As your business grows and your audience expands, its most likely that you will need to start employing like minded individuals who share a passion for the industry you are working. Everyone has had that one boss who makes coming to work a chore instead of a learning and growing experience. Here are five tips to avoid becoming a fuddy-duddy boss. (People still talk like that, right?)
ALLOW YOUR EMPLOYEES TO EXPLORE THEIR CREATIVITY
Employees join a company and mission because they have an interest in the type of work produced. A person who is searching for a job in child care is not going to explore career opportunities in engineering. According to Holy Kaw employees stay with their company because they enjoy their work, are connected to the company, and feel like they are making a difference in their world.
Allowing your employees to explore their creativity with a project not only gives them independence and initiative to align their strengths with the mission of the company, but also lets them know you value their talents and believe in them.
The work environment is crucial in any business, just as it is in life. A flower can grow in a trash can, but what quality of life will the flower have? Empowering your employees to use their creativity, be proactive, and ultimately letting go and trusting them to work creates such a happy relationship for both employer and employee.
Have a little trouble letting go of the reigns? You are not alone! You have poured your sweat and blood into your business and it can be a little scary to let someone else take initiative on something you are used to doing yourself. Structure is the key here. By providing a structure, you are able to control the basis and foundation for projects without micromanaging. Give your employees the objective and include crucial points they need to incorporate, but also be sure to listen to their ideas. Each perspective brings new fuel.
Master Conflict Resolution
Are you human? Yeah, me too. And sometimes it sucks, because that means that I am incredibly prone to making mistakes, but I also know I'm not alone in this! Conflicts will appear in the workplace simply for the fact we are all human. However, I am 100% sold on the thought that how you treat your employees can make or break your company. People are much more productive when they are in a good mood than when they feel bitter, belittled, and concerned about job security. So how can you master conflict resolution?
Allow your employees to get to know each other through personality tests and team building. All of your employees are vital components of your business, which means they each have perspectives and talents to contribute. Taking time to know each other's personality gives your employees the opportunity to understand actions and reactions. It's almost like a marriage - my husband knows that when I am very hungry I become snippy and tired. If I say something snippy, he will let it go and if it bothered him, he'll bring it up at a time when I am feeling better. It takes time to get to know your team, but when everyone is invested in understanding each other, your team will reap the rewards.
There may be times, however, where you will need to confront a situation. Which is completely okay, and is a part of and being an employer. When you've developed a professional relationship with your employers, I believe you need to trust your instincts on how to handle the situation. As long as you are honest, loving, and both people leave with the same dignity they had when they entered the conversation, you are golden.
Compliment and Encourage
Did you know one of the main reasons employees quit their job is because of lack of recognition? Other reasons included having a difficult boss and employees, lack of empowerment and flexibility, lack of trust, and expectations to work unpaid hours. In this section we are going to learn the importance of recognizing your employees and a few tricks and tips to successfully incorporate this ideal into your work day.
Did you know employees are better motivated through trust, value, and recognition? This beautiful infographic from Entrepreneur shows how employees are motivated.
How crazy are these facts? Employees want attention and recognition for a job well done. It reminds me a lot of The Five Love Languages , people crave appreciation! And as a boss, you have so much impact on the productivity of your employees.
The infographic states words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, and gifts as all ways to motivate your employees. This is where those personality tests come in handy as well, get to know how you can best make your employees feel appreciated. Its a honest and humble thing to ask how you can best serve your employees.
It can feel like another thing to add to your to-do-list if you're not used to recognizing employees, and with any habits, it takes time. However, don't let that stop you! Start by thanking your employees, providing heartfelt and genuine feedback, ask how you can help them with their work load, or give a high five. These things take virtually no time, but leave a big impact.
Allow Effective Collaboration
Did you know that Disney films are the product of only one person? I'm totally kidding, I read that it took close to 30 hours and 4,000 computers just for one shot. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. But the point is this: any successful business is not made up of one team member. If LeBron needs team mates, then so do we. As a boss, what is effective collaboration and how can you implement it?
Collaboration is the gathering of like minded people to achieve a goal. Since you have already taken personality tests, developed teamwork within your company, and recognized the successes of your employees, collaboration will work beautifully. Collaboration is important because it brings in all types of backgrounds, perspectives, and talents to work together for one goal. Think of your team as a swiss army knife, each person can contribute something beautiful and all are equally important. Effective collaboration means there is structure, an ultimate goal, and boundaries for communication.
Some of my favorite tips for effective collaboration come from my training in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Implementing collaboration can go one of two ways: it can become a party/complain fest or it can be productive.
To implement effect collaboration, first set a structure. Set aside the first 15 minutes of your meeting to discuss the rules of the collaboration: no one is allowed to get off topic, no one can slam down an idea, etc. If this does happen during the collaboration time, I've seen a person designated to ding a bell - and when the bell is dinged, the person talking knows they have crossed a line. It's a quick effective way to redirect the conversation and create strong collaboration structure. It is also important to take time at the beginning of the meeting to set the purpose of the collaboration time. If you are working on your next big marketing plan, then discussing ideas of your new stationery line will not be effective. If your conversation does become off topic, write the topic down and make sure to revisit at another time.
Collaboration is a wonderful and necessary element to any business. If you're flying solo, don't be afraid to ask friends or family to contribute ideas.
Being a boss is a fruitful experience, it's a service position and an opportunity to leave an impact in not only your industry, but in the lives of those you employe. Make it a good one.