Most bosses think employees prefer a hands-off boss, but what would you say if I told you that most employees prefer to have a boss that provides them with on-going feedback? Would you continue to be an absentee boss or would you adjust your style?
Many of you may be thinking that if this were really the case, your people would tell you so. But not everyone has the guts to take the boss head on in order to ask for what they need, and in many cases, the boss is no where to be found. Yes, I know you are pulled in twenty different directions on any given day and that the majority of your time is spent in meetings putting out fires all day. But maybe if you spent a little more time with your people, there would be fewer fires to extinguish.
Try the following and then decide if it’s worth your while to flex your style:
- Schedule brief weekly meetings with each direct report. Fifteen minutes should be fine. During this time, ask your employee what they need from you in order to achieve the objectives they have for the coming week. Specifically tell them your expectations (this way they don’t have to guess) so they can meet your expectations.
- Prepare to jump in when necessary. No matter how good someone is in their job, there are times when an extra set of hands or eyes is necessary. If your employee asks for your help, be prepared to jump in and give it.
- Give them the resources they need. Most people want to succeed and will do so if they have the resources they need to complete their work. There is nothing more frustrating to high achieving employees then knowing they could really hit a project out of the park, if only they had the right bat.
- Be present. Showing up for a lunch meeting with your Blackberry as your date is not the same thing as being fully present for a meeting with one of your reports. You have the rest of your life to spend with your Blackberry. You may only get this one hour to demonstrate that you really do care about your employee’s welfare.
When you become a boss, you are no longer measured by how well you do. You are now measured by the results your team achieves. Think about what you can do to help your people be more successful. Who knows, you may even have time during the day for something other than a meeting.