Most of us have to spend a lot of time at work and the majority of us have had one bad boss. There’s few things worse than dreading going into work each day because you have a terrible boss who makes your life miserable. In fact, it’s such a relatable subject that the Hollywood blockbuster movie Horrible Bosses is expanding its franchise with Horrible Bosses 2 set to release November 26. Perhaps one of these bad bosses actually inspired you to start your own business – as terrible leadership rarely inspires anything else that is remotely productive.
In honor of National Boss Day, October 16, SBOs have time to reflect on the bosses they have had, the bosses that they are today as well as the bosses they hope to become. Nothing kills motivation and general morale more than a terrible boss.
A recent survey indicates that leadership has become an important measure of employee's work environment and many bosses are taking the necessary steps to lead employees. This survey measures employee satisfaction related to their boss, released in tandem with the 2014 Boss Day recognition. According to survey data, most people are impressed with their leaders with three in four (76 percent) workers interviewed believing their boss has strong leadership skills and two-thirds (67 percent) said that their boss has little to no room for improvement.
To be competitive as a SBO, you should proactively develop your company culture and begin with the end in mind. After starting a business, you learn quickly that you need help to scale your business. And when budget allows for it, you may hire and/or contract out responsibilities. For internal employees and outside partners, you need to establish your businesses foundation on how to interact with employees and contracts. Remember, it is your employees, and often times contractors, who will represent your business and interact with your clients or customers daily.
What are the 5 things that make bosses happy?
Committed employees who strive daily to exceed your expectations.
Resourceful employees who get the job done - no matter what the obstacle is.
Innovative employees who find solutions to problems to new problems and old ones - and share solutions with your team.
Excellent customer service focused employees - knowing the value of every customer interaction and what it means to the bottom line
Happy employees who want to come to work every day.
So, how do you create an environment for these employees to survive and thrive? Follow these 5 steps...
Create a vision to motivate and connect employees with and carry it out. At this point, salary is likely not the key motivator for your employees. Perhaps future skin the game is motivation enough, however, uncontrollable stress at the office wreaks havoc on employees' health and lives. It goes without saying that entrepreneurs face enormous stress. Yet it's important to remember that employees face daily stress as well and working for a startup does not provide a lot of stability - at least in the beginning.
Make "In it to win it" part of an employee engagement strategy. Engage employees in your vision, make them feel valued and ensure them often of their role in helping the company be successful. Find ways for them to own what they are doing.
Build trust. Do what you say you are going to do. If you cannot, let employees know why. Give employees the tools and information to do their jobs and let them do it. Don't micromanage employees. If you do, then you will still have your job to do at the end of each day.
Provide feedback. Employees want to know how they're doing. Positive and negative feedback should be shared privately. Choose your words carefully and create an environment where two-way feedback is welcomed. If employees cannot speak the truth to you, and feel safe doing it, then how can you expect them to care about your business and help you build it successfully?
Say thank you. Often. Remember, a little recognition and a simple thank you can go a long way in building morale. SBOs are so busy that they often reflect on missed opportunities to thank employees in real time. If you missed an opportunity, follow up with a thank you afterwards. Real-time thanks for best, but it's never too late to recognize an employee.
One more tip for the boss...
Entrepreneurs rarely find time to take care of themselves - or spend time with the people they care about. If you're the boss, celebrate National Boss Day by blocking out time on your calendar to do something for yourself.