Management cultures are changing and changing fast. Gone are the days when the boss would be too busy to meet any of his/her staff. With more and more companies realizing the importance of doing away with hierarchies and having flat organizations, it is becoming more and more important for managers to be a lot more accessible. This article takes a look at some of the ways you can adopt to make yourself more approachable to your staff.
The success of a manager quite obviously depends on how well you manage the people working for you. If they succeed in doing what they are supposed to do you to succeed. Consequently, it is absolutely essential that you have a positive and productive relationship with the people you manage. Among several other factors, one key element in achieving this goal is to make sure that you are completely accessible to one and all.
Far too often you will find managers who declare themselves difficult to get, hiding behind closed doors marked with a “do not disturb” sign. They end up intimidating employees and causing resentment. Often, as a result of their unapproachability, simple issues become unmanageable problems – issues that could have been solved right at the time of their genesis. Such inaccessibility also adds to lack of communication from the top to the lower ranks and this can hit one’s bottomline hard. Maintaining an open, approachable and friendly office culture can bring in many gains.
But, how do you ensure accessibility? How do you make sure that all employees feel free to come up to you with their problems as well as their dreams and aspirations? Here are a few steps that can help you.
*Keep the door to your office open:*
Keeping your door shut to conduct sensitive business or to maintain privacy should be done only when necessary. As a rule the door should be kept. A manager or for that matter any employee who does most of his/her work behind closed doors will almost always fail to connect with the rest of the staff. The sight of a closed door is an imposing barrier and will only help to alienate people and keep them at a distance. Even if keeping the door open means inviting one and all to drop in to exchange civilities and thereby waste some of your time, and even perhaps, distract you to some extent, the gesture of keeping your door wide open whenever possible will go a long way to enhance accessibility and earn the goodwill of subordinates.
*Talk to your people:*
Make it a point to talk to the people who work for you. It is you who have employed them to run your business for you. It is therefore, important for you to make sure that they have a sense of belonging which comes from making a point to find out how they are faring, what they are thinking, their likes and dislikes, their concerns, dreams and aspirations. Informal chats every now and then helps to build strong bridges of communication with your staff and know them better. Just asking how someone spent his birthday or wedding anniversary can make them think of you as a friend and mentor rather than as a tough nut martinet. And, to do all this you don’t have to pry into the personal affairs of people. A a very general friendly enquiry is all that it takes for people to feel that you care and that their welfare is important to you. People perform much better when they feel they belong, that they are respected and that they are being treated as human beings rather than as an odd piece of office furniture.
*Try working in a way that helps people to succeed:*
Nothing succeeds like success. Making it easier for people to succeed in doing whatever they have been asked to do only helps to achieve more success. Short deadlines and tough asks are inevitable but try to be well organized yourself so that you can plan ahead and give enough time and leeway to people whenever possible so that they can do their jobs well. Good communication is again critical. So many times the real cause of failures is that managers fail to clearly lay down what needs to be done, by whom and within what time. Make it clear to all and sundry that you are always available for help when needed. When questions crop up answer them in a way that helps people to succeed rather than to confuse them or intimidate them. Clear and constant communication is essential for ensuring that people achieve the goals that they have been assigned to achieve.
*Be open to all messages:*
Donâ€™t be like those regents who lost their kingdoms because they refused to hear that the enemy was on their doors. If your people think that you only want to hear good news, you face the danger of a lot of additional and unnecessary work and unpleasant surprises down the road. Employees should know that they can come to you with their problems and/or suggestions as to how they can do their jobs better. Let them know and feel that since it is they who do the actual work on a daily basis they may have a better knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.
While good people management is always a key to success it has become more so in today’s world where how you handle your human resources is the only thing that stands between success or failure. Now that you have read this article, go ahead and be more accessible. Then, let us know what results you have achieved!