We have all had (at least) one on our way up the ladder: the horrible boss that no one likes or respects. It’s never just a matter of personality conflict, though that certainly is a by-product of bad management.
Bad managers are like a cancer in a business. They eat away at all the good employees until even the hardest, most conscientious worker cannot wait to abandon ship. When employees check out mentally, you can bet it is only a matter of time before they ship out physically.
I know many a business owner who has treated employees terribly. Thankfully, in my first post-secondary employment, I had an excellent business role model: my father. He treated his employees exceptionally well, instituting a very lucrative profit-sharing program that paid every three months, among other perks. His employees understood the value of working together for a common goal of getting the product out the door.
That’s the key, really. My father understood that if his employees felt that they were a part of growing the company, that they were an integral part of it’s profitability, then they would work twice as hard for him. People will bend over backwards to work for you if they feel respected, appreciated, and that their time is worth as much as yours.
Many managers and business owners forget that in order to remain at the top of the heap, they require a solid, trusted, hardworking base; without that base, there is no heap to top. The very foundation of a business is the workers who do the every-day work: sewing shirts, swinging hammers, typing letters. If a product is sold, someone has to make it; if no one makes it, there is no product to sell.
A good manager knows all of this, and not only has the best interests of the company in mind but also those of the employees. Contrary to popular belief, the two are not mutually exclusive!
Encouraging, and modelling, teamwork is as vital as a manager’s ability to accept responsibility for an issue and to rectify it without placing blame or pointing fingers. It does nobody any good to do either of those things. It demotivates an employee when they feel that their manager is quick to assign blame when things go wrong. A good manager accepts that a mistake happened and guides the employee or the team toward a solution, and away from dwelling on mistakes and who did them.
You’ve been an employee. Now you’re the boss. It’s up to you which one you want to be.