Be The Perfect Boss In 5 Simple Steps

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If you have recently expanded your startup, the chances are that you have taken on staff for the first time. What started as a one person band sort of enterprise has now grown to a fully fledged company complete with employees. You now find yourself in the enviable and slightly daunting position as a boss. You were once used to being the full time employee, with excellent promotion prospects, a steady wage, and job security. You remember moaning to your colleagues about your overbearing employer, the incessant demands on your time and the targets that you felt that you unrealistically had to meet. You don’t want to be that boss.

Being a good boss isn’t about giving commands, orders and terrorizing people into submission to do what you want. You need to be more nuanced in your approach to your employees. The buck stops with you. Your company is your livelihood, and you need to foster the same sort of passion and productivity within your staff team. Take a look at these five simple steps you can take to ensure that you are the perfect boss.

Be Honest

Employees hate nothing more than being lied to or having things kept from them. This can lead to resentment and anger, and eventually a high turnover of staff. You need to be transparent with your workforce even when things aren’t going particularly well. You have to lead from the front and be empathetic to the needs of your staff.

If you have an employee who works hard, enjoys what they do, has bought into your business vision and does everything they can to help you realize your profit projections, cut them a bit of slack when they ask for the morning off to see their offspring receive an award at school. Being fair and accommodating, without being a pushover, is vital if you are to get the most out of your employees. Being a strict disciplinarian, as with parents, can lead to rebellion. You don’t want to be that boss who has to cope with skiving employees who fancy a few too many duvet days because you have been pushing them too hard.

It’s vital that you give your staff team a voice and you respond to their concerns with honesty. Send out a weekly email just to keep your team in the loop. They need to know when things are going well and they need to understand why things might be a little less certain in times of hardship.

Communicate

A weekly email is also an effective tool to communicate with your employees. You should be praising the good work that they have been producing. Single out one or two staff members each week and give positive praise where it is due. This boosts morale, motivates others to succeed and can help your workplace remain productive and buoyant. Set up an employee recognition scheme and allow their colleagues to nominate one another for awards or praise. This can help an environment of productivity to flourish.

As well as emails being the go-to method of communication, ensure that you still have face to face meetings with your staff. Don’t always hide in your office. Have a weekly catch up at the beginning of the week before fatigue sets in. Have short term goals for the week and share them with staff. Also allow this to be a forum to enable them to air their views on new initiatives, and targets. By listening to them, demonstrating that you see value in their contributions and acting upon their opinions, you are showing your staff that you care. Communication isn’t giving commands; it’s a two-way respectful process.

Provide A Suitable Workplace

It can be difficult at times to motivate yourself to go to work. Getting up early on a particularly gray day to venture out on a long commute to the office is tough at the best of times. However, think about how this can be compounded by the fact that your office might not have adequate heating and the coffee machine is broken yet again. If this sounds like the workplace you head up, then it’s time to sort it out. You cannot expect your hard-working team to be working in conditions not conducive to top quality work.

Whip out the paint and give your office a facelift. Bright white walls complete with artwork and photographs that are inspirational and relevant to your industry can really lift the mood of your employees. Replace the polystyrene ceiling tiles and replaster where necessary. Ensure that the heating is up to scratch, install some air conditioning units for the summer and upgrade the hardware you possess as necessary. You cannot blame your employees’ frustration if your servers are always down, your laptops keep freezing, and everything takes an eon to download from the cloud. By investing in your workplace, you can be sure of an upturn in morale and productivity.

Add a touch of greenery here and there to bring a bit of color and nature into your workplace. Studies have shown that brighter, greener and more natural spaces can boost morale and lift mood. If you need to, reconfigure your workspaces from the individual pod-like atmosphere to a more collaborative space encouraging teamwork and fostering the creation of shared ideas. You need to generate a buzz of work and a hum of positive morale. Develop shared spaces and chill out zones for when your employees may need to take a load off. A stressful workplace with no respite can lead to poor productivity. Be the boss that understands the needs of their staff team and caters for them.

As well as the physical aspect of your workplace, you need to provide the necessary benefits to your team. Investigate retirement plans and wellness benefits with a company like Vita Assure and maximize your ability to foster a happy, healthy and productive workforce. It’s important that you go the extra mile to show your employees that they are valued. When it comes to interviewing the best candidates for new roles, and they ask about the benefits you provide for employees, you want to show off your credentials.

