The Boss lady X Factor

Earlier this year a colleague shared the really interesting  ‘McKinsey Podcast’. In it Tera Allas, shared her research on the impact of the relationship with our boss, the satisfaction on work and life in general.

Thinking about the message logically, it should come as no surprise. The research says that more than 70 % of people say that spending time with their boss is the most stressful time in the entire week, so as Tera says, there is clearly room for improvement.

This also underpins the statistic that ‘over 50% of people leave a job because of a manager’. My interpretation of this is that while progress has been made when you compare leadership and management to the ‘control and command’ culture of the 80’s. There is still much to do in the leadership and management environment.

It costs on average £2.5K to recruit new staff (source CIPD), and that is in addition to agency costs. Poor performance from ‘bosses’ costs organisations money, resources, reputation and lost productivity. So taking action to improve the leadership and management in a business makes sense.

So how can you create The Boss X Factor or in my case ‘The Boss lady X Factor’?

I will share a little of my story in creating my own style of Boss. I remember being quite embarrassed the first time a member of my team called me Boss. Inside I was a little pleased, but not sure if there was a ‘bit of pulling my leg’. So my feelings were a little mixed. Fast forward to now and my ex team members still sometimes call me Boss Lady. Hearing that still makes me smile proudly!.

How did I create the ‘X’ Factor?

Understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was really important. The stability of the job and their role in the team supported them with the first two stages of physiological and safety, I developed the team so that they had the opportunity to be a collective, develop the belonging and friendships that were important to their needs. As the teams developed we supported each other, gained trust, confidence and achieved together, gaining internal and external respect.

Like all of us in the world of business, where we are on the hierarchy of needs varies at different times. Being aware of their needs and supporting them during times of change definitely helped me to gain and develop my Boss lady X Factor.

Here are some tips if you want to gain ‘The Boss X Factor’.

  • Understand that your impact on the team member goes beyond work. How happy they are at work impacts on their personal life.
  • Build trust through an open and honest culture. If you or the team make a mistake, speak about it. Learn the lessons and avoid repeating them.
  • Don’t have favourites, this is absolutely the wrong thing to do.
  • Treat team members individually. Embrace and celebrate individuality.
  • Empower team members, give them projects and responsibility to develop their skills.
  • Provide them with learning and development opportunities.
  • Actively listen to individuals, really listen to what they are saying and what they mean.
  • Communicate regularly, clearly and concisely.
  • Put well-being in the forefront for your team and encourage a good work-life balance.
  • Celebrate success and achievement and learn the lessons when things go wrong.
  • Say thank you and give praise.

You will never hear me say that being a manager is easy, if you are the CEO or at the top of the hierarchy you have a lot of responsibility and pressure on your shoulders, if you are in middle management or junior management the pressure comes from above and from your team. It is my experience that you will make mistakes along the way but you will be a stronger, more confident and collaborative manager if you implement and embrace these tips.

Author: Tracy-Anne Barker

If you want to read more leadership and management ideas just like this, Tracy-Anne’s new book will be out soon. She shares her experience and practical solutions to help managers step up and manage a team in today’s modern management world.

About TA Barker Associates  – Tracy-Anne is the  Founder and CEO;  a training and coaching business specialising in working with Business owners, Managers and HR Professionals so they can equip their managers and teams with the right skills to maximise their performance and have a high performing business that is sustainable.

Get in touch if you have any questions Tracy-Anne@tabarkerassociates.co.uk

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