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8 Things You Should Do To Make Employees Love You As A Boss

8 Things You Should Do To Make Employees Love You As A Boss

As there are now five generations represented in the work place, it has become ever more important for businesses and organizations to adopt new styles of leadership and management. No longer can bosses rule with an iron fist. These days, they must learn to adapt and lead by the inspiration of their actions.

In this age, the job of a boss is way more complex. He is no longer just leading people and managing commodities; he is going to have to rise with the challenge of leading a wide range of ideas, beliefs and filters if he is going to be successful in the workplace. If your goal is to improve camaraderie with your employees, here are five things you should do to make them love you as a boss.

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1. Allow freedom of action and independence

Great bosses understand that micro management will limit the independent performance of their workers. To operate efficiently, they understand that they have to show confidence and trust in the abilities of their associates.This respect shown by a boss will lead to a mutual love and respect from the team. This will even lead to a more positive work environment. Great bosses allow and promote a system of circular leadership in the workplace. So for example, if an employee sees a need in the business that they feel requires immediate attention, they should feel empowered to take action to solve it, even if it is not in their title or job description. As employees, we may feel the need to accumulate titles and hierarchies before we are qualified to lead and inspire action. A great boss will remind his team that they are Verbs, Not Labels.

2. See your employees for who they are, not what they are

Many employees feel that they are too often seen and judged as labels. Great bosses however, see people without filters. They are not given to the perceptions of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or titles. As they get to know their employees better, they also begin to delegate work by passion, skills and abilities; not the monotonous routine of job titles and job descriptions. A great boss thinks of people by their actions, what inspires them, and not just a part of process. To demonstrate this, Employees would like their bosses to take the time and ask them “what problems within the organization they are inspired to take action and lead change.” This way you are more likely to have a team that will work for you with blood , sweat and tears, not just people who work up to the limits of their job titles and job descriptions for a pay check.

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3. Do not show favoritism

Each time you get to know a group of people, it is common to develop favorites; people you can identify with as friends. However, a great boss learns to treat everyone fairly without favoritism. Employees want to know that you will not take sides with one person over the other or treat some better than others. For example if you have a rule on tardiness, it has to apply to everyone and not just some of your employees. As long as you are fair and the rules apply to everyone, people don’t mind you being strict.

4. Lead by example

Great bosses will never ask an employee to do anything they are not willing to do themselves. Employees prefer that you lead by your inspirations. Sometimes the best way to inspire your associates is not with rousing speeches, but with your actions. Get in the fray and get your hands dirty. Standard management tactics will tell you to delegate rather than participate. However if you want your employees to love and respect you, they have to see you getting involved with them in performing daily tasks. Your employees will be inspired to lead themselves in action after they have seen you lead yourself in action. This is a new idea  and concept on delegating work.

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5. Listen to your employees

Bosses often do more talking than they do listening. However, a great boss knows that his employees have a perspective of the workplace that he will never see. Often times they will have knowledge of the flaws or holes in the system that you may not be aware of. By listening to your employees, you can improve the functionality and profitability of your business and prevent waste. Most businesses have daily brainstorming sessions for managers. Try involving your employees in these meetings. You may be amazed at their perspective or points of reference. Many employees hope to share their perspective and their values to the company rather than just listening to the boss like a robot. Listening to them can make them feel that they have contribution to the company.

6. Have a sense of humor

Positions of power often lead to abuse of power. The headiness of being responsible for so many people under your authority can sometimes make egos swell. Employees want to know that you are indeed still human.  A great boss will temper this with a good sense of humor and not take themselves so seriously. Workplaces typically tend to mimic the personalities of their bosses. So if you are a boss hoping to gain the love and respect of your workforce, try a daily dose of humor.

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7. Be inspirational

Great bosses inspire you by showing you their humanity. By sharing the struggles and difficulties of their careers, they inspire you to want to work for them. People show up every day to work for people, not titles. A great boss will temper superiority in the workplace by making himself vulnerable to his employees. For example when I worked as a manager, we were required to conduct daily five minute hurdles. While these meetings were designed to communicate the performance of the various departments to the employees, they also provided me with an appropriate opportunity to tell my workers about times I struggled to achieve results in my career and the actions I took to be better and improve. Employees want to know that it is okay to fail sometimes. With the pressures of the corporate world. bosses too often forget this and push their teams too hard.

8. Be warm and accessible

Communication is the key to any great relationship, even the relationship between a boss and their employees. A great boss needs to be understanding and approachable on a daily basis.  Employees need to know that they can also come to you and seek the advice of a friend. If the boss is too intimidating or simply never around, the employees will never feel as if they can depend on them for leadership and assistance. Great bosses are loved because their employees know that they can always reach them. For example, when I worked as a manager, part of my daily routine was making sure I had a conversation with all fifty to sixty associates on my shift. I wanted them to know that I was welcoming and easy to talk to. I wanted them to know that i cared.

Being responsible for inspiring and leading others is never easy. However with these eight tips, you will be on your way to becoming a great boss.

Featured photo credit: https://gigaom.com/ via gigaom.com

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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