Some get to be boss by luck and others earn their way into the driver’s seat. Unfortunately, many people become a boss without getting proper training to manage. There is no sinister conspiracy at work–sometimes entrepreneurs focused on taking a product to market or heirs to family businesses find themselves in charge without knowing how to effectively manage people. Even great performers who rise to leadership positions may not have been trained to manage others.
Being a boss isn’t complicated, but it does require some focused thought and attention to be amazing. And since many people are putting their faith in you, don’t you owe it to them to be your best for their sake? Well, here are 5 tips to help you reach your full boss potential.
Have an open-door policy.
Make yourself available to your employees. An open door doesn’t mean that your office door is always open. Rather, it means that your employees can come to you with any issues or suggestions that they have, and you will be receptive.
- If you’re very busy, you can specify times when your employees can filter in or out of your office, or you can make rounds to visit your employees in their workspace.
- Actively listen to your employees to make sure they feel like they’re being heard.
- Give serious consideration to employees’ suggestions about how to improve productivity—after all, they’re the ones on the ground each day!
Respect and value your employees.
Let them know you see their hard work. Every employee in your organization contributes to making your business a success. If you acknowledge their contributions, they’ll feel appreciated, and they’ll be more likely to keep doing good work in the future.
- Say, “I don’t say it often enough, but we couldn’t keep this place running without your hard work. Thanks for all you do.”
Create a positive atmosphere in the workplace.
This can help motivate your staff to do their best work. Make your office a pleasant place to work by providing good lighting, encouraging a friendly attitude, and allowing employees to bring in a personal touch, such as family photos or a fun poster. Provide your employees with rewards and incentives for good work, such as a pizza party or a monthly certificate.
- Set up a bulletin board to post about employees’ achievements. You can also create a section for photos of employees and company events.
- Try instituting a casual Friday.
- Make a point to celebrate holidays and birthdays.
Stay involved in the day-to-day activities of the office.
Work alongside your employees regularly. It’s easy for a boss to become out of touch with the job tasks of lower-level employees. This can create resentment from employees whose jobs you don’t understand, and it prevents you from spotting areas that could benefit from the change. Instead, spend some time each week helping your employees with their regular tasks so you’ll always know what’s going on.
- Sit in on a planning meeting.
- Join the sales team on the floor.
- Spend a few minutes sorting mail in the mailroom.
Assign tasks that help your employees stretch and grow.
Challenge your employees by giving them new assignments. Trust them to get the job done right, even if it’s outside of their normal workload. For example, allow junior employees to work on committees alongside senior employees.
- If you don’t allow your staff to grow, they may seek other opportunities.
- Letting employees try new things can lead to innovation. You can also use it as a strategy to increase the number of people on your staff who can complete certain tasks.
- Try to support the career goals of your employees when you can. For instance, if you know an employee is interested in leading a team one day, you might assign them the lead role on a project.