Do you know the importance of good leadership? If you have noticed sluggish growth and high turnover your leadership may need some work. Poor leadership is often the cause of lackluster business performance, and many leaders do not even realize that they are the root of the problem.
Here are a few solutions to begin correcting the issue:
1. Embrace the idea that you may be the problem
As a business owner, is it hard for for you to hire good employees? Have you fired a dozen people in the last few years?
Have you ever considered, a high turnover rate might be due to a lack of strong leadership?
Most people, when hired for a position that they are technically qualified for – will be good employees, if they report to strong leaders. If it seems like your business is a revolving door, it is possible that you may not be identifying the right candidates however, it is more likely that there may be opportunities for stronger leadership.
2. Free up communications
Communication may be a problem in the workplace. As a leader, you cannot address an issue without awareness, and if you make it difficult (or even dangerous) for people to provide you reports, you will likely not hear about a problem until it’s too late. If you are a small business owner or manager and you have no coach or mentor, chances are that this is a big problem for you.
Freeing up communications does not mean that your staff can disturb you all the time or come to you unprepared. If it’s urgent, you should be disturbed! If it winds up not being urgent, use the opportunity to train them, without anger, about deciphering the difference between urgent and non-urgent issues and develop a protocol for those times.
If your staff comes to you with bad news, but they offer no solution and don’t know all the details, don’t berate them. Praise them for bringing the news to your attention, and then coach them on how it’s better for the company — and for their professional development — if they do as much research as possible (given time constraints) and offer potential solutions.
3. Don’t break the law
Classifying an employee who clearly does non-exempt work (like an administrative assistant) as an exempt employee, so they can work long hours and effectively be paid less than minimum wage is not only unethical and demoralizing, it’s illegal. If you’re confused by this, hire an attorney or an Human Resources consultant to help you. California Labor Laws are vast and ever-changing. Don’t put your business at risk because you did not know the law. Even one claim can be devastating to any company!
4. Don’t be rude
Some business owners are just…inconsiderate. They are great to hang around with at parties or go see a game with, but when it is their business and investment at stake, their attitude is different!
If you are extremely impatient, speak to employees mercilessly with criticism and hostility, and even lose the ability to make sound decisions about other areas of the business, employees will sulk around the office. They don’t attract the sort of attention you want for your company or product. They come home downtrodden, they look for other work, and they have no passion and you have lost another, what may have been a good and loyal employee.
Wouldn’t it be better to have passionate employees work for you instead of employees who will just work hard enough to keep the boss off their backs? A little goes a long way and being nice costs nothing and pays of BIG!
5. Don’t hold on to bad employees
One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. The longer you hold on to a bad employee, the more damage you are doing to your company!
(Someone who harasses other employees, violates your policies, does no real work, causes equipment damage, breaks the law, stirs up gossip, is not a positive person, etc.)
Don’t let your company almost fall apart to hold on to “loyal” employees who were, in reality only loyal to themselves. Other employees will see what kind of behavior is rewarded and will replicate it, or will leave because they can’t handle it, ethically. There goes more of your expensive and time consuming training, out the door.
The overall attitude in which you conduct yourself and your company and the standard to which you hold your employees will make or break the growth and performance of your company, as a whole. Choose wisely and if you need to let an employee go, do it! Keep positive and goal oriented and above all, treat your employee’s with dignity and respect. You will get the same in return.