It’s not easy being the boss.
Responsibility for the success of a business makes for a pressure-packed working life, and that’s before you get to the pressures brought on by having to look after subordinates and keep them on-task. If Jim comes in late again without a call, or Lisa forgets to close-up properly one more time…
But listen: you’re the boss for a reason, and since you can't do everything yourself, there will be times when you’ve got to deal with lackluster subordinates. Maybe they don’t produce as expected, aren’t as punctual as you’d like, bring along baggage and an attitude, or don't know simple things related to your business. Whatever’s going on, part of your job involves making your employees better, harder workers. For the good of the company, yes, but also for your own peace of mind.
So the next time Jim and Lisa screw up to the point you’ve got to do something about it, here’s an idea virtually guaranteed to improve the situation, one way or the other: instead of yelling, try doing what they do, only better. Don’t scream at them or make them feel bad, but show them how they’re doing it wrong.
If Jim’s having issues getting to work on time, make sure you’re always there before him, and say hello when he strolls in. If Lisa’s consistently terrible at closing down, close down with her, and talk about tasks as you do them. Don’t browbeat her the whole time, either. Just do the work.
Remind a bad employee what the expectations are with your actions. This way, if the situation doesn’t improve, Jim and Lisa have no one to blame but themselves. It’s all about accountability: you to your employees, your employees to you, and everyone to the goals and long-term success of the business.
Should the worst outcome develop, and you’ve got to let an employee go while stuck with content-production needs, don’t hesitate to bring in a professional content marketing firm (like ours!) to pick up the slack. Far cheaper than a regular employee, freelance employees can take care of work you don’t have time to worry about while freeing you up to move on with your life and business, with no example on your part required.
That’s a last resort, though. Lead by example first, and remember this simple truth: if you won’t do it, they won’t do it.