Have you ever worked for an idiot? We certainly have, and I’ll bet most of you have at some point in your working life as well. Let’s face it, everyone isn’t normal. We just wish they were more clearly marked. So for those of you that have employees, we have an important question. What kind of boss are you?
Great bosses have similar characteristics. They are good leaders who truly like people. They are honest and understand loyalty isn’t a one way street. A great boss is positive, consistent, and leads by example. They are accessible, have an open door policy with employees, and are great listeners. A great boss doesn’t rule with ultimatums or threats, and treats everyone with the respect they deserve.
Here are some tips you can use to improve your relationship with your employees. First, don’t play favorites. Never criticize or discipline a worker in front of a customer or another employee. Take it behind closed doors, but be sure to document the discussion. Let your workers know what is expected of them. They aren’t mind readers. And if they don’t have the skills to reasonably complete a task, don’t set them up for failure. Share your knowledge and skills with employees. Encourage them to continue to learn and develop. Learn to delegate and empower your workers to make many of the decisions that come up every day. This will save you time to deal with other pressing matters and will show your trust in their judgment. Have staff meetings to discuss new products, techniques or to
examine a customer complaint. Make sure you really celebrate exceeding a goal or receiving a special compliment from a customer. Keep an open mind and see what you can learn from that brand new employee that brings a fresh perspective into your business. Give your staff consistent feedback, both positive and negative. Never ignore a situation and allow it to get out of control. Share the wealth. If the efforts of your staff add to your bottom line, they should also see a little something extra in their paycheck. And, lastly, be big enough to admit when you are wrong.
Everyone is wrong occasionally.
Your employees are an integral investment in the future success of your small business. So train them, motivate them, reward them, and retain them.