Whether you are in charge of your own small business or you have earned your way to the top of your company’s corporate ladder, being the boss is no easy task. Though it can be empowering to hold a leadership position, it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. A boss’s job entails motivating employees to meet company goals, hiring the right people for the job, and handling conflict when it arises, all while growing sales to increase profits. That’s a lot of hats to wear, and sometimes the job can feel overwhelming. While most bosses don’t intend to fall short on their job, many just don’t know how they can improve. If you are looking for ways to become a better boss, here are a few tips to help you reach your full potential.
1. Communicate Effectively
You may be an expert in your field, but unless you can get your point across you will never be a great boss. Setting clear objectives is a critical component of strong leadership. Make sure everyone on your team knows what the company and department goals are and what each employee’s role is in achieving them. Once you have established manageable goals, you must be able to articulate them clearly so your employees know exactly what is expected of them.
2. Lead Instead of Dictate
Just because you are the boss doesn’t mean people will want to follow you. If they don’t respect you, they will perform at a minimum level. Great bosses need to inspire their employees to achieve greatness. Encourage your employees to be successful, be there to offer support and guidance, provide helpful feedback, and don’t be afraid to get your own hands dirty. If you focus on leading rather than dictating, your team will want to follow you.
3. Focus on the Positives
So many bosses spend a great deal of time pointing out flaws and correcting employees for every little thing they do wrong. Unfortunately, people don’t thrive in an environment that is negative. Instead of pouring so much energy into negative feedback, try focusing on the positives and what your employees are doing well. Keep your eyes open and look for opportunities to praise employees when they do something right. You will achieve so much more with positive reinforcement.
4. Make Time for Employees
Don’t treat your employees like they are invisible. Even if you have a busy schedule for the week, find ways to spend time with your team. On average, a boss should spend approximately 6 hours a week with their employees if they want them to feel engaged and motivated. Schedule short meetings with your employees where you can simply catch up and share ideas or concerns. Implement an open door policy and encourage your employees to come to you whenever the need arises. Invite them to a team luncheon or dinner once in a while. Take a few minutes each day to simply walk through the office or send a personal message to your team offering your support.
5. Be a Better Listener
It’s common for bosses to be good speakers but it’s not as often that they are great listeners. If you want to improve your role as a boss, start by listening to your employees. Show them their voices matter and encourage them to speak freely. Not only will this improve their self-confidence, but it will also improve your awareness and understanding of your team members.
6. Respect Your Employees
Always remember that your employees are more than just laborers. They are people, just like you, and they happen to be your company’s most important resource. Without them, you and your organization would fail. Therefore, treat them with dignity, honor, and respect. Never treat them as though they are beneath you, but rather as a colleague.
7. Show Appreciation
Don’t forget to give credit where credit is due. If you want your employees to feel motivated to work harder, you need to praise them for a job well done. Never assume that their paycheck is their “thank-you.” It is still just as important to verbally recognize your employees and show your appreciation for their efforts. This is how you build a relationship of trust and loyalty.
8. Hold Yourself Accountable
Don’t be a blame thrower. Nothing is more frustrating than working for a boss that can’t take responsibility for their actions. As the boss, you need to understand that you have the greatest responsibility so when your department fails, you fail. While it is perfectly acceptable to hold employees accountable for their mistakes, you can’t forget to acknowledge your own as well.