6 Qualities of a Good Boss

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Leadership | 6 Qualities of a Good BossIt is easy to distinguish what makes a bad boss, but describing what makes a good one can be difficult, with many bosses being mediocre. Why is it important that you be a good boss, though?

Lack of employee satisfaction may force good workers to leave and provide a bad reputation for both your company and you, as the boss. Online forums and discussions make it extremely easy for businesses to be bad-mouthed and can damage the perception of potential new employees and customers. Therefore, it’s important to learn that whatever happens in the office doesn’t necessarily stay in the office.

A boss should boost productivity and create a work environment that encourages employees to enjoy their working life, rather than turning up as a matter of need’s must. Being a boss does not solely mean you need to focus on the work being done and produced, in fact, it is much more valuable for bosses to concentrate on their employees instead.

If you are concerned about whether your employees view you as a good boss, here are some useful qualities that you should aim to work towards.

1. Creates a positive workplace culture

Every employee within your firm is there to ensure your business is a success; therefore, potential new candidates shouldn’t be disregarded when it comes to their race or disability. Invite them to an interview and acknowledge what they can bring to the table, as well as asking if they may have any needs for a safer and more positive work environment.

An approachable boss should instill an ‘open door policy’ so that employees can ask to talk at any given moment and feel comfortable to have a discussion about any issues or concerns within the workplace. Doing so means that issues are ironed out, so positivity can be increased, meaning greater employee satisfaction.

2. Sets clear performance expectations

Reduce the level of employee stress by setting clear goals and expectations of what you would like your employees to achieve on a daily basis. When they have little understanding of what they need to do, it can often lead to decreased productivity throughout the entire office. The boss should have a one-to-one discussion each day with the employee; whether it be face-to-face or via email and set out clear guidelines of the tasks that need to be completed and how they can do so.

3. Nurtures development

Many young professionals are keen on the idea of moving forward within a company and will often only apply for a role if the job advert specifies that there is an opportunity for training and promotion in the future.

A boss who allows employees to work within other sectors or on more complex will make their employees feel far more appreciated by their leader, rather than being managed by an individual who doesn’t have their best interests at heart. There are many ways in which training can be achieved while holding down a job; whether it be practical day courses or long-term degrees which can be studied flexibly online in their own time. An engineering firm, for example, may decide to invest in their employees to enroll onto an electrical engineering online degree which teaches Bachelor’s level engineering graduates a vast amount of new skills and will enhance personal development and opportunity for career progression.

4. Praises employees

According to a study conducted in early 2017, 35% of employees in workplaces stated that one of the biggest hinderances in workplace productivity was failing to be praised for their achievements. If you don’t praise your employees enough, now would be a good time to start.

In order for your team to work well for you and reach their full potential, you need to be in keeping with each employee’s goals and achievements so that they can be rewarded for good work. Praising employees may also mean that you will retain good talent within your company rather than facing a high-turnover of staff, which can waste both time and money.

There are many ways you can praise your employees; whether it be a simple yet personal ‘thank you’ card, a financial bonus added onto their paycheck or a voucher for their favorite store.

5. Provides feedback

There are some instances when you need to be upfront about an employee’s performance, and one way of doing so constructively would be by providing feedback. Acknowledge when employees are doing a good job and where key improvements may lie.

It is often the case when employees don’t even realize they aren’t meeting the requirements unless they are discovered to have been completing work wrongly by chance. Feedback, however, can be achieved through regular coaching, in which meetings should be held on a monthly or quarterly basis for an in-depth discussion on how they can improve and what to work towards.

6. Builds up trust

There is nothing worse than a boss who doesn’t hold the trust of their employees. Therefore, you should always aim to get on their level and build a personal connection with each of them. Establishing trust ensures successful communication, greater engagement, and better job performance.

One way to build trust is to display honesty, even if there is bad news to share – no-one likes to be lied to, especially when it comes to the status of their job position or job performance.

You should treat all employees fairly and judge each individual based on their actions. Never feel threatened by those who shout louder. As the boss of the company, you should be able to stand your ground and ensure that everyone gets fair treatment.

One of key ways of building a trusting relationship is to show an understanding when it comes to difficulties in their personal life and ask if all is okay if you happen to notice that they are performing poorer than usual. Insist that you are always available to talk to and that help is at hand if needed. Expressing your own vulnerabilities not only allows you to build up a more human relationship with each of your employees but will establish yourself as a mentor that they confide in.

