Being a good boss is always the way to get the best out of your team.  This becomes more, not less, important during a recession when every resource available to you counts.  Even if you have to let people go, there is a right and wrong way to do it.  Here are 10 ways in which you can be a great boss


Do align your priorities with the needs of the business, but then, if you can, find a way to reconcile them with the needs of your staff.  Explain your priorities clearly to your team – make sure they understand.  If things have changed make sure they understand why! More at link


Have ideals but stop being idealistic – do not be a perfectionist but do expect good quality – there is a difference.  Recognize that your staff are human and human being do make mistakes.  When it happens find out why and try to make sure conditions or systems change so that it does not happen again – it’s not your place to punish.  If there is a disciplinary issue then deal with it quickly, fairly, and by the rules – see Integrity below! More at link

Praise and Recognition

Don’t look for excuses to be disappointed – start looking for excuses to say well done!  Say thank you to your staff!  Even when you can’t give bonuses, personal recognition goes a long way in making people feel valued and motivated. More at link

Staying Calm

Try being more relaxed and appearing more positive even in these challenging times.  If necessary use a relaxation technique to help you control your own anxiety – don’t spook your staff!   Be realistic but don’t panic – it just frightens people!  Remember Type B personalities succeed just as often as Type A in this day and age and they live longer to enjoy it! More at link


Listen to what your people have to say even when you don’t actually want to – make the time. Don’t but in with the “buts” – hear them out.  Listening is part of recognizing them and their contribution.  Surprise! surprise!, they may just come up with the idea that saves the business.  More at link

Team Work

Learn to be part of the team – join in the jokes (so long as no one else is excluded) – they will still respect you.  If they really feel part of the crew they are more likely to stick with the boat even when it is leaking a bit.  Be part of the conversation – It will help you understand what they are thinking. Useful resources on team work at this link


Check your delegation.  Are you still delegating all that you can?  In times of pressure don’t lose confidence in the team and start pulling things back .  It’s de-motivating for them and they might just feel like leaving you to it.  Show you have confidence in their ability to help pull the organization through! More at link


Don’t rush into panic decision making because you feel anxious.  Its a natural reaction but it really will not help – a panic reaction is not likely to be the best one.    Take time to make decisions properly.  Gather the facts, seek the views of your staff.  The when you have made the decision take time to explain it to them ,if you can. More at the link


Be as honest as you can and above all be fair.  Tell them the real position if you can, but also tell them what you are doing about it.  If they have a role explain that to them.  Be as hones as you can about the risks but don’t threaten the business with your honesty – its a fine judgment call.  When you can, help your staff prepare for bad news.  But combine all of this with being scrupulously fair.  They will know if you play the favorites game or take the opportunity to pay off old scores when you are laying people off or reducing hours.  You will lose good will and that extra contribution you need from those who stay.


If you can keep on training your staff.  Encourage them to train themselves.  If there are training opportunities locally encourage them to take them.  Learning new skills could be good for your business and it will help them cope if you have to lose them.  That will help the people who stay to keep their morale up and so your productivity.  Don’t stop thinking about your own professional development needs – you too need to prepared for an uncertain future!

There are 10 ideas here but there must be lots more out there.  If you have views on the ideas above and more ideas to contribute then please make a comment.  This is an important time and organizations need to make the best use of all their resources.  People are the most important resource of all.  There will be more resources here to help you cope with the times a head – so do come back!

Here is a link to what someone else thinks makes a good boss in hard times



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