One of the big perks of being the boss is having your own personal office. Your office gives you the power of privacy and you can shut the door at anytime to avoid interruptions.
Makes life nice, right? Well, maybe not. Just because you have a door to your office doesn’t mean you need to adopt a closed-door policy – both literally and figuratively.
Think about your relationship with your staffers. Have you ever notice them to get quiet or have looks of intimidation (or even fear) when you walk by?
You might be giving off a ‘do not disturb’ vibe without even realizing it. After all, this behavior is easy to see from the outside, but many people struggle to recognize this element in themselves. Most people realize they have flaws, but all of us like to believe we are approachable people, but that is just not always the case.
In fact, only about 12 percent of employees believe their employers genuinely listen to and care about them, according to the marketing research firm, Martiz Research.
When employees feel their manager is unapproachable it can soon result in other issues such as employee resentment and an unhealthy office culture. In addition, you might be seen as difficult to read and hard to trust.
Part of your duty as a manager is to identify areas where you need to improve. Even if you believe you are a friendly person to most, think about what it is that others could find unapproachable about you. Maybe you only spend time with those in your small circle at work, and others could find that group closed in a way they find unfriendly or excluding.
Or perhaps you are so focused on your own tasks that you don’t even notice other people around you. As long as they are getting their job done, you may feel you don’t have to interact with them much. But this thought process could result in negative employee relations.
You should strive to become a more approachable leader. Approachability is about being accessible and helpful, along with showing a genuine interest for your work colleagues.
Here are some tips to remember:
- Make a point to talk with your peers one-on-one in an informal way. Get to know them as individuals, and you will likely find something besides work that you have in common. This will likely smooth out your working relationships.
- Extend common courtesies to others; for example, greet people in the morning, say,’ hello’ in the halls, and say, ‘thank you’ when someone does something on your behalf.
- Look for opportunities to ask the question, ‘How can I help you?’
- Schedule or participate in more frequent one-on-one meetings. Use these opportunities to build relationships and let others get to know you and the skills you have to offer.
- Make sure you are not manipulating people or creating a climate of mistrust around you. In particular, don’t use information unfairly to gain advantage.
- Show interest in other people by asking questions about him or her, rather than talking exclusively about yourself or solely about work issues.
I know you like having that office to yourself, but try to have more of an open-door policy. You might be surprised on how that simple act can make a huge difference with your employees.