“Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress”
Richard Branson, English investor and business mogul
The entire process of finding quality employees that want to stay in the company can be a demanding task. Furthermore, after several years of working, it’s a big challenge to find an innovative way to keep these quality people in the company. This depends a lot on the salary that meets their expectations, additional benefits and advantages, but also on the relationship with superiors, primarily with the director of the company or manager.
The results of a LinkedIn survey found that 75% of employees who voluntarily leave a company and resign do so because of a bad relationship with the CEO or people from the management team, not because of dissatisfaction.
The fact is that people leave superiors, not companies.
Google has spent the past year delving into the research about the qualities that managers in Google possess and has come to interesting conclusions. In 2002, they launched a project called “Project Oxygen”.
This project initially involved a radical experiment, and that was to take management completely out of the company hierarchy. It lasted only a few months, and the result was a disaster – employees were lost, without direction and professional leadership.
8 years after the initial fiasco, the experiment moved in a different direction. Google has spent a decade researching what qualities employees want to see in a superior – manager, supervisor or CEO. Quantitative and qualitative analysis has successfully determined what are the qualities that a manager should possess in order for employees to feel safe, motivated and ready to dedicate themselves to performing their tasks at the highest level. The results showed that these are the most common traits that are often overlooked.
Laszlo Bock (former Vice President of peoples operations at Google), told the New York Times that even the worst-performing managers have improved the quality of their work up to 75% after the implementation of the results. Take a look at the qualities that ensure high engagement of management and employees.
1. Good teacher
A good leader communicates with employees as a motivational speaker. He should learn to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and help them identify specific ways to improve, according to their abilities. It is necessary to invest time and energy in the progress of your employees.
As teachers, they should lead through the process of change, instead of looking for mistakes and correcting them. Employees’ horizons will be broadened through meaningful discussion, practical examples and motivation to find creative solutions, instead of giving answers and imposing their own views.
2. No micromanagement
No one likes people who monitor and analyze every step, but those who encourage them to take control and give them more autonomy and responsibility. One of the definitions of an initiative is: “An initiative is when I recognize and do what I think needs to be done before someone asks me to”.
Employees who take responsibility for their actions show greater satisfaction and are better organized in the workplace. Leaders who encourage employees to take the initiative are perceived as inspiring and positively influencing others.
3. Creating an inclusive work environment
In most cases, the individual feeling of fulfillment is a product of joint effort. People like to be a part of the winning team and to feel that their knowledge and skills contributed to the final result.
Employees respond well to leaders who nurture a winning mentality in teams, who want to see the success of their team and focus on long-term goals even when the results are not the best. It is also important for a successful leader to be interested in the progress of each individual and to understand what personal success means for each team member.
4. Productive and result-oriented
Leaders are people that employees look up to. Having clear goals and a clear vision for the future can help the leader monitor employee performance and progress.
Productive advice and the use of communication tools (Asana, Jira, Trello, Slack) will increase the systematic nature of work processes. Achieving higher productivity is directly related to less time required to complete the task as well as reducing stress levels for timely and optimal work.
5. Good communicator – listens and shares information
The biggest problem with communication is that there is no active listening, but there is only the illusion that communication takes place in both directions, and many times it is in fact one-way. It happens that people do not focus on the core of communication, but superficially listen to only a part of the information.
Warren Buffett stated that working on communication skills is an easy way to increase your value by up to 50%. A prerequisite for good team communication is discussing the roles and responsibilities in the team, looking at the problem from multiple angles and getting feedback on the project and its results.
6. Work on career goals
The best managers at Google communicated with employees about upcoming success and goals for the future. Supervisors, managers, CEOs were beginners at some point in their lives and they understand how important it is for the quality of work to improve as more demanding projects and tasks come.
Employees who are satisfied and motivated to work on themselves should discuss performance and how they have achieved results. The effort, easy integration into the work environment and establishing contacts will accelerate career advancement and give more confidence to develop business relationships.
7. Clear vision and strategy
While employees should be encouraged to be proactive, it is also important to clearly present to them the path and the roadmap to success. It is important that employees know what is expected of them and what is the defined time frame for the completion of the project or their task.
It is important to present the goals of the project, define the potential problems that employees may encounter and in this way create a guide for successful project implementation.
8. Key technical skills
In order for employees to feel safe and motivated, their superior must be someone with experience and knowledge who can help them overcome obstacles more easily because he himself has come across them at some point.
Also, the superior needs to be educated on the skills he expects from his employees. In that way, misunderstandings will be avoided and clear communication will be achieved, especially if it is a matter of professional issues that require advanced technical skills and experience.
9. Collaborate with other managers and CEOs
Instead of relying only on his own knowledge and expertise, a good manager or CEO will ask for a second opinion if he feels that it will give him a better perspective and expand his horizons so that he can better understand the tasks and work process.
A successful work atmosphere depends on the cooperation that the superior has with employees, but also with other managers and CEOs. One of the biggest mistakes that company executives make is that they always rely only on their own expertise and independent decision-making instead of considering several options and eventually opting for one. This strategy will help to better assess the conditions, ambitions, and abilities of employees.
10. Effective decision making
Determination is one of the essential factors for easy and unambiguous decision making. The success of a project depends on the decisions that are made at a certain stage of the project. These decisions affect the mood of the employees, the atmosphere in the team and strengthen the team spirit because they all go towards one common goal.
Effective decision-making creates patterns and organizations for future projects. Thus, both the team and the superiors gain the necessary experience, learn from mistakes and prevent and reduce the chances of their appearance on future projects.
A prerequisite for a successful project is the synchronization of the team and superiors. Each team strengthens communication by going through different developmental stages together and overcoming obstacles on the way to the goal. The success of the project can be ruined by self-sufficient managers, supervisors, and CEOs who do not know how to communicate and cooperate with employees and other managers.