To Create Radical Outcomes – Make Sure Every Output Has A Purpose

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Business Outcomes | To Create Radical Outcomes - Make Sure Every Output Has A PurposeIn many work situations, random things are created because people are not focused on a specific outcome. They do things, launch programs, take actions, but they have no business outcome in mind.

The problem usually occurs, because people don’t understand the difference between an outcome and an output. There is a BIG difference between the two. In our work with clients, we have found that these two ideas are often misunderstood. The “stuff” people create does not, in itself, constitute an outcome for the business. Every email, meeting, presentation, or experience that they create is just one thing by itself. It’s an output. But if they know what outcome they are trying to achieve, then all of the outputs become vehicles to drive the desired outcome.

Outcomes keep everyone focused on what’s most important for an organization and provide a way to measure whether they’ve achieved a desired result. Put another way: if you can’t connect your work and your outputs to a measurable result and outcome, then you shouldn’t be doing it at all.

Maintaining an Outcome-Based Mindset

An outcome-based mindset leads people to focus on results first, and outputs or actions second. When they identify the desired business result(s) first, they can then identify the tasks necessary to achieve them. For example, a salesperson for a large technology business, who is accustomed to orchestrating deals with a Chief Information Officer (CIO), would head into the first call thinking about how to have a conversation about the CIO’s role, challenges, and pressures she is facing, so that she finds value in the conversation and agrees to another meeting to explore how his company can help her. To be prepared for that outcome which will then lead to the larger outcome of making a sale, the salesperson has to be conversant in the CIO’s business. He’ll have to do some planning to learn about what other opportunities or contracts are already in play between the two entities. He’ll need to research where some of her challenges might be coming from, by reading annual reports. Some of those steps may lead to outputs — a discussion document or a whiteboard, for example.

But the outcome — agree to another meeting, to move a potential opportunity forward, to reach a shared vision of how his solutions can address her problems, is always what that salesperson has in mind. Focus on the wrong thing—such as selling her something she doesn’t need or spending too much time talking about his company or products—and she’ll become annoyed and feel like her time is being wasted. The outcome then becomes unreachable. When people are outcome-based, they always have the bigger picture in mind. Always. They make decisions about outputs and tasks based on whether or not they move them forward toward the outcome.

Maintaining a Group Output Mindset

Thinking in an outcome-based way can be an individual mindset, but it also can be a group mindset. It can even be an organizational or functional mindset. We believe strongly that having an outcome-based mindset is what makes all the difference in the work we do with our clients. The specific, measurable outcome becomes the north star that always helps us navigate.

Winning with Radical Outcomes

It’s arguable that there are many types of outcomes in business. The salesperson example shows outcome-based thinking for a single large deal.

And while a single large deal is great for that salesperson, there’s nothing radical about such an isolated example. By itself it doesn’t produce a major business impact. But what if someone could help 50 salespeople learn how to think and plan the way he did with the CIO? And 50 salespeople started closing large deals, repeatedly and consistently, because they knew how to have valuable conversations with their customers? Or 500 salespeople?

Radical Outcomes are tied to complex, high-stakes initiatives that yield tangible results. Examples include increased retention rates, improved acquisition rates, increased revenue, reduced costs, process improvements or efficiencies, increased profitability, increased word of mouth, increased conversion rates, and more upsell and cross-sell opportunities. These are or should all be measurable and quantifiable.

Here are the basic criteria that differentiate a Radical Outcome from something that is just run of the mill.

Executive Level, Cross Functional Stakeholders are involved. To drive change in the business where the impact is truly felt by customers, executive sponsorship is needed, usually because there will be so many different groups involved in working toward the outcome that it requires someone at the executive or business unit level of an organization to provide the endorsement of the initiative.

Results are achieved over time. Every executive wants change to happen “yesterday,” yet even so, it takes time for an organization to adapt and change, especially when the change itself is radical. Urgency defines the need for these changes, even ones that seem impossible to make. Most executives therefore expect to see roadmaps or plans that show how a change will take place, and they also expect to see consistent progress toward the outcome.

Results must be measurable and tied to the outcome. One of the most difficult things we’ve seen when clients are facing Radical Outcomes is determining what to measure so that progress can be conveyed against the outcome. Knowing that a change won’t happen overnight is one important guideline. Knowing what to measure and in what time frame are two additional guidelines.

The good thing about setting these guidelines? You can show the impact of what you have created. You can also more readily and accurately identify gaps and make the changes needed, quickly, in an agile manner, to meet the business outcome.
Radical outcomes actually make common sense and are comprised of tangible results. They’re the product of scope and scale, and something the executive level group is constantly envisioning. Imagine what would happen within your organization if you started having conversations about Radical Outcomes instead of just creating more stuff.


