By Avery Blank – Forbes
Managing people can be the most difficult part of the job. A great manager knows how to get the most out of their people, whether they are direct reports or consultants. Namely, a great manager knows how to treat their employees in such a way that makes the employees want to work with you. Here are seven ways that can increase your employees’ commitment to you, your organization, and the mission:
1. Tell the person you are fine with rescheduling the meeting.
You wake up feeling ill or to your child being sick and think to yourself, “How am I going to be able to handle this morning’s meeting with my boss?” If your employee tells you that she unexpectedly has to go to the doctor’s office, tell your employee it is fine to reschedule the meeting.
To engender commitment, give them some slack. They are human, and things happen to humans. Be flexible. Allow your employee to feel like they are not going to lose their job for not being able to make a meeting. The employee will be grateful for your understanding and will work hard to continue to be given the privilege of flexibility.
2. Ask, “What do you think?”
People are honored when others want to learn their perspectives. Ask your employee, “What do you think?” It shows that you are open to ideas, are listening, and care about what they have to say. Who doesn’t like a boss with these qualities? Employees are willing to put in the time if they are respected for their views.
3. Say “thank you” for a small task.
Humans, no matter how confident they are, appreciate the affirmation of a job well done. Don’t underestimate the power of expressing your appreciation, especially for something small. Your employees will not expect it, and it will highlight that you appreciate everything that they do. The more people feel appreciated, the more they will give of themselves.
4. Give the person the information they need, and then let them go do it.
People like to feel supported and empowered. Share with your employees the information they need to move forward on a project, and then let them move forward.
When people are given the opportunity to drive a project and the autonomy to determine its direction or strategy, people feel they have ownership. With ownership comes an increased sense of responsibility to succeed.
5. Grant the person access to opportunities.
Use your power to provide your employees’ opportunities. Introduce them to project leaders, department managers, or executives. The employee will think, “Wow, my manager did that for me. I am grateful.”
Be a sponsor. At a manager-level meeting, mention the name of an employee who you think would be great to lead an upcoming initiative. Support their career development, even when the employee is not in the room.
6. Ask the person about something other than work.
If you show interest in something other than the work the employee is doing, you will demonstrate that you care about them as a person. When the employee sees that you care about them as a whole person, they will see you as more than their manager. That deeper connection can help to engender more commitment to you and their work.
7. Mentor the person.
Take time out of your day, even if it is for 15 minutes, to teach or share advice with an employee. Employees will notice that you took time out of your busy schedule to focus on them. Employees will appreciate your time and advice. Employees will strive to do their best to continue to learn from you. That is, invest in your employee, and the employee will invest in you.
If you want the best out of your people, you have to manage in a way that your people will increase their commitment to you. Certainly, you have to be a good person. But you also have to be intentional to demonstrate that you care about and trust them, value their opinion and respect their judgment, are willing to be flexible, and want them to advance in their career.