Treat your people well.

boss_cartoonThere are many different types of bosses out there.  The micro-manager, the worry wart, hands-off guy, ‘never know where she stands’ gal, ‘mad about everything’ man, boss trying to be a friend, boss trying to keep a distance, easy goin’ boss man, the generous one or the cheap one – I could go on and on.  Well, whatever your style of managing people, I implore you to be good to those who work for you.  For those of you who have the power to directly affect your employees in some way, let me offer the following thoughts.

People work harder for people they like and when they feel appreciated.  No rocket science in this statement, but we sometimes loose site of the basic principals that motivate people.  This does not mean you have to become your employees’ best friend.  It means you have to treat people fairly and with respect.  It’s hard to get excited about doing extra work or coming up with new ideas when you don’t feel like you will benefit or be acknowledged.  At some point, people will just stop trying to go the extra mile and just do the basics.  They will fall into the category of the employee that just does what has to get done – no more.  They will be less productive and your business will suffer – all because you did not do right by them. 

For those of you who want a little reminder about defining the boss/employee relationship, here is an overview article that I thought was pretty good:  It does not cover the treatment of employees particularly, but it is a good overview to help managers define their roles.

I wrote  a blog post on my business web site ( about “Angry Management” and I have since observed more unfriendly behavior from managers and company owners.  Greed seems to come to mind when I think about what I see.  I’m not talking about big corporate greed – with fat paychecks and huge bonus structures.  I’m talking about penny pinching – not sharing the wealth – ‘oh woe is me’  kinds of selfishness.  Hey out there, your employees feed their families, pay their mortgages/rents, need a car, have kids who want to go to college, get sick – just like you.  Only, they may not have the income that you do, and paying those bills is not always easy. 

So, think about the whole picture when you decide to layoff people when sales drop a bit – maybe you can make due a little bit longer and save someone from financial peril.  Pause a bit before deciding whether increased sales should turn into raises for your workers – or a new BMW for you.  Try to find some satisfaction in sharing the wealth – small or large – and I guarantee the payback will be sweet.


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