About the Author

Juliana Stancampiano, author of RADICAL OUTCOMES: How To Create Extraordinary Teams That Get Tangible Results is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Oxygen. For more than fifteen years, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, both in them and for them. Her firm’s clients include Microsoft, DXC, Delta Dental (of WA), Starbucks, F5 Networks, Avaya, and Western Digital, among others. Her in-depth experience, along with the research that Oxygen conducts and the articles she has published, has helped to shape the perspective that Oxygen embraces. To learn more, visit: www.oxygenexp.com.

How To Keep Personal Scandals Out of the Office

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Professional Career | How To Keep Personal Scandals Out of the OfficeYour personal life is personal, right? Not exactly. In fact, when it comes to your professional career, your personal life plays a critical role. Whether that role is positive or negative is up to you, and it is up to how well you manage both your personal and professional lives. Being calm and preparing in advance can help keep your personal life private. The last thing you want is a criminal charge to ruin your life – which it can, regardless of whether or not you were convicted or exonerated. By staying private and following this guide, you can maintain your professional career and move on.

How A Personal Scandal Can Affect Your Career

A personal scandal can severely impact your career. Businesses don’t want to risk the negative press of keeping you on, and will, therefore, cut their losses as soon as your name is out in the paper. It doesn’t matter if it is later found out that you had a rock-solid alibi or your charge was overturned, because to the media you are guilty. This can ruin a career and make it incredibly difficult to find work later on. Your record might be squeaky clean, but your name will always show up next to news articles with that DUI charge.

The worst part is that the more advanced you are in your career, the harder you can fall. The media loves a scandal, and if the CEO of a big company has any sort of black mark on their name, they will pounce, with or without confirmation. You can sue them afterward for defamation of character, yes, but it still won’t change the negative impacts this press will have on your career.

How to Keep a Personal Scandal Out of the Office

To keep a personal scandal out of the office, you need to take measures to prevent a fall out as soon as possible. To do this, you will want to:

1.Know Who to Turn to For Help

Knowing who to turn to for help can be incredibly useful. If you are charged with a DUI, for example, a professional from this DUI lawyer Philadelphia firm can help fight against the charge and at the very least work to keep your identity confidential.

2. Stay Offline as Much as Possible

Your online persona will affect your career. That is why it is always important to curate your personal presence with the knowledge that it could be used against you. An off-tone joke made five years ago could ruin your career today, so go through everything. Delete old accounts, old posts, and otherwise curate all social media to protect your reputation and digital security.

3. Don’t Feed the Fire

It might seem like a good idea to get on top of a story and talk to the press, but this is the wrong approach. The truth is, by giving them nothing to go on you are more likely to be passed on for a more exciting news story. Unless the case against you is a big news story, staying quiet and anonymous is a great way to keep your name, face, and story out of the press.

Everyone can have a run-in with the law. This doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it make you guilty. What it can do however is ruin your career if you aren’t careful. Always take every charge seriously, whether or not you are 100% certain of your innocence.

Things EVERY Employee Should Learn from You

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Productivity | Things EVERY Employee Should Learn from YouIf you want to be an effective business owner and manager, then you really do need to take your employees under your wing. There are numerous things that your staff need to know above and beyond their job role and any associated skills they need to do that job well.

If you want to get the most out of your employees, which will boost your business to untold levels, here are some things every employee should learn from you as soon as possible after they are hired:

Exactly Why They Were Hired

Okay, so your average employee is going to have a rough idea of why they were hired; usually it’s because they meet the criteria and have the skills that you need for the role, but is that the only reason you hired them? Chances are you chose your employee very carefully and not just because they have experience in email marketing or customer service.

If you also hired your employee because they were extremely confident, you found their academic background to be very impressive or you were blown away by the creativity they showed in their application, tell them! Why? Quite simply because it will do wonders for their self-esteem and show them that you truly value them.

When employees feel that they are appreciated, they tend to be more loyal to the company, happier in their work, and best of all for you, more productive too. You don’t have to go all out to flatter them, but if they impressed you in some way, do let them know!

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Productivity | Things EVERY Employee Should Learn from YouHow to Be Safe in the Workplace

In this day and age, you simply cannot hire someone new without teaching them how to be safe working in your business. Of course, although you should give them the basics, it may be a tad unrealistic for you to train them in all of the ways of health and safety. So, it makes sense for you to get an expert in to teach behavior-based safety, one to show how to use equipment safely and maybe even an occupational therapist to teach the health side of things, but YOU need to ensure that all of this information is in place to be learned as soon as possible. Fail to do this and you could have a serious problem on your hands.

