Let’s face it, the pressures in modern businesses are high. It’s tough to please customers, especially now that industries are so competitive.
But this environment is doing more than making you work hard; it’s ruining your relationship with your employees. Nobody likes being pushed to the limit – and they certainly don’t like it when they feel that their boss is working against them, not with them. What’s more, when things turn sour, it ruins your style and makes you say things that you later regret.
So what tactics can you use to avoid allowing cranky employees to ruin your style.
Keep Pushing Forward
When employees get disgruntled, don’t automatically assume that it has something to do with you. They may just be disappointed that a project they’re working on has not gone as well as they’d hoped or that they’ve lost a key customer and are worried about the long-term viability of their job.
In these cases, it’s crucial for you, the boss, to keep moving forward. There needs to be something shiny over the horizon for your employees to focus on, rather than the problems of the past. When you focus your employees, you quickly find that old issues are forgotten and that by concentrating on new problems, suddenly things at work don’t seem so bad.
Make A Gracious Gesture
As children, we are taught that conflict resolution involves one party submitting to the other. But this model doesn’t work well in a voluntary business environment where people and stay and leave as they please. The trick to resolving conflicts is to be generous while also sticking to your principles. Often, simply offering people a token of your gratitude for their work helps them open up about their problems, enabling you to get to the root of the issue quickly.
Don’t Adopt the Same Tone as Them
Stooping to the level of your employees can often land you in legal trouble because of your responsibilities as an employer. As many a business litigation attorney knows, what bosses say matters in court.
But watching what you say has wider importance than ensuring that you avoid falling foul of the law. It also directs the culture in your business. It’s been said before that business cultures hinge on the attitudes of the leadership. The vast majority of people in your organization are followers, and they’re looking for behavioral cues from people in authority. If gossip is an issue in your organization, refuse to engage in it. If anger is an issue, speak calmly and gently. You’ll be surprised how quickly employees mirror your behaviors.
Stick To The Facts
Business cultures get into trouble when people stray from the facts and begin speculating about why people do what they do. It creates an environment in which employees are always on edge, worrying about how they might be judged.
When conflicts arise, always stick to the facts. Don’t try to interpret them. Hold them up against your company code of conduct and look for how it might have been violated. Be clinical and objective in your approach.