Want to Change Employee Behavior? Change Yourself First
Being the boss isn't as glamorous as it used to be. For a little extra pay, a little extra flexibility and an elusive sense of control, managers take on the stress of being accountable for the performance of the workgroup and leave behind many of the activities that used to create job satisfaction.
One of the most frustrating parts of the manager's job is balancing the need to get results with the unpredictability of human behavior. It turns out that human behavior is not that unpredictable.
In fact, the greatest epiphany we see in the managers, supervisors and team leaders we train and coach is that the behaviors (good and bad) of the workgroup often reflect the approach taken by the leader. After learning how to be more constructive, supervisors will say that employees are being more positive, helpful and accountable. The leader changed first - then the employees changed!
How are you contributing to some of the employee behaviors that are frustrating you?
- Tell employees what you expect as clearly as you can and be prepared to repeat yourself dozens of times until it sinks in.
- Be positive and in a good mood more of the time - it is contagious. A foul mood will spread to employees... and... gulp... customers.
- Build on positives. Seeing mistakes is helpful but focus on the gains being made in order to motivate for greater achievement.
- Encourage people to help them recognize their own strengths. A lot of employee misbehavior is caused because of low self-esteem. Build them up.
- Be approachable - smile more often and employees will bring problems to you more quickly, before getting out of hand.