Why is it so difficult to be happy at work? Gallup surveys show that more than two-thirds of the workforce globally are emotionally disconnected from their work and are less likely to be productive. I have managed teams and been managed by bosses for the last 15 years now and have arrived on one recurring theme that is absolutely essential for employee engagement and work place happiness and productivity – RESPECT.

We spend half our waking hours on working. Excellence at work is only possible if we provide a safe haven for our people. Happy employees are significantly more productive, drive higher customer satisfaction and outperform those who are less engaged. If you manage and lead teams, there are certain No-Nos that you must keep in mind to ensure that you both give respect to and get respect from your people:

Must-Not #1: Manipulation – Don’t play games with your people. That’s the easiest way to lose trust. You have better chances of getting something done if you are transparent and up front about your motives. And if you prefer to keep your agenda hidden, you probably are pretty sure yourself that it is not the right thing to do.

Must-Not #2: Shouting – No matter how much stress you are under or the pressures on you from your management, there is no excuse for losing your temper with your people. Bad behavior and bullying are extremely harmful for the morale and definitely not the example you want to set.

Must-Not #3: No Appreciation – Remember to thank your team and thank them often. People will only give their best if they feel valued. There does not have to be an occasion or a big accomplishment. Little things done well are as important as big jobs. Observe your team closely and look for reasons to be grateful, you won’t have to search too much.

Must-Not #4: No Consideration – People have a life of their own apart from work. Respect the boundaries. Don’t demand their time and attention on weekends, vacations and late nights. You may be a workaholic but that does not mean your team has the same priorities in life. If you have been transparent with your team, they will most likely volunteer in times of need.

Must-Not #5: No Communication – Don’t just communicate with your people when you have to assign work or review status. Discuss plans, goals, problems and career development. Converse, engage and just be in touch with your teams. Communication is a two-way street. Listen actively.

The basic building block of good team building is for a leader to promote the feeling that every human being is unique and adds value. 
– Anonymous

What other behaviors do you think are best avoided at the work place? What irritates you and what has worked for you? I would love to hear back from you on your experiences.


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    • Suchitra Mishra
    • February 18, 2012

    Hello Muks,

    Thanks for the input – this post focused on the Must-Nots. I agree that influence is very important, I have touched on this earlier in one of my earlier posts – http://blogbysuchitra.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/five-leadership-lessons-from-my-teams/.
    You have given very pertinent inputs. I still believe that to a large extent there are no “poor” employees, only “poor” managers.

    • muks
    • February 17, 2012

    I think this blog overlooks a important thing, As a manager of your team do you have enough influence to progress the career of your team members is where credibility comes in of the manager with his team. Also i would think if you are technically very very sound, you gain acceptance & recognition people do look up how you go settling about & managing the situation so they know they are learning something new.If one is managing a large team it is likely a few disgruntled people would always be there, since you inherit them, It is the managers ability to understand these nuances which is important so he does not get derailed to meet the commitment to his management.All the other things surely are important i would stress shouting & screaming is simply not on, you look miserable & are a bad example as a manager & leader.

    • Suchitra Mishra
    • February 15, 2012

    Thank you, Abhinav. I do agree that in person meetings in an informal setting go a long way towards bonding at the work place too.
    Thanks for the sharing and the inputs.

    • abhinavarya
    • February 14, 2012

    Hello Ma’m

    Very nice and helpful blog again. I would like to add “NO-Get together” as well. Apart from official meets there should be enough space for team Get togethers and it will become more effective if we can involve families as well. Hope you agree 🙂


    • Suchitra Mishra
    • February 14, 2012

    Thanks for sharing, Kay – look forward to your notes from the book.
    Much appreciated.

    • K Ojo
    • February 14, 2012

    Hello Suchitra,

    Book is called The Psychology of Management: The Function of the Mind in Determining, Teaching, and Installing Methods of Least Waste by Lillian Moller Gilbreth.
    Certainly will remember to send you my thoughts on the book. Anyone interested – it’s available on the Project Gutenberg website – http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/16256


    • Suchitra Mishra
    • February 12, 2012

    Hello Kay,

    Thanks for dropping by and sharing my post. Yes, candour is important – being frank and honest with your people earns you respect and trust. You are so right about not losing the sight of the fact that you have “people” working for you and not workers or machines.

    So who wrote the book that you are reading ? Would you share a review when you are done so I can put it up on my blog for everyone to gain ?


    • K Ojo
    • February 12, 2012

    Excellent blog again.
    Don’t forget candour. I would say this was a variation of your first point. Currently reading psychology of management book written in 1941(came across it by chance!) and it is surprising how long people have been writing about the need to be candid in thr managmrnt of people. It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that management a team is about managing a ‘team’ or ‘your staff’ as opposed to managing PEOPLE. All you have to do is look at some of the most (consistently) successful organisations (big and small) out there and you will notice a trend of not losing sight of the fact that the people make the business.

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