job shop bossBeing a great boss is difficult anywhere, but working in a job shop has its own set of challenges. However, the more effort you put in, the more payoff you’ll see. Having a great boss makes it more likely that an employee will be engaged. According to a Gallup study, businesses that have the most engaged workers have higher productivity, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability. Looking to get these benefits? Below are five ways to be a better job shop boss and get more engaged employees.

1. Don’t Talk too Much

Some bosses like to be too involved with their employees. They follow up on everything and explain the reasoning and implications behind anything they ask their employees to do. In short, there’s a lot of talking. Communication’s a great thing when, but going overboard with it will just waste everyone’s time. And time is money, especially when you’ve got jobs to get out before their deadlines. When you’re talking to your employees, make sure you aren’t giving them a flood of information. Trim it down to what they need to know.

2. Don’t Talk too Little

On the other hand, you want to be sure that you communicate with your employees. For example, they need to know what you expect from them, and they need to know enough to deliver the results you want. Your employees will also appreciate it if you give them feedback periodically. This is a great way to motivate your employees. When you communicate with your employees, then they know what they need to do and how they can do better, which leads to the next point.

3. Try for Continuous Improvement

If you want your shop to continue getting better and better, the people who work there should also be improving, this includes you. Reading articles like this is a great start to improving as a boss. However, there are likely other things you could improve upon as well. Do you run the shop’s accounting? Is your shop using lean manufacturing? You don’t have to change everything all at once, but striving to get better will you make you a better boss and help your shop grow as well.

4. Promote Employees

As your employees grow, they will be able to handle new and different responsibilities. A great boss will recognize when employees are ready to move up in the shop’s hierarchy or take on new responsibilities.  It’s also a good idea to communicate this with employees. If they know they’re getting better and that you will give them more responsibilities as soon as you’re able to, then they are more likely to stick around instead of getting frustrated and leaving. It can also be important for you to delegate to your employees so you have more time for other things. When done right, it’s a win-win.

5. Don’t Ignore Conflict

Even the well-run shops will have conflict. As the boss, you may not always have to step in, but you need to be aware of it. Sometimes, whoever is having the issue will be able to solve it themselves. Other times, the issue escalates until someone else needs to step in. Solving conflict within the shop is hard and there are many strategies to try. At the very least, you will want to listen to all sides of the conflict and be open to various solutions. If your shop has a good atmosphere, then solving conflicts should be a bit easier.  And in turn, your employees are more likely to let you know about any problems before they spiral out of control.

Being a boss at a job shop is no small feat. There’s a lot to keep track of from day-to-day and even more if you’re trying to guide the shop to progress in the future. Trying to improve as a boss is difficult to balance with everything else. With the strategies listed above, you’ve got a head start on this process and you can continue to grow and be a better job shop boss.

Curious about other ways to become a better boss?

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