5 really useful tips to becoming a better boss: No matter now busy you are

2nd February 2018

Keen to improve your people management skills, but short on time? Or perhaps you’re not sure what you can do differently to be a better boss? Here’s 5 things I’ve seen work brilliantly, which you can try today…

1. Ask for what you want 

As the boss, one of your most important jobs is to find new ways to improve the performance of the team. Rather than saying what your employees aren’t doing well, try flipping this around and ‘ask for what you want more of’ instead. For example, one of my clients said to their employee who wasn’t brilliant at greeting customers, “you aren’t very welcoming – please can you improve the way you greet customers” which resulted in the employee getting defensive and upset. There wasn’t an improvement either. After a 1-1 call, my client realised he needed to take a different approach. He flipped this to say “it would be great if you could say hello to each customer as soon as they walk in the store.” This clarity about what to do different and a polite request was enough to get the outcome he wanted.

2. Role model the behaviours that make a difference 

If you want your team to achieve great things, you have to clarify the behaviours you expect and demonstrate what ‘great’ looks like. This includes things like returning people’s calls promptly, coming in on time, responding to emails quickly, and not slagging off clients behind their back. Your bad behaviours could be perceived as a green light to do the same, as others in your time could think “well, if she does it, that must be ok”! So, have a think about what you’re currently doing, that you wouldn’t want others to copy.

3. Act like you’re one of the team (but not their best friend)

As your company grows, the last thing that you want to do is become disconnected from your team members and the day-to-day goings on. Why? Well, it’s important for your team to see you mucking in, especially when times are tough. This will build trust, respect and loyalty. If you’re so busy, you may have neglected your team, then why not organise a catch-up to listen to how their doing and what’s been going on and take a minute to thank everyone and celebrate any successes you’ve had recently. However, don’t mistake being a team player with being best friends with everyone. There’s a big difference!

4. Request feedback regularly (but informally)

Asking your team if you’re a ‘good boss’ is not something most of us would feel comfortable with! And even if you did ask, it’s unlikely your employees would tell you the truth, for fear of repercussions if you said something negative. However, asking subtle feedback can be a great way to get feedback and improve the way you manage people. For example, at your next team meeting, go round the table and ask each person to say one thing that was useful about the meeting and what could make it more useful next time. Making this type of process a habit can really help you make small but impactful changes to improve productivity.

5. Treat your employees like humans 

It’s not easy, but you need to accept that your employees do have other things going on in their lives. They don’t live solely to serve you and your business, so there may be times where they are a bit distracted and not at their best. If your employee is generally a very good worker, then try to be empathetic to their needs. If you look after them in tough times, you’ll build loyalty and people will want to go the extra mile for you. Entrepreneur Richard Branson, who is celebrated for running incredibly successful companies built around happy workforces, said “Your employees are your company’s real competitive advantage. They’re the ones making the magic happen–so long as their needs are being met.”

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.



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