We all want our employees to be happy at work. But there are days when nothing seems to be going well and everything seems to be going wrong. Every leader has to guide their teams through off days and bad weeks, and sometimes through more serious long-term difficulties.
What we do in those circumstances as a leader matters greatly. Here are some of the most effective steps you can take:
Lend a listening ear. A lot of people do a lot of talking, but not nearly as many are listening. Listen to people when they speak, and don’t automatically respond. Allow people to express themselves—give them the time and attention they need to vent, speak and express what is on their mind. The best way to motivate people is to let them know you hear them.
Give compliments. The quickest way to make your employees happy at work is by giving them a sincere compliment about a recent accomplishment. A lot of us tend to take things for granted. Be generous with compliments— be sure you let people know how much their time and effort mean to you.
Invest in people. There are all kinds of ways to invest in your employees. You can offer them time off to study, take a course or learn a new skill; you can hire them a coach; you can send them to a conference or retreat. Investing in your employees pays off twice, because they learn something new (which they can often pass along to others on the team) and because it shows you believe in them.
Express gratitude. The employees who thrive at work are the ones who know their contributions have meaning and are making a difference. When a leader expresses gratitude for the ways their work matters, employees stay engaged and excited. Always, always thank your employees. What may feel like a small word or gesture of gratitude to you may be much more significant to the one who receives it.
Offer encouragement. There will always be tasks to complete and actions to take and stress to be had. The best thing you can do as a leader is to let people know you believe in them. A word of encouragement during a failure means more than an hour of praise after a success.
Celebrate wins. The best leaders understand the importance of celebrating wins—large and small. The more you praise and celebrate the wins, the more there wins there are to celebrate.
Provide support. More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart leaders make sure to provide support, guidance, and coaching and to challenge people. They understand that to truly support someone means not just reaching out a hand but extending an arm. When you help others achieve their goals, you’re achieving as well.
There’s no end to the things you can do to help keep your employees happy at work. The better you get to know your team, the better you can find the things that work for them. But with any team and circumstance, these suggestions are a good place to start.
Lead from within: Focus your attention on your people and watch your employees be happier and more productive, engaged and enthusiastic about themselves and the work they do.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.