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Be A Good Boss That Everyone Loves With These 13 Rules

Be A Good Boss That Everyone Loves With These 13 Rules

What does it take to truly be a good boss? Thanks to research, we are beginning to understand the factors that lead to workplace cooperation.

A 2007 study by Florida University indicated that 40 percent of participants believed they worked for “bad bosses.” Among the most common complaints were broken promises, not giving credit, and strangely enough, the silent treatment.

Notice that there is no mention of overtime, paychecks, or incredibly annoying copy machines. The common thread in the above complaints is communication errors.

1. Care about your business

If you are not personally invested in your business, how will you convince others to be invested? You won’t always be excited about work, but there must be fuel to keep you going. If you are in an industry that doesn’t inspire you, you’ll have a hard time even caring about how to manage employees.

By working in an industry you love, you can keep current on best practices without it feeling like a chore. Your enthusiasm will likely rub off on others too.

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2. Manage individuals, not numbers

If you’re in a managerial position, you probably didn’t stumble into it. Authoritative, action-oriented people tend to drift towards these positions naturally. If you harp about getting things done and the “bottom line,” just be careful.

Employees won’t always care about your objectives, but they will always care about how you treat them. So if you want productivity, don’t just dictate orders. If you want numbers to improve, think of how to position your employees to work better, not just harder.

The sooner you get out of that mechanical “numbers” mindset and into a relationship-oriented mindset, the better your business will be.

3. Adapt your style to each person

No matter how difficult it is, you should try to adapt your managing style for each employee- not only to appease them, but for your own peace of mind as well. It’s not easy to achieve understanding, but when it exists, everyone’s workday runs smoother.

Try to get a feel for how your employees thrive. Are they great under pressure? Do they work best alone? Once you understand these things, you can place them in a role that effectively utilizes their strengths. Team technology is a website with great tools to help workers understand their career and leadership styles.

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4. Measure only what’s truly relevant

Sometimes it’s more important to maintain office morale than nitpick minor issues. If the company is doing well, don’t get bogged down by monitoring inconsequential details. This will stress your employees and give them the impression that their efforts aren’t good enough.

Instead, have the wisdom to distinguish what is crucial to the success of the business. Monitor these things, and if they begin to fail, that’s the time to get serious.

5. Set only one priority per person

By setting one priority per person, you can better monitor your objectives. Each employee will know what he or she is responsible for, and they’ll be able to focus their efforts solely in that area. Also, if someone isn’t working, the company’s weak link won’t be able to hide behind everyone else.

By singling out each worker’s priority, you are creating expertise within your company. Instead of 10 people with a bit of knowledge about everything, you’ll have a team of budding experts working towards distinct goals.

6. Stay even-tempered

Its an age-old question: do you want people to like you or do you want people to fear you? All leaders grapple with this, from teachers to CEOs. You don’t want to be angry and demanding, but you don’t want employees thinking you are a push-over. The best way to earn respect (and make your life easier) is to be as even-tempered as possible.

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7. Share your thoughts and ideas

By being open with your employees, you show that you are down-to-earth. Sharing thoughts and ideas proves that you value your employees’ opinions and view them as equals. This is also crucial because it keeps everyone in the company on the same page, creating a general trajectory that everyone understands.

8. Take responsibility for your low performers

If you dig deep enough, poor performance will have a cause. You have to decide whether these employees are:
a. out of their element and need to be transferred to another position
b. in need of more training and instruction
c. letting personal issues get in the way of their job

While it may not be your fault, you must acknowledge low performers so they don’t drag the rest of the company down. Have a non-judgemental talk with the employee. Don’t blame and don’t assume. Instead, ask questions. Find out what they need in order to do a better job, and do your best to provide it. If they show no initiative, it’s your duty to terminate them and find someone who values your business.

9. Ask questions rather than provide answers

Socrates was a brilliant leader and thinker- not because he had answers, but because he asked questions. Asking questions can only provide you with a deeper understanding of a situation. A good manager doesn’t just direct, but also learns continuously from the company’s successes and failures.

10. Treat everyone as equally as possible

This is common sense, however it’s not always easy to implement. You may think that you are fair to all of your employees, but no one is without bias. Sometimes workers feel they are being treated unfairly, while the manager has no deliberate intention of doing so. Don’t get defensive in these situations. Step back and consider their perspective. Are they earning a lower wage, receiving fewer promotions, or somehow getting left out? Just because you didn’t mean for it to happen doesn’t mean it isn’t your responsibility to change it.

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11. Expect only what you’re willing to give

We’ve all had that boss- the guy or girl who leaves at 2pm every day and vaguely hands the rest of the day’s tasks to confused and annoyed employees. You’ll never be a good boss with this behavior. It will convince employees that you’re incompetent and inconsiderate. If extra work is needed, be there to facilitate or at least support those involved. Being a boss doesn’t mean skipping out on the challenges.

12. Explain the reasoning behind your decisions

Employees will follow your lead with less resistance if they understand your reasoning. Even if they disagree, they will at least know that you’re using a strategy. You’ll be respected for keeping everyone informed. You’ll also feel more supported, as employees will better understand your reasoning.

13. Make decisions efficiently

Of course, one of the main requirements to be a good boss is refined decision-making skills. Avoid making decisions when you are under stress or experiencing unusual emotions. These can throw off your mindset and cause you to do things you otherwise wouldn’t. Make a habit of analyzing results from past decisions, and make changes if your choices haven’t been panning out.

Featured photo credit: guardiaoscura via guardiaoscura.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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