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What are the most important traits that employers should have to keep employees?

After I graduate from college I plan to start a business. Having reliable employees is key to having a successful business and I want to know how be a good boss. #entrepreneurship #business-management #startups

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Mark’s Answer

Hi Emilie,
My experience as both a manager and as an employee is that the best bosses are ones who care about their employees. When a manager treats his/her employees as a team instead of as boss and employees. There are, of course, times when the manager has step in and guide employees or bring to their attention when they aren't meeting expectations, but I've found that when you trust your employees and treat them as part of a team, they generally step up and put in all they can. Be honest, look for ways to be flexible with your employees, be willing to step in and do anything you are asking them to do, and be a team. Those are the best recommendations I can give.


Best wishes!
Mark

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Pegine’s Answer

Some say money but that is only a small part of the puzzle. Most people want to feel like they are doing a good job and contributing. Having a workplace where they feel "part of something" is crucial to that part of job satisfaction. Truly listen to your employees. You'll get a lot of great ideas and they will feel like they are valued. By the way, that doesn't mean let your employees drive the business. It's your business. Just give honest responses and use what really fits your vision. They will learn through this process too.

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Hagen’s Answer

Being a good leader / boss is actually complicated and not exactly a natural disposition. Not everyone's personality is suited for supervising and being willing to examine your own personal strengths and weaknesses can be key to being a successful manager.

One of the things I discovered working in both small firms and large corporations is the cult of the boss's personality was pretty common in small businesses. That means the behavior that was comfortable and easy for the boss tended to dictate the way the business was run. In a few cases that can be a win because the boss is naturally disposed to behave in a business functional manner. However, it is more likely that aspects of the boss's comfort and skill boundaries cause certain parts of the business to struggle. That can be issues such as attention to details, risk avoidance or risk seeking, interpersonal skills and technical knowledge. In a small business those traits impact the way the firm is run and when decisions which strike employees as obviously wrong are made that causes them question whether the firm is an intelligent place to build their career.

In corporate culture, the significance of individual personalities exists but it tends to be diluted by size and policy (although there are exceptions such as Uber's Kalanack). There are, of course, other challenges working for a large corporation but the cult of the personality is less prominent compared to small businesses.

So in a perfect world, you'd be a well adjusted even tempered, intelligent and skilled boss who can make clear eyed business rational decisions all the time. If you are, that's great. If you're not (join the crowd ;-), then, at minimum, you need to understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and potentially (minor) disorders which make it difficult for you to see the business landscape clearly. Everyone makes leadership errors so your willingness to accept those humbly and with the openness to learn from those mistakes will be key.

To a large degree management is a judgement game. You're role is to make decisions which are well informed, unbiased, and socially mature if not adroit. Your employees (like your children) will tend to see through the subterfuge of your stories and excuses. They tell stories and make excuses too, but your judgement will be held to a higher standard even if they don't feel it's safe or appropriate to say that to your face.

Along the same lines, financial solvency and stability is another critical management function. Employees generally want to be confident that the company is doing well, can survive inevitable business cycle contractions and that, over time, if the business does well they will share in that prosperity. If you're not a good financial manager ( another personality trait example) and the business isn't backed with a substantial cash reserve you may lose your best employees to the competition due to that perceived risk.

Hope that helps,

Hagen
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Madhu’s Answer

Like any other relationships, employee -employer relation is based on trust and honesty.It is very important that both strive towards common goals and mutual growth.This kind of relationships brings best from both sides and helps the company to strengthen with and within.


The studies over years have rated these traits to be most successful mantra for business success: Honesty, work flexibility,positive environment,open communication channels,growth opportunities.

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Simeon’s Answer

You'll want employees that can handle the stress of the job well. This is hard to identify in the interview process, but you could ask them about a time they endured a difficult situation and made the best of it. Most people can generally learn the basics of the job you hire them for, but having employees who will not leave on a whim is important to keep them from disrupting the business, especially as you are likely to be hiring entry-level workers with no prior work experience if you are a company just starting out. It'll take time to identify the star performers, but when they appear, invest in them and give them some choices and agency about what kind of at-work perks they'd like to have. Invite them in subtle ways to try new things and take on more responsibility, but don't overburden them and make them resentful.
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Nicole’s Answer

I love this question. I think there are 3 qualities that define a good leader. Empathy, confidence, and humility. Care about your employees. That means their work life and their personal life. Encourage them to put themselves first. You will have higher employee happiness rate this way. Confidence is needed to be a strong leader. People want to follow someone who is strong in their direction and can guide and lead a team. This also includes taking accountability when things go wrong under your watch. Humility is always being willing to learn more. Never get stuck in your ways or "the way things are done." Be willing to adapt and change and learn from EVERYONE. The intern on their first day may have an insight that can benefit the company that no one else has had. Listen to everyone and treat every opinion equally. These qualities lead to strong leaders and create a work culture and environment that employees thrive in.
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