We’ve all had at least one boss that we absolutely loathed, and at least one that we got on with surprisingly well. If you’ve been running your business for some time, then you’re probably learning a lot about the relationships between bosses and employees. If you feel that your employees aren’t as happy as they could be under your leadership, you need to do something about it. Despite what you may have heard, there are ways to become a more likable boss. Here, I’ve listed some of the best ways to bridge the boss – employee gap at your business.

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Go Out of Your Way to Form Positive Emotional Connections

Sometimes, this is all it takes to patch relationships up in a turbulent workplace. As you’ve probably discovered from experience, emotions can be contagious in any environment. If the manager of a floor is constantly angry and irritable, then this emotion will spread to the people they’re in charge of. Venting may help you stay focused on your work, but you need to ask yourself whether it’s really the best thing for the organisation. Try to be more aware of your emotional state, and the emotions of other managers. Then, take steps to start spreading more positive vibes.

Show Iron-Wrought Integrity

One thing that will always diminish the respect employees have for a senior at the company is working under a manager who appears to say one thing and do another. Think about your track record in this area. Do your workers have good reason to trust you to keep your promises? Do they expect you to approach situations fairly and always do the most ethical thing? We’re naturally drawn to those we know we can trust, so make sure you’re keeping high standards of integrity.

Encourage Feedback, and Act on What You Hear

One of the biggest things holding a lot of business leaders back is that they feel they’re completely likable, simply because the workers they have under them are too intimidated or hesitant to point out where they’re going wrong. The only accurate assessment of how likable and relatable you are, and the only one you should be looking for, is the word of your employees. This is usually an important staple of the work HR consultancies do for businesses. A good HR training program, such as that provided by Croner can help to improve the relationship between management and staff, and increase employee efficiency. Whatever way you source it, make sure you’re getting feedback from your employees, and using this to dissect and improve the kind of impact your leadership is having on the business.

Be Inspirational

Ask a child, or a very inexperienced professional, what a manager does at a business, and you’ll probably hear something along the lines of “they tell people what to do”. Any experienced leader will know how to get results out of a team. They insist that workers achieve targets that stretch their capabilities, and are always giving little bits of feedback as to how they could do it better next time. However, when you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that the most effective leaders in business aren’t constantly pushing like a drill sergeant. Sure, they have to lay the pressure on at times, but many of the best bosses out there share a trait in that they’re not afraid to roll up their sleeves, and pitch in with the rest of the team. I know you’ve probably worked very hard to get where you are. However, if you make a point to get your hands dirty, you’ll make yourself much more relatable, inspirational, and likable.

Look to the Future

You’ve probably been in at least one car where a kid has droned “are we nearly there yet?” The same question could be circulating in the minds of your employees, if they’re not sure of where the business is or where it’s heading. If your workers begin to sense that there’s a lack of direction in their department, or even worse in the business as a whole, it can quickly stir up resentment for you and all the other higher-ups. Like that child in the back seat, they’ll feel like a passenger with absolutely no control over where the team is heading, and nothing else to do but complain! Go out of your way to make your style of leadership more visionary and focused on the future of the team, and be sure to broadcast this information to your employees regularly. This will make them feel much more respected and motivated.

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