As your Small Business grows, you as the Business Owner might become more and more isolated from your employees. But for your business to remain on the path to success you must ensure that you are not only recognized as the “boss” but also be a valuable member of your business’s team.
The key to being both is to take charge but also give your employees the chance to have ownership and autonomy over their own tasks. In a previous post, we explored what it takes to become a How to Be a Better Boss, here we examine how to be part of the team:
1. Follow the Rules
It is extremely important that you do not consider yourself above your company’s policies especially with regard to timings and vacations. If you expect your employees to show up for work at a certain time every day, you too need to adhere to this rule. To be part of any team and to become a leader you need to be able to demonstrate that you are willing to follow the rules and lead by example.
2. Appreciate your Employee’s efforts
One of the hallmarks of bad management is when the leader or manager only takes credit for team successes and is quick to point fingers at errors or mistakes. You must be able to make your employees accountable for their actions without creating an atmosphere where they are afraid to take their own decisions because of fear of failure. It is also equally or more important to applaud their efforts and give credit where it is due in times of success.
3. Create an atmosphere of Cooperation
You as the business owner need to take a proactive role in ensuring that the work culture in your company is one of cooperation and camaraderie. Take the first steps to make sure that you encourage a comfortable working environment where you know everyone by name, greet them when you meet, address their concerns fairly and are a good listener.
4. Take an Interest
When you started your business, it is quite possible that you were its entire staff- handling everything from sales, finance and marketing to customer service and deliveries. As your company has grown and you have been able to hire more specialized employees, you may have lost touch with the day to day activities of your company. It is essential that you meet with employees from different departments periodically to find out how your business is being run on the ground level. This will also make each employee feel like they make a valuable contribution to the bigger picture.
5. Set Boundaries and Expectations
An inescapable element about being a team member is that you will realize that it is possible that your employees do not care as much as you do about your business. Before you are accepted by them, you must acknowledge that this is fine. While the company might be your lifelong dream, it is perfectly alright that your employees treat it merely as their job. As long as they are effective in their roles and perform their tasks with efficiency, you have no cause to complain. Remember to respect their boundaries, and give them space for a private, social life that does not involve you or your business. Being a team player will give you valuable insights to plan the future of your business. Ensure that while you work together with your employees as a team and become more familiar with their work and personalities that you also keep a keen eye for those employees that could play a pivotal role in the future management of your business.