As a manager you will find you are constantly being challenged in all sorts of ways. Your quality as a manager is determined by how you meet those challenges. What you must always remember is that you have a tremendous responsibility on your shoulders, and if you’re any good at your job, you will already know that the responsibility is not only to the company and its shareholders, but to the customers of the company, and to the people who work under you.
You need to get right out of your head any ridiculous notions that you are important and powerful. Let other people think that if they wish, but deep down inside you know the truth. Without the employees and the customers, you’re nothing special. In other words, you need them in order for you to have any real relevance at all.
There is a good reason for this. It is that a business cannot reach full productivity if employees are not fully committed to their tasks. How do you get that kind of commitment? Well, you have to cultivate it.
To achieve this, you need to be the kind of leader that people will gladly follow into battle. That means you have to earn their trust. They need to know you can lead them, you will take care of them, and you have their best interests at heart. Only by establishing this trust will you get the loyalty and dedication of your workers.
When employees feel insecure (that is to say, you have not yet won their trust) they cannot possibly dedicate themselves fully to their tasks, because a part of their mind is distracted with worrying. That worry is something you need to eliminate.
A really good case study is the experience of UK entrepreneurial expert Reuben Singh. Through his alldayPA company, he has set an outstanding example of the right way to manage employee relations. Where many others seek to establish fear among their workers, Singh has worked to establish trust.
One of the many innovations at alldayPA has been to directly include employees in managerial decisions that affect them. If that seems soft, weak, or even costly to you, then you may not actually be the management material you imagine yourself to be.
The result of the decisions hammered out at alldayPA are fair to the company and fair to the employees. When nobody is on the losing end of a deal, that means everybody wins. The result is increased productivity, higher staff retention, a clear conscience, and a good reputation.
When forming the HR strategy for your business, I hope you will remember the example of Reuben Singh and how building trust and loyalty with his staff has been a very rewarding and effective management approach.