Ah, so you’re the boss-man or boss-woman, having a great time at the top. Great pay, awesome perks, company car, glitzy parties and what not.
But spare a thought for the poor, underpaid, overworked souls working under you. Before we go into that, have you ever wondered what kind of a boss you are, or rather how other people see you as a boss? Do they see you as Jason Bateman’s boss from hell in Horrible Bosses who takes credit for everything, or as a nut-case boss like Steve Carell in The Office? Whichever kind you are, you still need to run a company, and to run a company and do it well, you need to become a better boss. And how, do you say?
Communication is vital
Clear and accurate communication is the first step towards being a better boss. Every employee should know all their job responsibilities and duties. There should be no confusion regarding what’s expected of him or her. You have to be equally good at talking and listening. Pay clear attention to what you say in your written and verbal communication. But more importantly, what you say through your non-verbal communication. Employees can pick up things from your body language. If you’re saying, We all have to work as a unit, you can’t be crossing your arms and pushing back in your chair. Also, be aware of everything your employees are saying and not saying.
Motivate and Encourage
Motivating and encouraging your employees is a great way of building a wonderful work atmosphere. Motivate all your employees in a helpful, positive manner and see them bloom into great assets for your company. Show that you trust them to do a good job. Responsibility works wonders. Importantly, reward achievements to keep getting the best out of them.
Don’t be a bully
If you think intimidating employees into doing what you want is the right way, think again. Good work doesn’t come out of fear, it comes of genuinely wanting to do well. Also, fear doesn’t necessarily mean respect. Fear also reduces productivity and moral of your employees. You need to respect employees and treat them like people, not hired slaves.
Be friendly and approachable
Do away with hierarchies. Treat your employees as people you work with, not people who work under you or for you. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you have to go sit in your ivory tower. Mingle around with the people you work with. Have an open door policy, meaning anyone can walk in anytime they want when they are facing a problem or have an issue. There’s a thin line though. You should be friendly, but not back-slapping friendly. Maintain a respectful distance at the same time. They should know you’re still the boss.
You don’t want your employees see you favouring someone more than others. That sort of favouritism does the most damage to an organization. Just because someone is your best pitcher, doesn’t mean you practise double-standards. Treat everyone equally and justly.
Practise what you preach
If you ask people to show up at work on time, you should be on time yourself. If some deadline calls for work on weekends, you come to work as well. If you want people to be excited and enthusiastic about your work, you have to display the same traits.
Keep it fun
No one likes working all the damn time. You might be a workaholic, but you shouldn’t expect everyone to be like you. In fact, you should lighten up sometimes. People need entertainment and want to have a good time. Throw occasional parties, organize team-building exercises, and inter-office sports and such. Basically, you should try and create a fun environment for people to work in. Some offices have special spaces dedicated for creative pursuits, like a musical instrument, or a pool table or a dart board etc.
Be kind and helpful
Come across as someone who is kind and helpful, someone that people can come to when in need. Show that you care. Show that if the need be, you will go the distance for your employees and when the time comes they sure will go all out for you.
It’s not very hard to become a better boss. It requires some sensitivity, and the knowledge that you too at one point worked under someone.
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