Do you remember the reason why you started your business? For many contractors, it’s something they always wanted to do. Others inherited their company from a family member. But for many more, it was something I like to call an “entrepreneurial seizure.” You go to work one day, you finally had enough of your boss, and you just up and quit. You spastically jump into this new endeavor without truly knowing what you’re getting yourself into.
With all of that being said, I have a question for you: Are you that pain-in-the-rear boss today? Really think about it.
- What do your people think about you?
- Do they respect you?
- Do they like you?
- Do they consider you a leader?
These are very important questions that deserve honest answers from yourself. If your great employees don’t look up to you, at some point, you’re going to lose them.
So, what can you do? Become their friends? Well, not necessarily. You still want to command respect. However, it’s okay to have a little fun and let your hair down once in a while. Let your employees see your human side, even if it is a small glimpse for a short moment. Employees like to work for people and not necessarily for “presidents” and “CEOs.” They feel more connected if they know they are working for (or with) a person who may share some of the same human characteristics as them.
While it may be important to protocol to maintain a “chain of command,” let it be known that employees can speak directly to you – and it may be best to do so in a social setting.
Organize a fun day with “the boss.” It could be a picnic, after-hours catered meeting, or a special group event like a baseball game or fishing trip. Ask one of your staffers who is good at planning events to take charge. Show your human side – at least for a day. Your employees will appreciate it and work harder for you. And you won’t have to worry about replacing the good ones so often.