As a manager, you usually have the answers to employees’ questions. But who will answer yours? Here are the answers to six questions that might be keeping you up at night:
1. Do employees like me?
Why do you care? You’re not there to be liked. You’re there to be respected. Because when employees respect your authority, they will get their jobs done.
2. Am I treating everyone equally?
Let’s hope not. Don’t confuse fairly with equally. Employees need to be treated fairly when it comes to employment laws. But for as many personalities you’re dealing with, equal treatment won’t work. Some employees need a stern command, others need an encouraging word. And a few do their best when they’re outright challenged.
3. Does uppersupport me?
For your sake, they better. Once employees realize they can do an end run around you, your authority collapses and you are no longer an effective manager. All it takes is one incidence of your boss allowing a subordinate to undermine you. Then the floodgates will open.
4. Do I have enough resources to accomplish my goals?No. Who does? You can always use a bigger budget, more bodies and better equipment. Truth is, you still need to accomplish those goals with what you have. You’re the boss. You need to make it work.
5. How do I get employees to embrace change that even I don’t want?
The largest changes come from a source higher than your planner book. And you’re on board, aren’t you? Your job is to implement the change and help your staff deal with it. For many workers, change is frightening as it disrupts their familiar routines and threatens to expose their weaknesses. Explain the move and the reasons. Give employees plenty of time to adjust. For those still reluctant, you may have to inform them of a bigger change if they don’t acquiesce—unemployment.
6. How will I know if I’m not doing a good job?
Oddly, it won’t come fromfirst. You’ll see the signs out on the floor: a drop in employees’ energy level, a decrease in their efforts, and an uptick in and resignations. You’ll even hear the whispers of discontent through the grapevine. You’ve been served first notice. When the second notice comes from above you, you’re in trouble.