Many entrepreneurs start a small business because of their passion, knowledge, and skills. Unfortunately, not every entrepreneur has a background in managing and motivating people. While some small business owners may be flying solo, many others rely on their employees to help them grow their business while delivering quality products and services to their target market. Yet, being a good boss is still a struggle for many entrepreneurs. In fact, small business owners cite being a boss as one of the top five challenges of owning and running their company.
Whether you’ve been running a business for years or you are just getting started, and whether you have one employee or 50, there is always room for improvement when it comes to developing effective leadership skills. Below, we’ve put together a few important ways that you can work on becoming the boss your employees deserve.
1. Give Your Employees Feedback and Praise
Your employees can’t improve if they don’t know how they are doing in the first place. That’s why it’s vital that bosses give constructive feedback to help employees better meet or exceed expectations. Start by quantifying what success is so that your employees know what they are aiming for. It also helps to identify specific goals and deadlines that they can use for measurement. A formal review or feedback system is a great way to ensure that employees are often exposed to constructive feedback on their work.
On the flip side, you’ll also want to make sure that you acknowledge good performance. When things are going well, let your employees know early and often. Publicly recognize employees who are productive by offering verbal praise and rewards for exceeding expectations. When you show your employees how much you appreciate their efforts, you encourage the whole team to strive for success.
2. Find Ways to Motivate Your Workers
The most successful business leaders know how to motivate their employees toward common goals and objectives. You can begin by setting high standards throughout your organization for communication, productivity, and professionalism. When employees do not meet these standards, take positive steps to help them improve. Rather than assigning blame or calling out poor performance, partner with your employees to take on the challenges they face as a team.
Effectively motivating your workers requires you to listen to their concerns, challenges, and ideas for improving while clearly and consistently communicating with them to make sure they are getting the resources and support they need. Ask for their input on what is holding them back from success, and talk through their ideas for overcoming these challenges.
3. Take Time to Develop Your Employees and Their Careers
The best bosses set their employees up for success. One of the most effective ways to do this is by investing time and resources into developing your employees and their careers. Give them the tools and training they need to succeed in their job tasks. Encourage them to identify and explore their strengths while taking steps to make improvements where they can.
Take time to chat with each employee about their short- and long-term career goals. Find ways that you can support them in these goals — whether through additional training, continuing education, or industry conferences. Allow them to take opportunities to develop new skill sets that will allow them to reach their full potential.
4. Learn to Trust Your Employees
Trust is essential in any boss’s relationship with their employees. Small business owners who trust that their employees are capable and responsible will encourage worker autonomy while creating a strong sense of community throughout the company. Both of these lead to better job satisfaction and employee loyalty.
If you want to establish trust, it’s vital that you create a safe and positive work environment that emphasizes open and honest communication. Listen to your employees when they bring up their concerns, and communicate with them often to let them know that you are listening and that you trust them. This will not only encourage employees to meet or exceed your expectations, but also allow you to more easily delegate tasks.
Protect Your Employees and Your Business
The best small business bosses have their employees’ best interests in mind and are always looking for ways to protect their business. No matter how much effort you put into creating a safe and healthy workplace for your employees, there are always circumstances that are out of your control — like workplace injuries.
That’s where we come in. At Cerity, our goal is to help the small business bosses out there protect their most important assets — their workers. We provide workers’ compensation insurance solutions that make sense for the modern small business. Not only are they comprehensive, but they’re also cost effective and easy to understand.
So what are you waiting for? It only takes a few minutes to get a free, personalized insurance quote. And you can even be covered as early as tomorrow.