One of the greatest things you can do for your business and yourself is become the type of boss you would want to work for.
You obviously want a team that is vested in the success of your business. That’s truly not that easy to find these days. I have had many a boss through my career and actually can say they have all been pretty great. I don’t have a lot of horror stories at all. (Oh… there was one!) I started thinking about what made one manager better than another and began examining my own style as well. I have realized the great ones never told me what to do. They let me do my thing. There was never any micro-managing. They trusted me and I was always accountable for what I did. I try to work with my team the same way. The best way to describe it is the coach versus manager style.
I see a lot of small businesses adopting the ideas of many large tech companies simply putting up a ping pong table, and feeding the staff bagels on Mondays. Unfortunately those perks, while awesome for a while, don’t necessary lead to committed, productive and long term engagement from your team. YOU as their leader have to provide them a reason to stick with your company and quite frankly with you.
You don’t want to be the boss lady that your employee wakes up in the middle of the night with an anxiety attack over or Snaps your face with funny captions to their friends. This is your business and if you are building a business you want to make sure that your team is as vested in it as you are.
Don’t tell them your team what to do. Share your vision and ask (and listen) for their feedback. Again, LISTEN TO THEIR FEEDBACK AND LET THEM KNOW YOU HEARD IT. (yes I am shouting) Set goals and trust they will complete them. If they don’t, work on understanding why and focus on helping them complete their goal. Assess their strengths- some are going to be more people oriented and others better behind the computer. Make sure you have the right personality in the right position. Get to know them. You certainly don’t have to be their best friend but as their coach and leader you want them to be able to feel comfortable with you. Be the person you would want to work for.
Yes…happy hours, mani-pedi certificates and unlimited vacation time aren’t bad things. However, managing with a coach attitude will build partnership and collaboration that will lead to a vested, engaged and happy team and, in the end, help you build a successful business.