If you have been running a small business for a while now, you have probably just begun to branch out with your number of employees. As much as you believe your business is a one-woman job, no one is capable of running a company all on their own—not if they want it to expand, at least. However, you will probably find that the intricate dynamics of your business will totally change once you have other people on board. This is usually a natural progression, although it may take a bit of getting used to. Different people all have different ideas and ways of working, and it is your job as the CEO to make sure that they are all working in harmony with each other. If you are not really sure where to begin, here are some things you can do to unite your team as one and get the best business results you can while you're at it.
1. Consider the working environment you have
Do all your team have individual offices or are they all crammed in together in a frankly not-big-enough space? Neither is ideal, really. Somewhere in between is usually the best option for a productive and happy team, although of course this varies from company to company. Speak to your team and find out what kind of environment works best for them. They will appreciate being asked, too, and it will lead to them having more respect for you. You will probably find that they want a communal working space—just one that isn't too crowded. The option to work in private on certain days is also a desirable prospect for many employees. If this isn't something you can currently provide, it may be useful to reconsider your policy on occasionally telecommuting.
2. Show them that they are part of the brand
Nothing disheartens employees more than feeling like they are nothing more than a pawn in the game. Even if you do make all the final decisions for your company, chances are your employees make a significant contribution to any major changes that come about. Give them credit where credit is due by way of praise, prizes, or more responsibility. You can also help to link the team together by providing them, free of charge, with branded company goods. Anything from mugs to goods from a stationary store online can strongly reinforce the brand across your team.
3. Make time for your team outside of work
No, this doesn't mean that you need to be on call 24/7—after all, even the boss needs a day off at some point. But remember that your staff members are all human beings, not worker bees. Suggest a monthly night out or activity to do together. Bonding as people, not just as colleagues, can help to reinforce the relationship you all have in the office, thus producing better work as a result of that. Being at the helm of a group of employees is hard. But with these tips, you can rest assured that you will be able to create a hard working and loyal team no matter what line of business you are in.
These three tips will put you on the right track to being a great boss. The new responsibility you assume when you hire employees might be scary and stressful at first, but if you follow your instincts and show your employees the same respect you always expected from your previous bosses, everything will work out.