Just another day in the life of many a manager, but what can you do? It’s not your fault – or is it?
A recent CIPD report states that the cost of sickness absence in the UK has reached £554 a year, per employee, and many people will phone in sick if they are feeling overwhelmed, unhappy or even dis-engaged. So keeping your head in the sand and ignoring the warning signs can be costly.
Line managers can do much to make employees feel more empowered, happier and engaged at work, yet many arrive in their posts by accident, without any relevant people management training. Just because they are technically competent doesn’t mean they have the skills to motivate others to deliver results.
CIPD President Cary Cooper says: “Managers need to be trained urgently in soft skills so that they don’t overload their employees with work or give unrealistic deadlines, and can manage through praise and reward rather than fault finding”.
Author of Soft Skills for Strong Leaders, Helen Isacke agrees. “When managers are armed with strategies to handle difficult conversations, be more assertive and understand what drives other people’s behaviours, they can proactively change the office culture to one that is more in control, more productive and more fun”.
Pay attention to the general atmosphere in the office, consider who/what changes the atmosphere and why.
Take the time to listen to your colleague’s thoughts and concerns, and listen with empathy. The old saying ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’’ is true.
Find out what’s important to your colleagues. Is it being recognised, appreciated, included in decisions or being given a challenge?
Consider whether your behaviour is having a negative impact on those around you. What can you do to have a more positive impact?
Remember: If your people are happier, they will be more productive at work.
Helen Isacke runs a programme of Soft Skills for Strong Leaders workshops for managers to help them develop their Emotional Intelligence. Contact 01628 488042 for more information