People don’t magically start working as an effective team, it takes work from the Supervisor, sometimes a lot! Here are 9 strategies that will help your people work together as a tightly knit unit. Think you’ll need a little more help? Consider hosting Supervisor Boot Camp at your organization!
1. Make Inclusivity Your Rule
It’s important to value the uniqueness of every individual and be open to new ways of doing things. Remind yourself often that your behavior and beliefs affect how you treat those different from yours. Be proactive in asking for feedback to understand other’s viewpoint. At the same time, help your employees see the big picture: how their role and responsibilities fit into the overall mission of the company and how their department’s work contributes to another department.
2. Demonstrate Trust and Respect With Your Words and Actions
Choose your words carefully. Do not make harmful comments. It also helps to stay mindful of what your body language demonstrates to others. Ask people about what they think and would do in a given situation. Truly listen to employees and discover what excites them about their work.
3. Create a Sense of Belonging
Involve your people in setting goals and priorities, they can bring tremendous value to your department’s vision and mission!
4. Understand that Respect Works Both Ways
Treat employees with the same level of respect you want them to give to your customers. Be sure to greet them each morning and wish them a good night at the end of the day. Spend time with them. Most importantly: always use courteous language.
5. Acknowledge Great Work
Focus on what your employees do well. Find a way to reward those that go above and beyond. Borrow the Golden Banana idea or create your own reward system. Say it when you catch someone doing great work instead of only focusing on what doesn’t go well.
6. Establish an Open-Door Policy
Encourage your employees to come to you with any ideas, challenges, concerns, etc. Use as a listening device and a method for finding solutions.
7. Practice What You Preach
This is also known as “walking the talk.” Do what you say, when you say you’ll do it. Be on time. Follow the rules. Don’t be a complainer. Hold yourself accountable, or better yet, ask your people to let you know when you don’t.
8. Don’t Allow Unacceptable Behavior
Being open and focusing on the positive behaviors, doesn’t mean the work floor is a free-for-all. Address all unacceptable behavior and performance immediately. If issues are left to linger, resentment builds with other employees and unacceptable behavior will become the norm.
9. Be a Good Follower
Put Servant Leadership to work. You do this by putting the needs of those you serve ahead of your own interests. Provide an environment where creativity is allowed to flourish. Help employees get their needs met. Support management objectives.
Remember that YOU are the role model! While there might be a few that seem to stray, it is usually because of some temporary upset. Find out what is going on early while it is still new on the scene.