Last week an old article trended on LinkedIn that caught my attention, it was a list of 8 attributes that Google identified in good managers and 3 pitfalls (Read the article here). I loved the list and think its a great starting point but there were two I wanted to add (one kind of addressed in the pitfalls list).
First (well 9th I guess) is be consistent – it is important for your employees to know what to expect in certain situations, whether its how flex time works (or the ability to use flex time), how and when to get approval for certain tasks, etc… If on Monday you tell an employee they are permitted to make a decision on a certain topic, and then Friday you come down on them for making that same decision you will not only hurt morale but also performance as they will need to ask you how to handle certain situations every time they come up.
Second – be self aware, possibly one of the hardest things to do. It is important for you to recognize when external factors such as personal life, car problems or challenges with a vendor etc… affect your mood and response. Being able to identify when other external factors might be affecting your tone will help you fight through and focus on productivity and morale. The flip side, similar to my first point is the negative effect it can have on morale and productivity.