How Clients Should be Treated

You wouldn’t have a business without your customers and clients who pay good money for the products/services you provide, so it really cannot be overstated just how important it is for you to teach your employees exactly how you expect them to treat your clients. You really need to lay out how they should be spoken to, looked after and related to if you want your business to succeed. If you can model the behavior you want to see when dealing with clients and employees, it is more likely to stick, so be a good boss, rather than one who is to be feared.

Teach them well and they will do amazing things for you!

How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven Strategies

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven StrategiesSales is the core of the business and the team behind it drives the company’s growth and success. They are responsible for the 2 most important things in a business: customers and revenue.

Every business owner or executive should acknowledge the critical role of the sales team in the organization. They should be always motivated, developed, and inspired for them to consistently perform.

Here are proven strategies to make your sales team successful:

1. Establish trust

Trust is a fundamental core value of every organization. The business can’t run effectively without it. Teams can’t work together without trusting each other. That’s why it’s important for a leader to establish full trust across the organization.

Offering full trust to your sales team goes two ways:

  • You will need to win their trust completely
  • You will need to give them your trust 100%

Establishing full trust with your sales team starts with setting the correct and honest expectations. You need to be clear about the following:

  • What’s their objective/purpose in the business?
  • What do you expect them to deliver and in what time schedule?
  • What are their targets?
  • How will you measure their success?
  • How are you going to reward them?

The second step is to let them do their job as salespeople. Lastly, you’ll have to deliver your part of the bargain, which is to consistently work with them to achieve their targets, review their performance and give them their due rewards.

2. Give them visibility to the strategy

Part of what drives the sales team to deliver their optimum performance is to give them visibility of the company’s strategy. It is important that they know where the company is heading and what’s their part in it.

Moreover, enable your sales team to be equipped as they help steer the company’s strategy. You will need to provide them access to metrics, statistics, analytics and every piece of data about the company. This information will help them forecast their output in a timely manner aligned with the company strategy.

3. Establish SMART goals

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic and
  • Time-bound

This is a basic methodology for goal setting. It is critical to establish smart goals with your sales team in order for them to know what are you expecting from them.

Work with your sales team to agree on a defined daily, weekly, monthly and/or annual sales objectives. The key is to have a limited number of objectives or goals that are aligned with the company strategy. Then, enable with them tools that will help them track their goals against their performance.

4. Put in place an effective reward system

Sales teams are driven by rewards. They perform more when they know what they’re getting in return. That said, it is highly critical to put an effective reward system to keep your sales team inspired. For example, come up with an enticing commission agreement and/or sales incentives.

Some of the key elements of an effective reward system are the following:

  • A specific result or quota that will let them earn the rewards
  • A clear process of how the reward will be earned
  • Timeline of when they can earn and/or when the reward will be given
  • Ability for the individual to choose the type of reward they want to receive

Enabling your sales team to choose the type of reward they want will keep them excited. Start by sending out a survey to every individual so you’ll know what their expected reward is.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven Strategies5. Make your sales team fall in love with the company

This is rather difficult but once successfully pulled off, you’ll have the best succession plan in the company. Moving your sales team away from the employee mindset and offering them the idea of being ‘company owners’ is critical.

Get them involved in building the company’s mission, vision and core values. Steer them away from being stimulated by their paycheck and let them become passionate about their contribution to the company. This may or may not work with all the individuals in your sales team but at least you’ll know who among them is truly involved.

6. Allow them to be flexible and proactive

Your sales team doesn’t become sales rock stars overnight. That said, allow them to be flexible enough in achieving their targets. It will require you to provide consistent guidance and follow through with their output.

On top of that, encourage your sales team to be proactive in all areas. Let them explore new angles and come up with out-of-the-box ideas. Moreover, encourage them to freely present these ideas and implement them.

7. Provide them with opportunities and growth

It is critical to provide your sales team with enough opportunities for growth. This will keep them stimulated knowing the fact that they know where they’re going if they become successful in the company. Keep in mind that a salesperson wouldn’t want to be a salesperson forever.

Putting a clear development and growth plan for the sales individuals is one of the required duties of a leader. There should be a clear and defined path for a salesperson to go to the next level in the organizational structure.

Conclusion

Motivating your sales team is a top priority. It requires diligent thought process and involvement with the team. Moreover, upgrading their performance will require time, consistency and commitment. These effective and tested strategies can help you build a successful sales team that’s always inspired and motivated. These should be an integral part of the core priorities of the company.