Know Your Team

Don’t be the boss that doesn’t know their staff team. While you won’t want to know all the details of your marketing manager’s divorce proceedings, it’s vital that you know that they are going ahead and that your staff member may need some extra support. Understanding that your employees are humans and as fallible and in need of support as everyone else is vital if you are to get the best out of them.

Take a couple of away days each year to really get to know your team on a more personal level. When your employees know one another on a deeper level, their working relationships become more meaningful, and they care more. While you will still want to keep your distance and maintain a professional relationship, there’s nothing wrong with going for drinks after work at the end of the week and getting the first round in to show your appreciation for their efforts before sneaking away. Encourage your employees to let off steam and allow them to play hard if they will reward you with working hard.

Teamworking sessions have a bad reputation for being pointless with numerous imaginary bridges being built and marshmallow and spaghetti towers being constructed. However, certain activities that foster collaboration can utilize skills that can be transferred into the workplace. Consider heading to an activity center and enjoying some orienteering, raft making and team games to have some fun and hone your team’s listening skills, ability to empathize and leadership.

Invest In Your Team

The chances are that you won’t be able to keep your staff members forever, no matter how much you want to. However, you can create promotion opportunities to keep your brightest stars for as long as possible. To ensure that you don’t end up with a high turnover of staff, you have to financially invest in your team. Fund qualifications, send them on relevant and meaningful professional development courses and encourage them to continue learning. While they may eventually utilize these skills with another company, they will be able to apply any new knowledge into their current workplace, harnessing new skills, developing more efficient ways of working and passing on their new methodologies to others in your staff team.

To be the ideal boss, you need to put yourself in your employees shoes and think about what they need to do their jobs well, and what they desire to see in their employer. Lead by example and don’t be afraid to get stuck in and get your hands dirty. If the printer breaks down, head out into the office and fix it. A boss with no airs and graces is more relatable to staff. It’s up to you to create the ideal ethos for your workplace. An environment of continual learning, hard work and recognition are imperative if you are to strive to be the perfect boss.

The Importance of Accountability Within Your Business

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The world going digital has provided a huge amount of benefits in all sorts of areas. Whether you run a small business or simply work for a larger one, the way that people spend their days has changed entirely since the advent of modern computers. One of the key areas to be impacted by this worldwide development is accountability, with every aspect of this part of business becoming easier to manage, even for those without huge amounts of resources. Why exactly is accountability so important, though? To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of its features, along with the tools which can be used to help you to keep track of your company.

Recognition: There are a lot of roles being performed which are very hard to monitor without the help of a computer. In these cases, ensuring that people are properly recognized for their hard work is almost impossible. Warehouses, for example, can have their performance drastically impacted by one or two people, even when they have very large teams. Without the tools to monitor where the work is being done, though, it would be impossible to make sure that the right people are rewarded for it. Nowadays, most businesses like this will use computer systems to track and monitor the work of individuals to keep an eye on their personal performance.

Theft Prevention: Along with making sure that you can give people the recognition they deserve, having systems in place which make it hard for people to avoid accountability will also help to prevent theft. In the very same warehouses, people won’t be able to remove products without recording it on a database which also stores their name. When things go missing, it will be easy to figure out who is responsible, and this can help to reduce thefts by a huge margin. There are loads of companies around the world which have suffered huge losses thanks to inadequate ways to monitor their employees.

Other Crimes: Of course, not every business works like a warehouse. Offices, for example, won’t have items which can be stolen, and this takes a lot of weight off of the shoulders of the owners. Bullying and abuse can still be issues, though, and this is another area which is benefited by accountability. CCTV, employee attendance records, and other digital recording methods make it significantly easier for a manager to make sure that people aren’t being treated badly by their fellow workers. If you receive a complaint, it shouldn’t take long to figure out the big picture, as long as the right technology is in place.

