People don’t work for companies, they work for people. In the same vein, staff don’t leave organisations, they leave bosses. So the importance of ‘brand as boss’ is key for building and sustaining a great company.
Richard Branson once said: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” To do this, a boss needs to represent integrity, honesty, trust and, most of all, a motivated driving force.
Employees working under someone with the values above fundamentally believe that they’d achieve more in your employment than if they worked for themselves or anyone else.
So, what does it mean to be a great boss, and how do you work on your brand?
Boss as a brand
Too often I see bosses in the public domain describing themselves in a way that I know for a fact is untrue. Authenticity is key: it only damages the business’ reputation when a persona doesn’t match up to the person behind it.
Your role as a boss is to be a positive influence in the heart of your business. It’s not about throwing yourself into countless webinars and blogs. It’s about being the focal point of everything in your workplace, and taking the time to know your people.
Great businesses start with a great boss because that’s what attracts other hard-working employees. If you want to act as a magnet for inspirational people, you should ask yourself: what are you doing to become that person?
How to be a good boss
A good boss leads by example and lives by a real set of values. Be conscious of the fact that if you’re not the first in and last out, it’s difficult asking others to work harder – especially if every Friday you’re lining up a putt on the 8th.
Employees put time and effort into pleasing you, so don’t be flaky. If you’ve got a strategy, standards and a strong brand then stick to it and your staff will too. Being willing to pick up the phone and help your team close a tough deal shows that you’ve got skin in the game too.
At the time same, you need to have an active and open channel to listen to your staff – ask what motivates them, dig into what they think is good or bad about the business. A really useful online tool for garnering this kind of information is called Officevibe, it’s free and helps measure employee satisfaction.
But on a more personal level, consider: do you know all of your staff personally and their other halves? Are you aware of their hobbies or interests? Do you know why people come to you, and what they like most or least about you?
Take an interest in the people that make your business great, and you’ll understand their drivers and what success means for them as an individual.
Great bosses empower their people
“If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” So, do you reward staff for improving your company? It doesn’t matter if they’re the newest person through the door or the MD: everyone should contribute to the development of an organisation.
If someone came up with a good idea that changed our processes, I would give them £1,000 out of my own pocket. If we had a problem that required the whole team, I would buy pizzas for us all and we’d sit down until we worked it out.
Inclusion is great for team-building and lets employees know they have a voice. Empower them to use this, and they’ll stick around. This gets harder the bigger you grow, but it’s not impossible.
You’re not always going to get it right, but follow these tips and you’ll know you did everything you could to keep hold of the best in the business. Want to run an organisation where boss is brand, or where great people thrive? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.