How to Get Your Employees to Like You

Business owners and managers worldwide all know there are few things easier in this world than the ability to get your employees to HATE you. In fact, it often requires no effort at all.

The fact that you’re at the top and they’re at the bottom, or somewhere in between, is enough reason for most employees to sneer at you behind your back and act with a certain level of defiance when you address them.

Bad management by a bad boss

Getting employees to LIKE you is a skill that is naturally in-born to some. To the rest of us, there’s an inevitable learning curve. Some employees are going to hate you no matter how hard you try. Heck, they may hate you more if you put any effort at all into creating a better relationship with them!

Just like most people in the world are inherently good; most employees are too, and can be won over using a few very simple tactics that you’ve already learned, yet might have forgotten sometime after your rise to the top of the career totem pole.

Here are 3 easy ways to get your employees to like you:

1. Kill the double standards

Double standards in the office are one of the biggest curses to affect employer/employee relations. Who among us hasn’t been unruly angered by a double standard at some point in our life?

Why should Julie work her butt off for 3 hours before she gets a coffee break, when she sees you ducking out of your office every hour – going to the bathroom, grabbing a snack from the company fridge, staring out the window for minutes on end – only to be told that she’ll be written up if you ever catch her slacking off?

Or…

Why Should John have to laugh at your clever sarcastic observations about his work attire or how he’s a loud talker, only to be chastised when he reciprocates with a quip of his own – and’s then treated poorly afterwards (in one way or another), made to feel like he has no right to talk to the big bad boss that way?

  • If you want to earn your employee’s respect and have them like you, they need to see you putting forth just as much effort and following the same set of ethics and morality you expect from them. If you can joke around with them, they can do the same with you. Forget about the fact that you might have to deal with abuse from your higher-up, or that you have to work several hours more after the regular shift ends.

2. Give daily praise

Of course this is an obvious one! Still, so many employers have an irrational fear of using praise to reward their employees (see this article). The thinking here is that the employee will lose their desire to please if you tell them they’ve done good.

Praise is the cheapest way to get a smile out of them and gain their loyalty!

I’d liken this mentality to tying a juicy piece of flank steak to your bumper and making your pooch chase after you to the next nearest town before you stop, let them get a little lick, then continue driving again! Eventually that dog’s either gonna stop chasing you, or die out of utter exhaustion!

  • Praise them at least once a day. Not all of them will outwardly show their appreciation, but at least 99.9999% will like you for it, especially if you at least seem genuine about it. If someone doesn’t deserve praise, should they really be working for you? Should you really care if they like you or not?

3. Bonuses!

Money talks and B.S. walks folks. You can tell everyone they’re doing a great job and that you’re so super-happy with their performance, but eventually you’re going to have to put your (or the company’s) money where your mouth is!

The thinking that money isn’t everything doesn’t apply to the employee/employer relationship like it does to work/life balance, or missing your kid’s championship soccer game to make a few extra bucks!

Employees want to reap the (financial rewards) their efforts produce.

  • In some cases, a simple cash bonus will suffice. An employee working at a minimum-wage job will really like you when you give even a $20 – $100 bonus for a job well done, knowing that other employers in the industry never pay a dime more than the law says they have to.
  • In other work situations, performance-based bonus structures like profit-sharing and equity-stake in the company will work much better. In either case, the employee is driven by the desire to make you more money, and will certainly like you when extra cash finds its way to their paycheck!

Were You Expecting More?

The fact is that getting employees to like you is no different from getting “Joe Public” to like you:

  • Don’t expect things from people that you yourself aren’t willing to offer. (Double Standards)
  • People like being told they’re good at things – that they’re skilled, reliable, look nice (Praise)
  • Nearly everyone loves money, possessions and gifts. (Bonuses)

Photo credit: Ahmad Saiful Muhajir / Flickr

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