What Are Your Employees Saying Behind Your Back?


Do you ever wonder, what your employees would have to say about you when speaking candidly with others?

I recently had the privilege of my employees speaking very kindly about me to a colleagues father during an industry networking event. Eventually the good words made their way back around to me and I was so pleased to know I was influencing my employees in a positive way! Would you like to have the same experience for your team?

Follow these 5 steps to make a positive influence within your team, starting today!

1. Work with your team to define clear values and hold each other accountable for them. As a leader, find every opportunity to act on your values, to set the example for your team. If one of your values is to hold yourself accountable in all things then strive, as a group, to be accountable in the simplest things.

Recently an employee and I stopped at a convenience store and on the way in I picked up garbage on the ground, instead of walking by it.  Again, on the way out there was another napkin on the ground and I picked that up, too. Later that afternoon my employee let me know how inspiring that was to him, to find simple ways to be true to the values we feel are important. Set the example for your employees in all ways, you never know what will inspire them to do the same!

2. See their potential and help them achieve it! Spend time getting to know your employees, you need to understand both their potential and what they want to achieve and then find ways to make that happen, both professionally and personally.

Does your employee have the potential to make work more efficient if they understood
and used computing software more efficiently? Get them the training they need and help
them to build a comprehensive plan to work the training in to their daily routine.

Do you have an employee who wants to speak at a conference but isn’t sure how to get
the ball rolling, or needs someone to review their presentation? Be there for them, help them achieve their goals both professionally and personally and watch them flourish!

3. Recognize the great work they do. Do you have an employee who has gone above and beyond to make a real difference within the organization? Make sure you thank them for their contribution.

There are times when every team is faced with a challenge that requires all involved to
function at their absolute best. When your employee steps up to the plate and delivers
beyond expectation make sure to thank them, personally. I like to write a personal thank
you note that I have designed myself. I hand write the note and I make sure my
employee understands the exact behavior-not just the task-that I appreciate so much.
This lets them know that I see their efforts and that I appreciate what they do.

Don’t reserve recognizing great work just for times when the stakes are high, recognize
effort that is above and beyond whenever it happens, and as soon as it happens. It
never hurts to say thank you!

4. Be humble and kind. In the words of the great Tim McGraw, always be humble and kind. Don’t be afraid to apologize to your employees when you’ve made a mistake.

We’re all human and mistakes happen. Being able to apologize lets your people know that you value them more than your ego, that you recognize and accept mistakes and can fix them and move on. Finally, admitting and apologizing for your mistakes helps others feel comfortable to do the same. You don’t need to go overboard with this, but make sure you do it when you know you need to.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Multiple times each year we sit down with our employees and provide feedback for the work they are doing. We discuss how effective they have been at achieving the goals set at the beginning of the year. Give your employees the opportunity to provide feedback for your work, too.

Ask them often how you are doing, and what you could be doing better. If you feel they aren’t being as honest as they could reassure them that you want to be the best leader for them, and that you can’t get better if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. There are also many survey options that you can use to collect feedback from your employees. By asking for and acting on feedback, especially negative feedback, you’ve set the example for your employees to engage in the same behaviors.

At the end of the day there are many ways to build your connection with your employees in a positive way. Using these 5 steps I have been successful at influencing my team to act on their values, accept challenges, and work towards achieving their goals. In what ways have you been a positive influence to those you work with? Please share your thoughts below.

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