This is the title of our blog post this time. If you are a newly minted boss of a department or an entire organisation, this is something you can seriously aspire to. It’s a new chapter in your career as well as your professional reputation. We say reputation because apart from your subordinates, you’re going to be meeting lots of people and making lots of connections outside of your office. So cutting through the chase, one surefire way to make sure that you end up becoming a good boss is simply choosing not to become a bad one.
A Good Reputation
As far as reputation goes, you’re likely to become famous for being a good employer and infamous for being the opposite just because people know you. So every time you have the chance, just do the right thing. Needless to say, you’ll just attract bad talent if your reputation is bad and have high staff turnover, likely to send your business into stagnation. Good talents however are smart people who choose their employers carefully and will leave you in the dust very quickly.
That’s just it. Although there is so much that can be said about this, we’ll just go through a few more points which we think are most important.
A matter of scale and limitations.
What you “can” be aware of is that nothing and no one is perfect. Many times, both employees and employers have misplaced expectations of each other in terms of salary, benefits, work performance and material things. The people we work for and with are not perfect. The company is not perfect, otherwise, there won’t be challenges to overcome. This is the working life.
But at the same time, we’re not telling you not to have high expectations of each other. We need that to succeed higher and higher. It just won’t be perfect. Just be a realist.
Now as a boss, you too are subject to what you “can” do, and that is your scale and limitation for the time being. You can be a good boss even by being real and honest when you don’t give an employee material things or being over-promising. Employees value a boss who is real, honest and doesn’t twist their words every now and then. Once employees realise this, you end up in the category of “can’t be trusted”. Therefore, as a good father delays, declines or approves the requests of his children, likewise a good boss does the same with his employees. You are the good father of your organisation.
So one of the first essentials to being a better boss is to have a balanced open-door policy when it comes to communication with your team. We say balanced because they need to listen, respect and follow your instructions and you need to gain your employees’ respect.
At work, have you been a “set and forget” type of boss where you set all the rules and then forget your employees? Everyone is expected to just follow, or are you the “engaged” type of boss who talks to your team regularly?
As we continually “evolve into an ever-changing workplace”, which one of the two should you be? Well, the engaged one precisely, as this version of you would easily lead a willing team. Gaining their admiration is a further plus point.
There are at least three major benefits of being this engaged version of you.
1. Delegate tasks easily
You get to delegate tasks easily to staff who are willing to learn because they respect you and know it’s their duty to you. Delegation becomes easier when you know which person is better suited for a task for best results. This could only happen if you get to know them.
Job delegation is a major challenge for perfectionists and control freaks. It’s a matter of misplaced pride and lack of trust that drive employers and managers to do such things. Hence, jobs are often rushed with unclear instructions and so the employee still works without knowing the expectations.
Being even vaguely engaged allows an employer to get the best out of an employee and help them acquire more skills down the road. But the disengaged employer doesn’t care about all this because in his mind, there’s a long line of people waiting to come in and work for him. He’s not interested in mentoring, training, skill-building, and even loyalty. So this leads to all the other ills at the workplace like:
a) Micro-managing because of having to retrain new employees and lack of trust.
b) Huge employee turnover.
c) Being negative and often in a critical mood as opposed to being a mentor.
d) Avoids celebrating success with employees & team members and withholding credit where credit is due, robbing the employees of their due.
e) Unequal treatment. Blocks an employee’s pathway to success when a target has to be reached.
f) Being inconsistent, and does not keep to his word.
Some employers don’t treat their employees equally and sometimes favour one employee over another. This is called favouritism which is a trait-based on unprofessionalism.
2. Gain their admiration and respect.
They admire you so they’re willing to go the extra mile. This is especially true when you turn out to be a supportive mentor who exudes some class in the way you talk, teach and conduct yourself. A classy man or woman is respected not just by the way they dress but how they communicate and treat others, and how down to earth they are.
Another note about respect for both employer and employee.
An employee will come in early, intercept malicious gossip and defend the boss, look after his interest with earnestness and do their best, often going the extra mile on a daily basis. All these are the signs of respect that the employee brings to the workplace. If you are a habitual latecomer, we are sorry to say that you continually spoil everything for everyone at work including yourself. Did you know that coming in early is the first sign of respect? This has to start with the employee.
As an employer, you can notice these signs and reciprocate accordingly.
3. You get to be the one who identifies their strengths and weaknesses.
Most new workers have little idea of their strengths and weaknesses in a given industry as they have just entered the workforce. Some experienced workers fall in this category too, letting years pass by before knowing their core strengths.
As a boss, you have the privilege of building people up, not tearing people down. You get to be the ultimate team builder because in the course of your life, you need allies and loyal followers who will do the necessary to help you get to where you want to go. But if you can be “unselfish” enough, the relationship can be symbiotic. A grateful staff will do anything for you 24/7 at the drop of a hat, just because they trust you, like you and admire you. They want to be like you too, bringing more value and achieving more success for you.
But then one might say, “Despite all my investment in my employees, they will still leave and I will end up hiring and training new people. Loyalty does not pay and people are ungrateful.” “ So I’ll just focus on what I want to do because I carry the risk.”
Yes, people come and go, but the benefits outweigh the concerns. Hiring new people is a risk in itself. It’s just a matter of lowering the risk by fostering trust and building people. A CEO of a hypermarket once told me that success is very often not by you alone but by working in a team, success is achieved together.
So there you go. You can be a good and successful employer who can celebrate success with the support of a team that believes in you. You just have to choose to be one. There is no doubt that the continual success of say 5 or even 10 employees can be attributed to your personal and professional success over and over again such as:
1. Growth of your company, its products and services.
2. Attract better and top-notch talent to your company as your good reputation grows.
3. You are able to train and mentor future leaders and managers to head new ventures and businesses in the future.
4. You are able to always have a tight group of people who will drop anything when you need them.
If these career insights are helpful and make sense in opening your mind to the condition of today’s workplace, helping you to navigate yourself, then give us a call. Our career advisors will take you by the hand to guide you to possible success.