What’s the Boss’s Job?

The Important Parts of Your Management Role!


I remember being shown around the office when I first started work and being introduced to various employees with a brief description of what they did. Then finally being introduced to the Manager. What does he do? I asked. “Oh, he doesn’t do anything, he’s the Boss”. I was told.

There seems to be a universal belief among employees that the Boss does nothing! We as Managers and Boss’s know that’s not the case, but how often have you sat down to think about what your job really is.

Let’s face it; we do get tied up with all that Administration stuff, which you have to get done to run your business. Always urgent and with horrible penalties if you do anything wrong.
But that’s not really the Boss’s job, even though it takes up most of your time. The danger we face is neglecting other IMPORTANT things, because we spend all of our time on the urgent ones.

So, what important things should you be doing or thinking about, in short, “What’s the Boss’s (your) job?

If I think back about the best bosses I’ve had, plus books I’ve read by “Management Gurus”, I have some observations, which seem to apply whether you are the boss in a big organization, or are your own boss in a small business.

1. “Core competency” - the reason you employ other people!

There are two reasons you hire someone to work for you. Either they do something better or quicker than you, or they do something you want done cheaper than you, or both. This then leaves you with more time to do more of what you do well, leaving you with more profit after you’ve paid them.

That’s core competency.

Don’t buy a dog and bark yourself. Train the dog to bark when you want it to and you never have to bark again.

If you’re the Boss, your job is to make sure all your employees are operating in their area of core competency, particularly yourself.

2. “Customer Focus” – the only way to stay in business.

Do you maintain a strong relationship with your customers and reward them for their long-term support. (Relationship Marketing) The lifetime or even annual value of each customer could be considerable. Keeping your organization customer focused is another part of the Boss’s job.

3. “Targets and Objectives”

People without an objective are just a group. People or employees with a unifying objective become a team. If the team is then rewarded for defined sub-objectives, that they have control over, then you get a motivated team. Motivated teams make positive things happen without you having to be involved. As the Boss your job is to create a motivated team. Clear weekly / monthly targets and objectives, plus rewards for achievement (positive feedback) make this happen.

4. “How does the Employee score Runs in your game?”

In my experience, there is often so little real definition of what the Boss wants, that employees have to work it out on the basis of what they are told is wrong, or not their job, or “Don’t do it like that!”

Employees need to know what is wanted, when they are doing it right and how to do it better.

You act as the scorer and tell them how many runs they have scored. Some rewards like “Well done” and assistance with technique to help them improve is all that the Boss needs to do. The Boss’s job is to design the game and tell employees how they can win / score runs.

5. “Measure Results – Create Competition”

People are naturally competitive. Tell them what the record for anything is and they will try to beat it. If you want outstanding productivity, think about how you can create a competition by measuring the results you want.

If you don’t believe it works, think about “Gun Shearers”. Barbering reluctant smelly sheep. Measure and bet on the number completed in a day and you have a competition. Beat the record and you have a Hero – Jackie Howe – Champion!
If you’re the Boss, you have succeeded in getting the wool of those sheep fast! That’s your job.

6. “Motivation” – Kicks versus Pats.

Think back to the times when you were criticised or dressed down, by the Boss, for some reason. You probably remember that incident years and years later, don’t you! Kicks in the backside last a very long time and create a lot of resentment.

A pat on the back, praise for a good job done, thankyou letter, even a trophy, has a very short life. Employees need a lot of positive reinforcement to stay motivated.
It takes practice to look for reasons to pat employees’ backs, plus self control, not to “correct” (kick) them too quickly.

The Boss’s job is to look for employees doing things right.

7. “Hopeless Employee”

They are around!

Those people who have deprived a village somewhere of an idiot

But if you have an employee who just can’t cut the mustard, remember who hired them! Probably you.

So, if you have to get rid of them, taking the blame yourself and helping them to move to a more suitable position is the only fair thing to do. Think what this says about you – to your remaining staff. Actions speak louder than words. Hiring the right people is the Boss’s job.

It’s worth spending time on recruitment, remember, if you hire the right staff, everything else is easy!

Ian Godbold

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