Accident Responsibility: Accidents are simply a part of life, and most businesses come with some sort of risk in this area. In a lot of cases, though, employees will lie when they get the chance, attempting to cover their backs to avoid getting in trouble. For instance, if you have people driving trucks, having a member of the public hurt could result in your business facing lawsuits and other complications when the driver claims that they couldn’t have done anything. Tools like fleet fuel cards can solve this issue, making it much easier to track and monitor where people have been driving. They could have been somewhere which they shouldn’t have been, making them responsible for the accident, rather than your business.

Unhappy Customers: Some people simply aren’t built to interact with the general public. This can be very hard to see until they’ve been working with you for a very long time, with small annoyances often triggering explosive behavior in the workplace. If this is aimed directly at a customer, it could make them very unhappy, with people shouting at them down the phone or face to face being very unprofessional. Having a record of the communications your employees have won’t make this better for the customer. Instead, it can make it easier for you to hold the perpetrator responsible, while also making it impossible for them to do it again.

Unhappy Employees: The level of protection which employees have in the eyes of the law is very good, nowadays. Ensuring that everyone is treated correctly, the world has changed a lot in this area over the last few years, making it very hard for companies to do as they please. Of course, though, people aren’t always honest, and being fired for something completely reasonable could be taken to court under the pretense that they haven’t anything wrong. All of the various methods you have for keeping track of your employees can solve this very quickly, offering definitive proof of their poor work.

Improving Practice: Accountability doesn’t always have to be about proving when who is in the right and who is in the wrong. Instead, there are a lot of companies out there using tools like these to improve the work which they do on the whole, and this is a huge benefit as you’re growing. For example, when you are keeping a detailed log of the work which people are doing, it will be very easy to see which stages are slowing them down the most. Using this information, you can alter the way people work to make their jobs easier. This is a great way to make sure that your company is always on top of the work it has to do.

With all of this in mind, it should be much easier for you to start improving accountability within your business. When you have the tools available, it’s always worth keeping a record of as much as possible within business, as this sort of effort can have an array of benefits which will always keep you on top. In some cases, you don’t have a choice in this area, and will have to follow rules which force you to keep these records. In others, though, this is something you will have to do for yourself. It could take a little bit of investment, but the value you will get in return will make it well worth it.

Making Sure Your Employees Feel Appreciated

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One of the biggest problems facing small business owners today is employee retention. This is problematic, as taking on and training new staff is a costly process, so if employees leave just a matter of weeks or months into their employment, you’re going to have to find yourself forking out all the initial costs again in replacing them. You will also waste a whole lot of time in recruiting and training new staff. What’s more? They may take the skills you’ve endowed them with elsewhere, benefiting a competitor in the field. So, how can you ensure that your employees stick with you and your company? Well, the first step is to ensure that your employees feel appreciated. It is generally said that staff lead bad employers rather than companies. They may enjoy their role and the tasks that they are expected to carry out. They may get on well with their colleagues. But if you’re not making them feel valued and respected, they may still quit. So, here are a few steps to ensure that every staff member working towards helping your company thrive feels valued!

Recognize Individuals

Small business owners are notoriously busy. It’s likely that you have all sorts of things to focus on, from product development to advertising and marketing campaigns. However, it’s extremely important that regardless of how much you have on your plate, you still take the time to recognize your employees as individuals. Make sure to remember every employee’s name. Ask a little about their lives on a regular basis. An employee who is greeted by name and asked how particular aspects of their lives are progressing when they get into work in the morning are much more likely to feel warmly towards you than an individual who turns up and feels as if they are just another cog in the machine.

Award Achievements

You can’t reward standard and expected behavior, otherwise you’d constantly be rewarding your staff for what is expected of them and what they are being paid for. However, if a particular staff member strives for excellent and constantly steps beyond what is required of them, you should definitely recognize this. Make a statement by awarding them with crystal gifts or another form of corporate award. Not only will this make them feel that their efforts have been worth the outcome, but it will inspire other staff members to strive for greatness too.

Host Workplace Events

Every now and then, it’s a good idea to hold a workplace event to show your appreciation to your staff base’s dedication to the company. This needn’t be extravagant and could purely be an annual event. But a meal or activity really will make your employees know that their hard work is valued.

These are just a few different ways that you can really make your employees feel appreciated. Not only will this benefit them, but it will benefit you too! So, put these plans of action into practice sooner rather than later.