With over 28 million small businesses and several thousand firms with 500 employees or more in the United States, there are many boss and employee dynamics at play.
Chances are that if you’re a boss, you’ve been an employee at one time or another, and you may remember some of the frustrations or things your old boss did well.
No matter your relationship with your previous boss, as one now, you likely want to have a good relationship with your employees. After all, a good relationship helps your business grow and keep everyone productive.
But just how do you ensure you’re the best boss you can be? Read on for our top 10 tips on how to be a better boss.
1. Remember What It Was Like to Have a Boss
Unless you’re incredibly lucky and have never had to work for anyone else, most of us have had a boss at one time or another in our lives. Try to remember the bosses you’ve had in your lifetime and the ups and downs of working for him or her. This can help you remain more relatable to your employees, and not make the same mistakes that person may have.
If you’re a boss of a group but have a boss yourself, you can do this exercise fairly easily and immediately.
2. Value Differences in the Work Place
No two people work in the same manner. Although you may appreciate the work style of some of your employees over others, try to leverage the way all employees work so you can create a team and not a machine.
3. Don’t Engage In Workplace Drama
With people working closely together, there will always be workplace conflicts and drama. As a boss, you need to mitigate it and not contribute to it. Do not participate in it, and do not pit one employee against another.
Instead, if there is workplace “drama,” quash it as soon as possible by speaking to your employees one-on-one.
4. Remember Your Employees Have a Life Outside of the Office
While your work might be a place for some people to stay for many years for their career, or it may be a place employees come to in order to reach a goal, remember that they do have lives outside of your office environment.
Most of your employees have family and financial commitments they need to see to while working for you. Respect this.
While employees should give 100% when they are in the office, you can recognize when personal situations mean they cannot do so or when they need accommodations.
5. Incentivize Progress and Goals
Some workplaces punish employees if they don’t meet certain goals. Others reward them for going above and beyond. Instead of negative consequences, go for positive ones.
Set up an incentive plan either with a network that uses them or create one yourself. Give employees bonuses, gifts or small things they would really like to have if they hit certain targets.
This can keep you on target, as well as ensure that the company is moving forward in the best way possible. If people have positive rewards, they are more likely to perform at a higher level.
6. Keep Items to Scale, As In Do Not Overly Distort Anything
Distorting things, or making mountains out of molehills, can make your workplace hostile. Don’t give an unlimited praise to an employee for doing something small, even if you really like that person outside of work hours. Likewise, don’t use small mistakes as a way to punish an employee for weeks or months on end.
Keep items to scale, and your employees will not overreact or underreact to things happening in the office.
7. Keep It Personal, But Not Too Personal
Many people make good friends with people in their office. If you’re the boss, there may not be anyone else on your “level.” As such, you might find it lonely, and as though you can’t let loose with social outings.
As a boss, it is perfectly fine to be friendly with your employees out of hours. However, you need to be careful not to let these relationships cross over into office politics. Don’t suddenly start rewarding an underperforming employee because you like them personally, or penalizing an employee who is performing well that you personally dislike.
Instead, take your personal feelings out of the equation when rating performance and office productivity.
8. How to Be a Better Boss: Use an App
There are several apps and workplace tracking software programs that exist that can help you be better at your job. Rhumbix, for example, allows those in the construction industry to keep track of their site and keep things consistent and accurate.
Invest in an app or program that allows you to keep things going and tracks things in a fair and objective manner.
9. Reward Employees for Good Work
As mentioned above, if you want to incentivize work programs, you should ensure that employees are rewarded positively. This can also apply to mundane good work.
Don’t just punish employees for bad work, instead reward them if you catch them doing something well. Heard them handle a situation well or think they did a good job speaking to a client? Let them know.
10. Don’t Misplace Your Emotions Onto Your Employees
Most of us have had a boss who gets angry or frustrated and the rest of the office is cautious of him or her for the rest of the day or week. Don’t be that boss that takes out their frustrations on employees. Instead, try and compartmentalize your frustrations and anger, especially if they have nothing to do with the job or the work that your employees are performing.
Putting It Together
There is no sure fire way to answer the question of how to be a better boss, but there are always areas in which you can improve. Taking stock in yourself and honestly assessing your work as a boss can help keep things in your office positive.
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