit resentment, doubt, and worry from them. It is critical that you are intentional about interactions with your employees. Be purposeful to communicate clear expectations, challenge them to grow, and shape them into their highest and best.
2. How well you understand their job
Some of an employee’s greatest frustrations stem from the feeling that company executives don’t understand what they do and how that contributes to the business. This lack of understanding leads to unrealistic expectations by management, and a failure to recognize the employee’s contribution. Even if it’s not possible for you to master the inner-workings of every position in your company, you should strive to have a grasp of each role your employees play to the business’s success. Making this a priority tells your employees they are valued.
3. How you handle stress
You might not have known it when you started your business, but you’ll quickly find that you signed up for an enormous load of ever-present stress. It’s a burden that most people simply can’t understand. Yet, how you deal with that stress can be the difference between employees that try to help you carry that heavy load and employees that try to avoid you on your “stressed-out” days – which are every day of the week. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for dealing with stress. The important thing to know is that stress management is key to your success as an owner and a leader. Take the time to identify the way that works for you.
4. How you deal with mistakes
When the inevitable mistake is made, do you start pointing fingers or do you take responsibility for your team? Is your first move to lash out at the offender, or to uncover why the mistake was made to avoid it in the future? Having the strength to take accountability for your team and the composure to turn a mistake into a process improvement shows your employees you accept the responsibility of your position right along with the privileges.
5. The way you dress
You’ve heard the saying, “Dress for the position you want.” But have you considered that, as the owner of the business with the highest position, you’re setting the standard for the rest of the company by how you dress? It is true that the days of a suit and tie Monday through Friday are mostly behind us, but having healthy, respectful standards for dress at work is important to maintaining a healthy company culture.
6. How respectful you are
It might not bother you to hear expletives, but does that make any of your employees uncomfortable? You had a crazy weekend celebrating your friend getting married, but does sharing the details of the less-than-composed weekend leave your employees feeling awkward? Mutual respect is an essential component of a healthy work environment. And, as the owner, the respect and consideration you show your employees sets the tone for the company. So, the best rule of thumb here is to err on the conservative side. It is your responsibility to make sure that you’re providing a work environment that is conducive to all your employees.
7. If you care about them
Your employees are people. They might have come to work for you in exchange for a paycheck, but people crave more than a direct deposit every two weeks. A leader that cares about their employees, that invests in their growth, and contributes to their success, will create a loyal following. If you’ve never experienced that kind of loyalty, you might write this one off as inconsequential--don’t. A team that is loyal to each other and to the cause that is your business is the difference between a surviving organization and successful one.
8. If you are consistent
Can your employees generally guess how you will respond to a question or situation? Or is asking you more like a game of Russian roulette? A leader that is consistent reduces the stress of uncertainty and earns trust from employees. When you are consistent, your employees can learn and adopt your way of decision making and conducting business. Consistency will afford you the opportunity to grow a team and a company infused with your values.
Your employees are always seeing you, the good parts and the ones that you might not be so proud of. As their leader, it is important to hold yourself to the standard you wish for them to follow.