Being the “boss” has its ups and its downs. There’s a fine line between being the cool boss that everyone likes and the jerk boss that most people don’t. It can be hard to straddle that line because you need to find the proper balance between things like enforcing the rules, being friendly with your employees, encouraging production, and not being too critical or harsh.
You want to be a good boss, but you also want things to get done. How can you be a good boss without being over-controlling? Here are some tips to help you manage things.
Don’t Micromanage Your Employees
If you’re a micromanager, you need to work on reforming your ways as soon as possible. If there’s one thing that most employees hate, it’s being micromanaged. If you pay close attention to the smallest details every step of the way, you are very over-controlling. You need to show faith in your employees and their abilities to get their jobs done.
Instead of watching over them throughout an entire project, back off until they’ve reached certain benchmarks or completed their work. When they’ve reached certain key parts of the process or come up with a finished product, then it’s time to view their work more carefully and make the necessary – but constructive – critiques.
Don’t Make All the Decisions Alone
As the boss, it is your job to make decisions about many different things. You might seem over-controlling, however, if you always make all of those decisions on your own. There are many different kinds of decisions you need to make as a boss, and you can’t always use the input of others. When you can, however, it’s a good idea to ask your employees for their opinions – and you must really take them into consideration.
Listening to the suggestions of your employees – and sometimes using them or incorporating them – will show that you’re not over-controlling. Asking just for the sake of seeming flexible, however, will backfire, because employees will clearly see if you always put aside their thoughts.
Don’t Be a Slave Driver
No, you can’t let your employees slack off at work, but you shouldn’t keep them tied to their desks, either. If you show more leniency and trust, your employees will respect you more, and they will even become more productive because of it. For example, some bosses don’t have strict schedule requirements. They might allow employees to choose their own hours – just as long as they get their work done and to the appropriate level.
If your employees ask for time off for personal reasons, why not let them have a little more time if their work is performance-based? Work that is time-based might not be so flexible, but try to show your employees that you understand that their lives aren’t all about work. As long as they do their jobs well, you don’t need to be over-controlling to be their boss.