Like a boss

In Lessons, Life, Work on March 17, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , ,

The other night I had the pleasure of seeing Heston Blumenthal and something he said really piqued my interest.

He said the boss of a workplace should never get angry and lose his temper at his staff. Obviously most chefs you see seem to be rather angry (especially a certain Scottish one) and always seem to be shouting or lambasting their staff however Heston had this to say.

If a staff member is failing at his job then, said Heston, one of three things has gone wrong…

1. There is too much expected of them

2. They haven’t been trained enough in the role

3. They are not right for the role

And all three of those things are the fault of the boss.

This made me think of all of the bosses I have worked with and their attitude towards staff and the way they treat them. Now over my years I have worked with some very unsupportive and very unappreciative bosses and I always think I learned from them how not to treat staff.

1. Shouting at your staff, screaming at them, telling them they are useless etc is not the way to help staff stay productive. All it does is create doubt in their mind which isn’t good at all. You may get a quick boost out of them but ultimately you are messing things up for yourself and the company.

2. Your staff are the single most important aspect of your organisation. You should expect a lot from them but not the world. Give them enough to extend themselves but not too much that they end up in too deep.

3. You should train them up but never organise training sessions over the lunch time of the staff. It’s rude to think they should give up unpaid time to do training when the training is to help them be better at their job.

4. Give praise where praise is due.

5. If someone doesn’t enjoy something but another staff member does whey not switch tasks. People who don’t enjoy doing certain tasks will take twice as long and the job won’t be completed as satisfactory as someone who does enjoy the work.

6. Offer constructive criticism but also help them understand where they have went wrong and how they can avoid it in the future.

7. Friday’s from 4.30pm are beer time. Seriously. Your staff work hard so reward them from that point on to enjoy themselves.

8. Ensure they attend events outside of work to interact with others in their field. Yes they may meet people who may try to steal them but if they are happy and enjoy the work they tend not to leave. Attending these events help them learn from other peers.

9. Just cause you are having a bad day doesn’t mean your staff have to know. All it does is create confusion and fear in the office.

10. Be confident and strong in the office, listen to your staff but don’t bend backwards to please them. Ultimately you are the boss and still need to have the final say.

11. Don’t choose favourites. Again this creates discord in the team.

12. Enjoy yourself. It’s your job too 🙂

9 Responses to “Like a boss”

  1. Nice post Scott. Lot of good stuff there. I think most ppl would get a heap more out of work if that is the attitude they took. Another great resource is which has a lot of practical steps that can easily be implemented into nearly any workplace.

  2. Brilliant work Scott. Being the boss (no matter if team leading, manager or business owner) is a very tricky balancing act of all those 12 point you outlined. And if you happen to have the power to fire staff there’s another couple of rules I’d add. Number 1 being if you have to cut staff do it quickly and with great respect. I’ve been on both sides of the conversation and quickly is better for everyone, especially those remaining.

  3. I just forwarded this onto my boss.

    Luckily my current one is a good sort, unlike the one I used to have who would take me into the boardroom and yell into my face.

  4. Nice one Scott – having sat on both sides, I think everyone can relate in some way to all of your points.

  5. This is excellent advice Scott. The other thing that owner/employers tend to forget is that employees are not stake holders in the business. Therefore, the business owner needs to properly reward his or her staff for their loyalty and support. Surprise holiday bonuses are a really nice way to do that.

    PS my husband has serious Heston-envy and will expect to get all the gory details from you when he sees you next.

  6. I think this is an excellent article – a good boss makes such a difference. The last 2 or so years have been tough for everyone in business and I think that employers who don’t recognise their staff for all their efforts over that time, are going to have to change their behaviours or prepare to lose good people.

  7. Maybe I should print this out and give this to my boss.. since at the moment, I seem to be a sounding board, and I’m the ‘reliable’ one, whereas my team mates are kinda lagging. Otherwise, this gal will be the candle burnt at both ends!

  8. This is an excellent post! One of the reasons I started my own business and hired people so I could prove that you can be a decent person — nice, professional, helpful, savvy, human & motivating — and be the boss. I try to be the boss I never had. I hope it’s working…

    I’m glad that other people agree with you and that you wrote this AWESOME post — you rock!


  9. Thank you Kristin, I think that too many people take being a boss of someone for granted and abuse the power.
    On the flip side of that I do believe that anyone that has you as a boss would be one of the luckiest people around!

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