8 WAYS TO BECOME A BETTER BOSS
Let’s face it: being an employer is a really tough job, and it often doesn’t seem to be as rewarding as it should. Being a boss doesn’t need to be any more difficult, but it can be made a whole lot easier. Here are eight ways in which you can improve yourself, your work environment and your working relationship with your employees so that your sales team is truly the very best in the business.
1) Take care of yourself
All too often, employers spend so much time stressing about their employees, the company, and managing everything, that they actually forget to take care of themselves. The reality is that your health, both mental and physical, is of huge importance to your capabilities as captain of the ship. Your first priority should be to make sure you are in a good place. When you need a vacation, take a vacation. The same goes for getting enough rest and for managing your workload. Your own judgement is sound, so make sure that you don’t overwork yourself. This is absolutely fundamental to your success as an employer, and will actually help you build a strong rapport with your employees and your clients. Your business or sector depends on you and your physical and mental well-being, so please make sure that you stay healthy, fit and able to give your myriad of tasks 100%. The energy and vibes that you provide will filter down and actually help your employees to emulate your state.
2) Be open and transparent
Often as a boss you have to deal with a lot of knowledge that is not always pleasant to be aware of, while your employees can often be left in the dark. They don’t know what you know, sometimes by necessity, but they do often see what your reaction is to the info. Being very open and very transparent about matters that may be difficult to deal with, such as a drop in company revenue, is often the best way to handle this problem. Inform your employees of the situation (as much as you feel they should know) and you might actually be surprised at their reaction. Oftentimes, they will be willing to help solve the problem. Giving them private info usually helps them to feel more invested in your company, which in turn actually makes them want to work harder. Trust that you have hired the right employees and let them know of the company’s problems.
3) Be interested
Being open usually works both ways. Once you start letting your employees in on some sensitive company info, they will actually want to share info with you as well. Showing genuine interest is where you can really make a serious difference to your working relationship with employees or co-workers. Genuinely listen to whatever they are telling you and respond. Give them advice or feedback, or you can even share some of your own personal experiences. Being able to relate well to the people at your company is vitally important and can really help unite the workplace. Learn about their interests, their strengths and their weaknesses and about what really makes them tick. Feel free to laugh with your employees, but always remember your position as the boss. Showing real interest shouldn’t involve overstepping any boundaries, but rather builds the sense that you are all on a team who must work well together. Stand alongside your employees, instead of being alone out in the front. Honesty, mutual understanding and trust can really work wonders for just about any business.
4) Coach but don’t mollycoddle
Remember that your employees are not actually your children (unless, of course, it’s a family business), they’re your team. Of course, you can be friends
with them, but always make sure that you’re pushing them to reach their full potential at the same time. When they goof off, don’t take it lightly. Make sure there are always very clear expectations set out around what it is you expect from them, and make sure that they understand the message. Give them honest feedback and good advice on their projects, and always be encouraging, but be sure to bring out your hard side when necessary. Ultimately, the thing is that they really need to know who is in charge all the time, and unfortunately being overly friendly/ kind really is a sure-fire way to make them forget the dynamic. Your main relationship with your employees should always be one of proper guidance and productivity. Equally, make sure you’re not being too harsh. Always give them any constructive criticism in private, and always try to ensure that they realise that you’re all on the same side.
5) Remember that your employees are people
In addition to being a fundamental part of your company and the very reason for your job, bosses always have to remember that their employees are people too. Just like you do, they probably have quite complex lives outside of work. So while slacking off shouldn’t be allowed, you really can’t expect everyone to be on their A game at all times. If you happen to notice that somebody is struggling at work, then your first move usually shouldn’t be disciplinary. Rather, sit them down for a casual chat, and you may discover that something else entirely is affecting the way they perform. This can often easily be resolved from your perspective (i.e. you can redistribute their workload around the team, taking some weight off their shoulders). Treating your employees respectfully is usually a terrific way to earn their undying loyalty and respect: they won’t ever forget that you looked out for them, and that you went over and above to assist them instead of simply letting them sink.
6) Your own accountability
Your whole team needs to be accountable for their professional actions – and remember that this includes you too. Poor judgement is not a fault, rather it’s a human mistake that just about everyone makes at certain times. Certain things might seem avoidable and stupid, but remember it’s easy to do. Some slip-ups inevitably are going to happen, but that also doesn’t mean you should simply ignore them. Always ensure that you hold the right people responsible and try to use whatever mistakes or errors as learning curves for the whole team. Getting great results always depends on every member of the team being reliable, so let employees know when you feel that they could have done something better or more efficiently. Admit it when you are wrong and have made a mistake and your entire team will take the hint. If you’re open with them about your own faults or imperfections, they’ll usually feel better about admitting theirs to you.
7) The importance of taking feedback on board
When you’re the boss, very member of your team is always watching you. This might seem a little frightening, but if you can commit yourself to doing the very best work you possibly can, then it’s actually a really positive thing. Any kind of feedback that you get from a member of your team is really valuable to your own personal/ professional development. Properly listening to your team members will help you to become more self-aware, and therefore a better boss or leader. Positive feedback will usually make you feel great, but any negative feedback can be equally as useful. No matter how cruel or critical the feedback may initially seem, you’ll realise if there’s any kernels of truth in it. This can really help you to become the best kind of employer – a person that recognizes their own personal flaws. Try to make sure that you learn and grow from the feedback and then your team will try to do the very same when you give them your advice. So it becomes a win-win situation that will allows the whole team to become more productive.
8) Communicating well
Communicating well might seem very obvious and fundamental, but it’s also a crucial part of being a good employer. This is something that sometimes can also be easy to forget. Always try to be clear and consistent in your dealings with everyone (whether they are employees, co-workers or clients). Communication is probably the most important part of your job, and strong communication will help to bring the whole team together while lousy communication will unfortunately tear them apart. Every single task that you set and project you oversee should come with a very clear set of requirements and expectations for the team to follow, which have also been agreed on with the client. If everyone knows what’s happening and can do their job properly, they won’t be fumbling around with some vague unintelligible instructions that you’ve given. Handling situations appropriately – whether personal problems or professional ones – is another key aspect of communicating, and will always garner respect. Strong communication from you will allow your team to perform efficiently and to a high standard.
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