It’s officially safe to mention Christmas… (I hope)!
So I’ve written a slightly festive blog post this week… (don’t worry, there are real insights in there too).
I’m talking about the big guy; Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Saint Nick, Santa, whatever your preference…
And in particular, how much of a bloomin’ great Manager he is! (And how we can be too).
(I mean, just think about the productivity, the deadlines, the employee satisfaction)!
How does he do it? Let’s take a look…
1. He’s jolly!
Where have all the jolly people gone?
I know, the world is only getting tougher and more competitive but it’s our job, as Managers, to keep our staff upbeat, positive and motivated.
(Imagine what Christmas would be like if all the elves were down-trodden and burnt out?)
Employees are much more likely to respond to a friendly, happy and jolly boss who takes time to have a chat, than a miserable and stand-offish Scrooge.
The point is; engaged and happy staff are more loyal, more efficient and will work harder for your business – because they really, genuinely care about it.
Click here for some great tips on how to engage your employees this festive season.
2. But firm.
Of course, Father Christmas is no pushover.
Nice behaviour should be rewarded. Bad behaviour should not!
(Why do you think he has those lists?)
Unfortunately, there are some people who take advantage of good-natured managers (their names crop up on the naughty list every year).
Perhaps they’re always running late or can’t quite seem to knuckle down to work, maybe they bring down the rest of the office by complaining about others…
Whatever the issue, it often stems to one thing; they can get away with it.
In the case of these bad eggs, the best thing you can do is act quickly.
Offer them any support they need and always give warnings before making any rash decisions, but if they won’t change, then perhaps it’s time to reassess their suitability at your business.
3. He makes decisions (and sticks to them).
Great Managers have the innate ability to make a rational decision (and stick to it)!
Sometimes managers will have to be tough – think Santa’s naughty-nice list – and sometimes they’ll make mistakes (it’s inevitable, nobody’s perfect).
What’s important is that you think things through, can give objective reasons for coming to a decision and are brave enough to follow through with it.
Some risk is inevitable, but if you can communicate your reasons for every decision and are confident about them, people will follow you.
4. He always sets clear expectations.
Can’t really argue with the fact that Nick’s elves know how to stick to a deadline…
Setting clear, smart, SANTA goals (yes, SANTA) for your employees and being clear on what is expected of them (and what happens when those expectations aren’t met) is crucial.
Recruiter Pro Tip.
When setting goals for your staff, don’t forget that they should always be SANTA…
- S – Specific.
- A – Achievable.
- N – Noteworthy.
- T – Time Based.
- A – Assessable.
You need to challenge your employees so that they don’t get complacent, but there’s really no point setting goals that they could never achieve. That’s a recipe for an unhappy workforce.
Click here for more details on setting goals for employees.
You can come up with SANTA goals for all of your staff members, not just salespeople; a certain number of projects to finish, a number of support calls to make, so many words to write… and if they hit their targets, reward them!
5. He isn’t afraid of change.
To be a great manager, you must be ready to adapt the way you and your team work, to become more efficient and more relevant.
Who knows that, better than Father Christmas? Can you imagine the complexities of building an iPad?
Always invest in training and never turn someone down if they want to learn and grow.
Offering such opportunities will increase employee engagement and happiness (they’ll care about your business) and it will also mean you have more skills at your fingertips… so why not?
6. He hires the best.
This is a strange one because it seems so simple, yet people often ignore it.
You kind of have to be fussy when you hire new staff for your business. (Santa hired a human once – we all know how that turned out…)
Not only is it important that they have the right skills and knowledge, but they also need to be able to fit in with the team, without clashing and without causing trouble.
There are plenty of people out there who are incredibly intelligent and very skilled, but just don’t play well with others. Don’t be tempted to sacrifice the team culture for the sake of a particular skill set – you’ll regret it.
For more advice on hiring for cultural fit – check out this blog post.
7. He nurtures his team.
It is vitally important that you nurture your staff as as team.
It’s something that managers tend to forget about, especially when it’s an incredibly busy time of year, but having a team that work together, towards the same goal and actually care about each other and the business is like finding gold dust.
Host team-building events throughout the year (not just at Christmas), come up with team targets, encourage staff to bond and you’ll soon notice an increase in productivity and cheer.
Humans are sociable creatures (for the most part) and building relationships will make them happier; they will work harder to make your business a success.
Click here for some more great tips on this.
8. He’s a nice guy.
Do you think Father Christmas ever shouts at his elves? Or swears in front of his reindeer?
Managers have to earn the respect of their employees and that’s not going to happen if they’re afraid of you.
They won’t speak up when you need them too and as soon as they get a chance they’ll be out of the door.
You do need to be firm and your staff do need to know that there are consequences, but you don’t need to build a culture based on fear.
If you do – then you’ve lost control – and you’re officially a bad boss.
9. He keeps going!
We can only imagine, what Father Christmas has been through during his centuries on earth. (Not to mention the dwindling numbers of believers out there.)
He must have seen some things.
A great manager will keep going and keep fighting, even when times get tough – and they’ll encourage their employees to do so too.
Lead by example. Stay strong and your employees will.
Check out this blog for some tips on how to react when things go wrong!
10. He’s magical.
Oops… sorry, can’t help you with this one!
Unfortunately, we can’t just wave our magic wands, sprinkle some fairy dust and become the greatest managers in the world… it takes practice, experience and study.
And that’s where blogs like this one come in.
End the year on a high!
As the year end approaches, it’s high time you say a big thank you to your staff for their hard work.
I’m sure you’ve either already had or got a Christmas party booked, but there are plenty of other little rewards you could incorporate into the festive season – click here to get some inspiration!
If you’d like to read more similar articles, click here to subscribe to the Coburg Banks blog and receive a weekly update with the latest, most relevant guidance on attracting, assessing and engaging new staff members.
Be good – don’t forget… Father Christmas is always watching.- Charles Trivett