Give Yourself a Boss Day Gift

By: Linda LaPointe

Become a better boss and reap the benefits

Another interesting study was done. One that should really catch our attention. It reveals that employees who are happier and treated well, produce better results than those who are unhappy. And most frontline workers are unhappy and are looking elsewhere for work.

No, it shouldn’t surprise us. But somehow it does. It surprises us first, because we are stunned that a study had to be done to prove something that is so obvious. The outcome of the study should not be as surprising as the fact that it was done at all! When we recover from that, then it may surprise us because we aren’t aware that most frontline staffers aren’t happy and they don’t feel that they are treated well at work.

Ugh! This must make us look at ourselves if we are managers. But we have to give ourselves a break…we’re not the bad guy! I think I know why and how this happens.

The position somehow changes us whether we know it or not! My own research, and my work with thousands of frontline supervisors, lead me to believe that there is a clear and simple answer: We become so consumed with the position, we lose the ‘person’ we think and know ourselves to be. This is too bad too, because it was probably that personable person who got us this higher position!

The fun-loving, spontaneous, smiling person we think ourselves as, has morphed into a serious, unapproachable, distracted, frenzied boss, concentrating on the demands of the position, losing the person we were and forgetting the people who work for us. The moment we concentrate on the work and the final product and not the people who produce that product, we become the ‘position’ and leave behind the person who relates to others on a personal level. We want to be successful and do a good job. We think taking the job so seriously is part of the package. Oooops. Big mistake.

This serious approach to the position not only negatively affects our workers, but us, too. When we reach a toxic level of ‘position’, it is usually painful: we feel misunderstood, overwhelmed, crisis-oriented, over-stressed and we begin to hate our job, and maybe our co-workers, which we may have previously loved. Others see this and they begin to shy away from us. This cycle happens so often that many supervisors quit within 3 years of the promotion.

So here’s where the results of the study comes in. Supervisors need to remind themselves that no matter what work they think are in, they are really in ‘human services’. No matter what the company does: make widgets, produce soft or hardware, sell via the phone; once you become a frontline supervisor your priority must be the human beings who are responsible to you, as it is those humans who produce the final product. The work or the final product is no longer your priority. No work is done well if people aren’t happy doing it. So don’t lose your ‘person’ to the ‘position’.

And here we must be reminded why people leave their jobs (this, from yet another study). Most people leave because they see their supervisor as a jerk, and second they leave because they don’t feel acknowledged, recognized or appreciated. We can again become the ‘person’ known to be talented, liked and therefore, promoted, by remembering the importance of the people who do the job. Stop the vicious cycle. Lighten up! Smile. Visit. Have fun. It’s a win-win situation!

Business and Finance
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