If you are trying to make the transition from employee to employer, you may find that your priorities become money driven rather than people led. As a new entrepreneur, you are concerned about funding, cash flow and keeping your supply chain intact. The concept of making sure that your staff are happy and content in their place of work tends to appear lower down your list of things to achieve. However, you mustn’t neglect your staff team. These individuals are the cogs that keep your business machine working efficiently and profitably. If you neglect to maintain these cogs, your machine can falter and stop working altogether.
Being a good boss is vital if you are to sustain a happy, productive and meaningful workplace. You need to create a cohesive team that buys into your business vision. If you don’t achieve this, then you risk walking into the office every morning to view a sea of yawning faces and twiddling thumbs. As a boss you need to facilitate something better. Think about when you were an employee and empathize. What would you like to see in the perfect boss? Consider these attributes and try to incorporate them into your own working practices. Take a look at how you can be the ultimate boss in just four steps.
It’s vital that you treat your employees with the respect that they deserve. Don’t belittle them or just treat them like their payroll number. Every individual within your staff team needs to make an impact so that they feel professionally satisfied, and it’s up to you to facilitate this. Don’t allow your staff to become stale and set in their ways. You need to respect them enough to invest in them. Have annual meetings with each staff member and create a career plan for each person. This shows that you are willing to take note of their professional aspirations. Then, consider putting a professional development plan in place. You may be thinking that this sounds expensive. While it will require some monetary input on your part, you will be upskilling your staff so they can work better within your venture.
If you empower your team to be the most forward thinking group of people, with business methodologies at their disposal, alongside excellent soft skills and time management capabilities, you aren’t just investing in your team, but you are also investing in your business. The skills they learn on courses or training will be embedded within your place of work. Sure, they may leave to pursue other job opportunities, but foster a respectful climate, and the chances are they will stay.
Flexible working is a non negotiable for many job seekers when they hunt for new positions. If you want the best team around you, you need to be flexible. Consider allowing your employees to work from home or to dictate their own working hours. While this can be scary, it can foster a feeling of mutual respect within your team. There are many reasons why a time clock is essential for businesses of all sizes, and primarily, you can ensure that you are paying your employees for the hours that they actually work. If you have an individual who is more productive in the early hours, allow them to clock in at 7 am and leave work at 3 pm. This allows them to get all of their work done to an exceptional standard and hone their own perfect work life balance. At the same time, you may have a staff member who needs some extra holiday. They can build this up by working an extra hour each day until they have enough hours to take as a day’s holiday. This flexibility shows that you are a modern boss and willing to take into account work life balance, job satisfaction and the pastoral well being of your staff.
Forget being one of those bosses who holes themselves away for weeks at a time. Do this, and you risk becoming something of a mythical beast. Your employees won’t know who you are and resentment can set in, especially if you don’t communicate with your staff. To combat this, set up a weekly Monday morning briefing for fifteen minutes. This can be the perfect forum to allow your staff team to air their views, express their opinions and put forward new ideas. You can also use this as an opportunity to inform your staff team about targets, clients and tasks for the week.
Follow this up with a Friday email. Here, you can namecheck those staff members who have gone the extra mile and done something incredible. It doesn’t even have to be work related. Perhaps your marketing manager has completed a mammoth bike ride for charity. Give them a shout out. This can make them feel proud and fosters a sense of positivity and recognition within your workplace. It’s all too easy to forget that your staff team are real life people. You need to get to know them and understand when they may not be working at their best. While you don’t want to know the gory details of your admin assistant’s divorce, recognizing that they are going through a major life transition, providing support and allowing them some leeway shows your ability to be an exceptional boss.
The workplace that you have created should be inspiring, dynamic and positive. It needs to be a space that is welcoming and happy. If the carpet tiles are stained, there are drafts coming from the windows and the patches of damp on the ceiling are damaging your staff team’s health, you cannot expect your employees to feel motivated or be productive. You need to whip out the white paint, put in a damp proof course and replace the carpet. By maintaining an area that is white, light and bright, the space will feel bigger and more modern.
Replace the strip lighting with LED spotlights and put up some local art work. Consider bringing the outside in with some splashes of greenery and swap the 1980s inspired single desktop booths for more collaborative working pods. There’s nothing worse than your employees waking up in the morning and dreading the commute into work. You want them to feel inspired by their working environment. Ask for their input on the office redesign. The chances are that they want decent furniture, comfy chairs and an open plan space. Provide this and you will find that your staff are happier, bouncing ideas off of one another and enjoying those water cooler moments of genius.
Ensure that the equipment that you provide your staff isn’t inferior. It needs to be fit for purpose otherwise your team can and will become frustrated. Imagine trying to be online for a conference call when the substandard WiFi keeps cutting out because the router and servers are old or second hand. This can lead to embarrassment and creates a negative impression of your startup. Invest in infrastructure and provide your staff with the kit they need and deserve.
Being a boss is tricky, especially if you are having to find your feet quickly with a new venture. When you launch a startup, you think very little about the people who may be working for you, but you still want to be the ultimate boss. Consider how you will create the most cohesive team possible. This way, you will be sure of a productive workplace that enables your business to go from strength to strength.