Are you a good boss?

When you take the big decision to set up a UK company, you will be managing a diverse range of workers from many different backgrounds. So, what makes a good boss?

Lead by example
Employees have far greater respect for a boss who walks the walk rather than merely just talks the talk. After all, where’s your credibility if your staff feel unable to ask you for guidance and help in times of crisis. Always seek to lead by example.

Honesty and integrity
No one likes working for a boss who misleads clients and tries to rip them off. Always demonstrate honesty and integrity in all your dealings with customers and staff. This will gain the trust and respect of your workers who will treat you and your company in the same way.

Listen and ask
Two-way communication is vital for a good staff/management relationship. Ask your employees what they think about new projects, software systems or product design.

Inclusion in management decisions and research enhances an individual’s sense of value to the company and you may well receive some extremely useful and constructive feedback. Make sure that you keep everyone in the loop about new developments, changes in company policy and the like. Employees do not like being kept in the dark about matters concerning their future!

Empower your workers
No-one likes to feel powerless; a good boss allows his staff a little discretion and flexibility. Be prepared to step in with discreet correction if necessary and avoid being heavy handed with your directions and instructions. Allow your staff a little scope to make decisions and solve problems and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much they appreciate the freedom.

The right toolkit
No-one can perform a role to their absolute best if they don’t have the right tools for the job. It’s vital that staff have the correct procedures in place such as the right software and systems, appropriate hardware and training. Being adequately equipped helps to build confidence which can only improve performance and boost staff morale.

Give and take
If you allow your staff a degree of flexibility and understanding when you deal with domestic emergencies and personal issues, they will repay you with loyalty a thousand times over. On that occasion when you need to ask them to work late to meet an important order, they won’t hesitate to help you out because you did the same for them.

Help your business achieve success
Ask yourself: if I were looking for a job, would I want one with this company working for this boss? If the honest answer to that is ‘yes’, you’re on the right lines. However, if you’re looking for help with your people management, contact us at Goodwille. We’re here to help with a range of services for those looking to set up a UK company or to help their business achieve expansion success.

3 essential tips for managing difficult people

In management, we all have to deal with difficult people. Some people are quite happy to help themselves, help us, and help others. Others seem to be hellbent on making life as difficult as possible for all involved. As a manager, you don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing who you manage and who you leave to fend for themselves. It’s your responsibility to effectively manage all of your employees, even the difficult ones. Here are three essential tips for managing difficult people…

1. Accept the complexities of management

First things first; don’t fight the madness. While some people genuinely don’t realise how difficult they are being, others are fully aware of it and either don’t care, or don’t know how to be any different. Trying to deny that certain people are more difficult to deal with is a waste of your valuable time and mental bandwidth. The sooner you accept the fact that you have a troublesome person to contend with, the swifter and more effective you will be at finding a good solution.

Take a moment to recognise that they are frustrating and cause difficult situations to arise. Acknowledge that part of your role as a manager, and the reason your salary is higher than your subordinates, is that it is part of your responsibility to tackle difficult issues like this one.

Make sure you approach delicate employees, troublesome teammates, and their respective issues in the most positive manner possible. Think of it as an intriguing challenge, a puzzle that needs solving. Never try to bulldoze your way through the conflict, or avoid it. You want to tackle the issue with an even and direct hand. Your instincts may tell you to avoid conflict, however, the most effective managers are neither avoiders, nor bulldozers of conflict; they don’t look the other way, or pull rank.

Always remember that you will need to keep working with these people once the immediate problem has been resolved. Always be as constructive as possible, looking for the best solution rather than simply forcing people to do things your way.

2. See it their way

Leading on from this, it’s important to see things their way as well as your own. This isn’t as simple as it sounds; however, there are usually reasons people are behaving in a particular way, especially if that way is awkward. Have they always been this difficult? Are there new situations or external forces influencing their behaviour? Are you doing anything to inadvertently trigger their troublesome attitude, such as micromanaging, criticising, overburdening, or withholding praise, bonuses, and/or promotion?

Try to take the most holistic view of the situation possible. It will help you to gain insight into the problem and the reasons motivating the behaviour of all the players. This will ensure you find a plan that constructively solves all issues, and not simply the issue of someone not doing as you say.

3. Ask for help when needed

This is easily done, but often avoided, due to the perception that managers should be capable of dealing with everything. You also have to take into account your personal pride, which may often feel bruised when you try to ask for help.

The reality is, when you work in a business, be it large or small, help is always at hand. It’s important to gain the perspectives of other like-minded individuals, peers, and employees. Gaining perspectives from a range of people in your organisation, and impartial outside observers, can greatly improve your managerial skills. In addition, the ability to ask for additional help when you need it is vital. Otherwise you will end up struggling and failing to complete everything to the standard you are capable of achieving, which is no help to anybody.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather of sensible judgement. For more information on how Goodwille can help you look after your employees, or if you have any other employment-related questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are experts on UK employment law and are happy to help!