Your employees are responsible for doing their work to the best of their ability. But the contract doesn’t stop there. Your job is to ensure that the environment you create makes your team feel safe and secure enough to do their best work. These tips will help you hold up your end of the deal.
Don’t Assume Anything
As an experienced business leader, your expertise qualifies you to make accurate assumptions about your team’s performance, right? Wrong. Don’t make the mistake of assuming why a member of your team has underperformed or what is causing a lag in productivity. The best way to get to the bottom of why an employee has failed to meet a demand is to request their input upfront. The moment you jump to conclusions, your employee is going to feel attacked and misunderstood. In short: the opposite of safe.
Keeping your team informed of the goings on in the business, even things that are not directly relevant to them, will give them a sense of control. When times are tough for the business, your employees are more likely to respond with energy and commitment if you tell them what’s going on, than if you try to hide the fact that the business is in trouble. While transparency is an effective tool for building trust within a business, it’s important to note that this principle should go further than sharing highs and lows. From diversity quotas to drug testing, letting your employees see that everyone is treated the same is a great way to foster a sense of even-handedness within your organisation.
Show Your Gratitude
If your team is working really hard, don’t let yourself get used it and start taking their productivity for granted. It’s vital to recognise the efforts of individuals and teams within your organisation—and reward when appropriate—to show that you value their commitment to their work and you don’t take their hard work for granted. When employees feel valued, they feel more secure in their work, which in turn promotes productivity.
Brilliant leaders have that special skill of making even the lowest-paid employee feel like their work—and they!—matter to the company. The best way to ensure your employees feel seen is to hold regular catch-ups with your staff. By creating space for honest feedback, or simply to get to know each other, you allow your employees a chance to voice their concerns. By getting to know your team as individuals, you will make yourself a more approachable figure within your organisation. If your team feels able to come and talk to you when something is on their minds, they’re more likely to feel safe and secure in the workplace.
One of the key characteristics of effective business leaders is that they create an environment in which their employees feel secure. Whether you’re responsible for a staff of two or two hundred, your leadership skills are key to making your employees feel safe at work. These tips will help you lead from the front.