It’s not easy being the boss. Sure, you want to be liked by your employees, but you also need to be tough to get things done. A boss that is too likeable can be thought of as a soft touch, which could lead to employees taking advantage or important developments being missed.
Some instances in particular call for tough boss behaviour when you might need to ditch the niceties and use your authority to tackle tricky behaviour. If you lack confidence in this area or need some pointers, the following tips could help you to tackle tricky behaviour at work.
Be prepared for difficult conversations
When you need to talk to your employees about a difficult situation, it can be hard to muster the courage – especially if you have a friendly relationship. Prepare yourself as much as possible and rehearse what you’re going to say. It makes sense to write down all the points that you want to make to provide a steady flow to the conversation. While your employee might not respond positively to what’s being said – you need to keep your cool and stay calm.
Don’t let employees bend the rules
Even the most laid-back bosses need to show fairness to everyone, and if your workplace has rules – it’s up to you to make sure that employees follow them. Enforcing policies consistently in the workplace means making sure that everyone is made aware of the rules and treated the same. A few late arrivals should be addressed quickly, and personal use of the internet should be kept within reason. If you overlook the small things, you could put your business, at risk as staff try to push their luck.
While nobody wants to believe their employees would do something to defraud the business, you can never be too careful. If your employees display suspicious behaviour, it’s important that you keep an eye on things to establish whether or not something is going on. If you suspect corporate fraud or other serious breaches, you should do what’s in your power to protect the business. They say it’s better to be safe than sorry and for the sake of your business you should always be alert to any behaviour that might not be above board.
Don’t let your guard down
Do you think you’re getting too close to your employees? If you have to think about it, the answer is likely yes. It’s important that you establish some boundaries between yourself and your employees so that they continue to respect you in your professional capacity. By all means, join them for social occasions and be generous by buying a round or two, but don’t show yourself up or display behaviour that could undermine your authority. Be friendly, but not overly friendly to help you maintain the distance necessary to be an effective leader.
It’s easy to be a good boss, provided you can keep things professional when you need to. Avoid accidentally becoming a bad boss by maintaining your authority and doing your job well; the respect will come much easier when you’re an effective leader. Deal with tricky behaviour at work head-on and don’t be afraid to assert your authority when needed.