I hate jerky co-workers.
And I can’t respect the bosses who let them get away with it even more so.
I certainly do not ascribe to the “Steve Jobs principle” where it’s OK to be a mean person if the work output is exceptional.
Frankly, I’ll take my chances with work that is “OK” and take the time to develop the talent of the responsible party if they are a decent person.
I have always had the philosophy that we spend so many hours of our lives at work and away from our families that we owe it to ourselves and our work families to be, ya know, not a jerk.
When I was younger, I took this to be common sense, but as I’ve gotten older and spent more time in the business world and work environments, I’ve learned that such is not the case.
I have been both an employee and an employer, and I still can’t wrap my mind around the people who are permitted to make other folks’s lives miserable.
So if you’re a boss of any type, I’m going to do you a total solid here. I’m going to give you some tips on how to not be the type of boss that everyone hates, because I’ve had my share, and I always promised myself I’d never permit anyone I dealt with to be the victim of a work jerk or a bad environment if I could help it.
And you almost always can.
Everyone knows you’re in charge. It costs you nothing to be polite and make others feel worthy with a simple please, a smile and a thank you. When you are kind to people and polite, it’s like watching a butterfly come out of a cocoon sometimes. People start to feel great and they start to want to do better because they enjoy the manner in which they are treated.
Kindness begets kindness.
Give credit where credit is due.
This one is really more geared toward management. I have had my share of good ideas and hard work claimed by a manager or upper executive in my day. And I kept all of those people in a little folder in my memory titled “People Who I Will Never Work With Again Because They Will Always Screw You Over”.
There is nothing cooler than giving someone credit for their idea. It costs you nothing.
Think about it in a purely selfish manner. Your team is supposed to make you look good. Your people should be awesome, and when you give kudos it shows you are managing valuable assets. It takes a great manager to manage highly valuable people very well.
End bad hires quickly
You want to do something for your team that they would appreciate? Cut out the cancer in the group and get rid of them. Yes, I know that’s pretty brutal. I’m not talking about the person who is clearly having a rough month because they are going through a divorce and it’s rocked their very existence.
I’m referring to the jerk who eats everyone’s food, is totally rude and makes everyone’s work harder because they have to do extra stuff just to deal with their screw ups. You know who I’m talking about. Every office, unfortunately, has at least one. It’s the idiot who always makes off-color jokes that makes everyone uncomfortable because you know he really means what he’s pretending to joke about. Or it’s the lady who does just the bare minimum until it’s time to clock out and her other teammates have to work extra just to make sure deadlines are met.
When you put that kind of pressure on your team, they feel neglected and wonder why they are putting in so much effort when it’s simply paid off with the same benefits as the people who don’t care.
If you know you hired this garbage, throw them out with the next pickup. Seriously, save yourself and especially your team the stress of dealing with the office jerk.
Your team is in the trenches every day. Listen to what they have to say about clients, productivity and other team members. Make it OK for them to come and chat about what concerns them and give them the option communicate things anonymously in case it’s a sensitive topic.
The things you learn from listening are priceless. Make sure you give kudos and reward anyone for ideas that bring about good changes and increased revenue as well.
Everyone loves being treated to some goodies. Make Fridays the day you bring in free breakfast or lunch.
Go to your local spa and get a discount to send your staff to them. You’ll get a heck of a deal when you ask, and they’d love the business.
Take the team and significant others out for drinks once per month.
My point is, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and you can use your cool boss selling skills to make some deals. You just have to show your crew that you really appreciate them. And when you keep the work environment free of jerks and show some appreciation, you’ll get it all back tenfold.
As I stated previously, these are all very common sense things to put into play, but you’d be surprised at how many bosses really miss the mark with these.
I’d love to hear about your favorite boss and why they were or are your favorite.