You know your team (hopefully) does the jobs you give them and finish the tasks they’re assigned. When you give your employees a project, you can be pretty sure they’re going to follow your lead on it. However, your employees don’t just follow the things you specifically ask them to do. They take a lot of cues from the boss or manager. Here are some unexpected ways that your team follows your lead.
If you’re the boss, your team is looking to you for how the average workday is going to go. When you show up at 8 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m., your team feels pressure to do the same. They don’t want to be perceived as always leaving “early” because they’re always gone before the boss. You may not care if they show up right at nine and leave right at five, but if you never do it, they won’t either. Be sure to have some balance in your own work hours. If that’s not possible, make it clear to your employees that you don’t expect them to stay late every day.
Working at Home
In the age of email, laptops and smart phones, it’s become almost expected that people should be reachable at all hours of the day. If you’re reachable, you should be able to do a little bit more work, even if you’ve left the office. It’s become the norm for many people to keep working after hours. Studies have shown time and again that it’s not good for people to constantly be working, but we still do it. For most people, if the boss emails or calls after hours, they’re going to answer. This isn’t healthy for you or your employees, and you’re likely leading them to burnout. It’s going to happen sometimes, but if it can be left for the next day, make a note and send it in the morning.
Your employees get a certain amount of time off each year. Ideally, they would be taking most of it. People who take vacations and get real time away from the office are often better workers. They come back feeling refreshed and are less likely to get burnt out. However, if you never take a day off, they’re going to feel awkward about taking their full two weeks. They’ll feel like they’re going to be judged if they spend a week out of pocket. There is no reason you can’t take any time off in a whole year. It’s just as important for managers to take time off as it is for employees. The company isn’t going to fall apart if you go to the beach. Lead by example on this one and use your PTO.
The way to communicate with your employees influences how they communicate with you and with each other. If you’re open, honest, kind and fair, that’s how your team will communicate. When you’re open about their performance and offer good feedback, they’re likely to do the same for you. If you yell, are passive-aggressive, or overly negative and critical, chances are that’s how your team will talk to you.