Once upon a time, you hire a recruiting agency to find you an employee. You interview one Prince Charming who seems to love your company, and their experience and skills are perfect. When you offer them the job, they accept—but the spell doesn’t hold, and they quit a couple of months later.
Why? They didn’t get along with their manager.
People will leave a job they like to get away from a boss they don’t. So how can you avoid being the wicked stepmother of managers?
Understand you’re more than a boss or a people manager. You’re not a fairy godmother, but you are in a position of leadership. That doesn’t mean you have to make dramatic, inspiring speeches to your team every day. Instead, the smaller things will make you a pleasure to work for, increase employee productivity, and raise employee satisfaction.
Make communication the key to running your castle well. Communicate to employees how their positions fit into the bigger picture of the company. Help them believe in the company’s vision by believing in it yourself. If there’s an issue with one of your employees, discuss it calmly and privately. When an employee performs well or solves a problem, praise him/her. Compliments will accomplish more than constant criticism. Let your team know you’re not a beast and they can talk to you.
Use your magic wand wisely, and spend it on those projects that really need you. Budget your time and energy. You don’t have to solve every crisis yourself. That’s why you have a team. Let them get involved and make decisions. Listen to their input; your experience made you the boss, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have good ideas.
Remember that your employees are not lizards and mice who exist simply to pull Cinderella’s coach. Often,a job is a way for people to support their families, their hobbies or their dreams. You might only see these people from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, but they have lives outside of that, just like you do. They’re unique individuals and persons deserving of respect.
This advice won’t expire at the stroke of midnight—instead, it will help you and your employees work happily ever after.