I was about to start writing this article with the sentence “Every employer wants to be known as a cool boss”. But then I had a little think and realized that that can’t possibly be true.
After all, we’ve all known bosses who clearly don’t care what their employees think and seem to have made it their life’s mission to be a terrible boss.
But you don’t want to be that boss, right? You’re one of the employers that do want to be known as a “cool boss”. The great thing about this is that it works out for everyone involved. When they’re working for a great employer, employees will feel much happier and more motivated. That makes them more productive.
It creates a good vibe in the office, which helps nurture a good community feel. Everyone wins when you’re the kind of employer than employees will brag to their friends about!
So how can you go the extra mile for your employees? Here are a few ideas.
Encourage employees – and recognize their efforts
Have you got some employees who are doing particularly fantastic jobs? What have you done to let them know? It’s sad to think that there are many workers out there who are doing great jobs but aren’t really being recognized for it.
Make sure to take the time to let your employees know they’re doing a good job.
Another way to encourage employees is to encourage their input. With so many brains in one room, it would seem a waste if brainstorming for a particular project was limited to a small few!
Even if it’s something as simple as suggestions for ways to improve the office environment, call out for the input of everyone there.
Give them an opportunity to grow professionally
Some employers seem to be happy letting their employees get stuck in a rut. Even if someone loves their job, they should really be given room to expand their skills and get more professional experience.
Perhaps employers are scared that this will lead to the employee leaving the company for a better position. And sure, that’s a risk. But why let that stop you taking care of them in the first place?
If there are any opportunities for an employee on a project to take on senior responsibilities, give let them give it a try. You could also look into providing company-funded courses that will allow them to develop their skills. You can find online courses in pretty much anything, from graphic design to programming and project management.
Recognize that they’re humans first and employees second
When employers think of their employees as just employees, they seem to switch off their ability to empathise. They believe that the worker is some robot who will always perform a particular task to a particular standard, consistently. Why wouldn’t they? If they don’t, they’ll just get fired, right? The problem, of course, is that employees are humans, not machines devoid of fault or feeling.
And, to be fair, most of the employers I’ve worked for have acknowledged this fact and been very understanding in many ways. But to truly grasp this concept is also to acknowledge that some people will go through particularly troubling times. Times that will affect their work performance.
Some people may begin suffering a health crisis that will damage their output. Accidents or even deaths can occur within their families or circle of friends that will affect their mood. Some may experience particularly bad bouts of depression or anxiety. Some unlucky few may even fall victim to substance abuse.
Grim as this passage may seem, the point of it is to highlight that humans have ever-shifting personal lives that can affect their work output. The answer is to offer as much assistance as you can. If you need help doing this, you can look into Health Assured’s employee assistance programme services.
Punish them in private
I’ve worked for some great employers. I’ve also worked for real slimy ones. A common feature of the “bad boss” is their love of disparaging an employee in front of everyone.
When a worker makes a mistake, they’ll “publicly” call them out on it. It’s an embarrassing situation for the target worker and a scary one for their colleagues.
Perhaps there are some high-pressure situations in which this may happen, to the employer’s later regret. Restaurant employers, for example, often exhibit this behavior on rare occasions.
Time is of the essence in such a business, and everyone can fall victim to a lot of stress. Does it make it right? No. If it does happen, ensure that you offer an apology to both the target employees and the other employees.
In general, you should only offer criticism in a respectful manner and in private. Make sure the criticism is constructive. Offer your understanding and assistance in making things better.