Being the boss of a company has great rewards, but also can be very difficult. How to be a good boss is about being a team player and being human.
You might be the owner of a company and are asking yourself how to be a good boss. In the last couple of years Keywest has gone through many great changes. We are busier and bigger than ever, and we keep striving to reach new heights. A lot of the things we have been able to achieve is because of the great team we have. Each member of the Keywest team have their specific role and skill set, and are always trying to find ways to improve and do more to make what we do the best it can be.
How I run my business
I tend to run Keywest in a way where I have certain criteria to be followed, and lists upon lists of things to do that I give to each member of the team to implement. Once a given task is in their court, I expect my team to be able to do their job and they usually have free reign. I trust them, and that is what is key to getting an employee to enjoy their job, and to want to do their best. Knowing they are free to make decisions based on their skill set and experience without someone always hounding them allows for them to feel sure about themselves and the work they do. How to be a good boss isn’t about actually bossing someone around. It’s about letting your team roll with what you give them and creating something great.
Open Dialogue and Performance Reviews
I speak open and honestly with my employees. I find it’s a very important ability to have when wanting to know how to be a good boss. If an employee is outstanding, they know how I feel. They know that I think they’re great. If there are issues with an employee; whether big or small, I have semi-regular performance reviews to bring up those issues, and to discuss why these issues are happening, or to try to figure out ways to curb these issues. I’m all about making Keywest run smoothly and efficiently, and anything we can improve for each employee goes a long way. My team knows that they can speak to me about anything whatsoever regarding their job or their personal life, and that I will always listen to them, and take their needs into account as best I can.
The performance reviews I hold for my team, are not one sided. I ask each employee to measure my performance as well. I want to know if they think I’m doing a good job running the company, handling certain situations, and talking to them about any issues that come up. I want to know if they think what I discuss with them is crazy and that I’m out of my mind, or if they agree with me, and we see eye to eye. They know that they can speak freely, and that I listen. I want to know if I’m the only one who thinks something, or if there is consensus. I want this feedback because certain decisions that need to be made can’t just be made with only my opinion. I need to know what various members of my team are thinking. Even if I think my way is the right way, I want them to have the ability to convince me it’s not, and sometimes they do convince me. I am always learning how to be a good boss, it’s not something that you are; it’s an evolving process. Just like the company I need to grow and adapt in the way I do things as well.
I love my job and my business. I love working with my team to try to make something great, and I love brainstorming to keep making things better. The one thing I’ve learned about myself and the duties that come with owning your own business is that there are two aspects of my job I don’t enjoy.
The first aspect: The hardest realization for me when I became owner of Keywest is that if things get tough and I’ve exhausted every avenue to cut costs and save money, that I know it has to come down to possibly letting someone go. There are always ups and downs, and I don’t like or want this aspect of my job. I have no joy in having a hand in someones life to this degree. I love being able to hire someone and to be able to give someone money, but taking it away from someone and knowing that I’ve just made someones life more difficult is a burden that haunts me. I try to avoid this aspect of my job as best I can. I work very hard to make sure my team is working very hard, and that they become indispensable to me so that I need them no matter the cost, and I will move mountains to make things work; whether they know it or not.
The second aspect: each of my employees is different. I handle each differently. They all have their personal lives that dictate their needs and wants, and that can affect their work, or vice versa. I believe my team knows that no matter what happens day to day at work, that they can count on my personally to be there for them as a friend. I’m not insensitive to the needs of a member of my team needing a raise to support a family. I might not be able to do what they want, but they know that I will try to get there for them.
I know an owner of another company that had their number one employee come down with medical issues, and instead of treating this employee with respect and showing that he valued them, he instead tried to find ways not to pay this employee. This employee is someone who put many many hours into their job because they wanted it to succeed. But the new owner has no clue what he’s doing, and he lost this employee because of the sneaky deeds he tried to do.
In my case, I have an employee with medical issues, and we have worked together in finding the best solutions to accommodate her needs, and that of Keywest’s. Not once have I ever tried to figure out a way not to pay her. Instead I gave her a raise because when she does the work required of her, it’s done right and it also helps her to be able to pay for her medication. I’m not trying to toot my own horn and say how great I am by stating this, I’m just wanting to point out the difference between a good boss, and a bad boss. If you show your team you care, and are willing to do what it takes for them, then they will do what it takes for you.
We all work very hard at Keywest. We don’t stop. I try to make our work environment a fun place to be. Sometimes things get very serious, but most of the time everyone enjoys coming into work every day and doing what we do. I want all of us to succeed because I want to be able to take care of my team as best I can. I don’t look at everyone just as my employees or even friends, I look at them as if they are my own children, and I want the best for them, and I want them to achieve great things. Even if they decide to up and flee the coop and try their hand at something else, I want them to succeed wherever it is they end up, and most of my employees know that just because they leave for whatever reason, they know there is always a job waiting for them if they wish to return.
I hope I’ve been able to give some sort of useful information in how to be a good boss. I tend to ramble when I’ve got things on my mind, and that tends to happen when things are really busy. Keywest is really busy. Busy is good. With new adventures happening soon, and for those surprises that have yet to arrive, I will continue to be the best boss I can be by listening to my team, and by being there for them. The company is prosperous when everyone knows their voice is heard, they are trusted and taken care of. This is how to be a good boss.
I feel like I’m back in school and just wrote an essay. This is why I get my team to usually write the blog posts. I feel like I need a nap now. If you want to learn more about me, and would like to contact me with any questions, please feel free to add me on LinkedIn. If you have any tips or questions on how to be a good boss I’d love to hear from you.